Northside Elementary
School of the Arts
February Newsletter

Kindergarten News
We are e xcited about the month of February - "love" month! We will celebrate Valentine's Day on Feb. 14
th with a special snack and cards for our friends... more information will follow soon in blue folders. Be looking for it! We are also preparing for our Arts Showcase about American Symbols on Feb. 24 th at 9:00 and 12:30. You will receive a reminder about this...Mrs. Myers and Mrs. Estridge will invite parents at 9:00 and Mrs. Saverance and Mrs. Romero will invite parents at 12:30. Please mark your will not want to miss this production! We are working on adding and subtraction in math, writing non-fiction during Writer's Workshop, and of course, practicing our reading strategies with new sight words and many new leveled texts! Let's continue practicing our reading at home and learning as much as we can each day! Your children's progress is always first in our minds! Thank you for your help at home!

First Grade News 
First Grade is Rockin' & Rollin'!
Speaking of "ROCKING & ROLLING", we are studying natural resources & earth materials in Science & Social Studies! Our young scientists are excited for some hands-on projects as we explore rocks, minerals, dirt, water, and other resources!   Our gardening unit with Mrs. O'Connell continues are we are looking forward to spring when we get to plant our gardens!
We are also rocking some STRONG choices with our behavior as we continue to focus on being great citizens!   Many famous Americans have inspired us to all be better citizens! Our unit on famous Americans has really been exciting! We are learning about Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune, and so many more! It has been a treat working with Mrs. Howie - our Literacy Coach. She is helping us mold our first graders into biographers as well as artists!
Along with writing biographies, we are working on opinion writing! Our students are getting a lot of opportunities to really express & support their opinions in their writing & speech. We are all continuing to grow as readers as well! Strengthening our reading & comprehension skills is so important in first grade! Be sure to listen to your student read and talk to them about their book!
Mathematically we are working on place value, expanding our word problem skills, and decomposing numbers! Math is everywhere! Don't forget to encourage your student to count Cheerios, rocks, & pennies! Let them show you how we have practiced making groups of tens with leftover ones. Can they show you that total number in a different way? For example, 34 could be 3 groups of ten and 4 ones OR is could be 2 groups of ten and 14 ones! Are there any other ways to make 34?
We thank you so much for your support! Always feel free to contact your teacher with any questions or concerns!

Second Grade News
       Second grade is having fun learning about measurement. The students have been measuring around the school with rulers, yardsticks, and tape measures. They enjoy using the different tools. Please allow them to measure with tools at home as well. The children also enjoy listening to people whose jobs involve measuring. Some students will create artwork with measuring.
       In social studies, the students have been reading tall tales about people who have contributed to the United States. Just to mention a few; we read about Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Mike Fink, Breh Rabbit and Old Stormalong. Discuss the regions of the United States and these famous tall tales with your children. The students also have been learning about natural resources and famous landmarks all over the country. We will be finishing up this unit on the United States regions soon, so pull out a map and discuss this information with your child.
         In reading, the students have enjoyed reading lots of fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White, The Princess and the Pea, Little Red Riding Hood, and t he Three Little Pigs. The students enjoyed talking about the characters, the villains, and how they all have happy endings. We also went to see a version of the fairy tale Snow White in Charlotte.
       Students are improving every day in reading and writing and we are very proud of them! Please continue to encourage reading at home and writing stories in journals at home. The dollar stores have fun note pads and journals that they love to use.
       Please continue practicing math facts and reading daily with your child!
Third Grade News 
Wow, February is upon us! Last month we went to Historic Brattonsville and attended the Academy (school) for the day. We learned about the 13 original colonies, our first 8 US Presidents, ciphered on a slate, and practiced our penmanship with a quill pen. During recess, we even played the games that children of the 1840s would have played. All in all, everyone had a terrific experience.
Back at Northside, we are slicing up fractions, doing lots of research for a project on biomes, and learning how to express our opinions through persuasive speeches.
Lastly, we are looking forward to our artist in residence, Sarah Hammond. She is travel from Charleston to teach us about sweetgrass basket weaving.
Remember, we will be traveling to Charleston, SC on Friday, March 31. Please make sure you are sending in payments of $20 each month. If you are paying the full amount at once please go ahead and send in your checks/cash. If you need a balance due, please see your scholar's teacher. Also, if you have not already signed up for Canvas and Class Dojo, please contact your scholar's teacher for assistance with this!

Fourth Grade News
Fourth grade will have a busy February.  We are continuing to read and write in our Informational Text Unit, including how to research topics, write about those in topics in research essays, and provide a list of resources.  In Social Studies we are learning about Westward Movement and how our country expanded from only 13 states on the East coast all the way out to California on the West coast.  After that unit, we will be switching to Earth, Moon, and Stars science unit with a study of the solar system.  Math will continue to focus on division.  Remember, to fully understand division, students have to have a strong knowledge base of their multiplication facts.  Please keep practicing those as often as possible! 
Fifth Grade News 
In Science, students began our unit on various ecosystems. Students will study biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) factors, food chains and food webs. Students will also learn about all the organisms that are needed to survive on Earth. This unit will likely take us through most of the grading period.
In Social Studies, we have just finished a unit about how the United States became a world power. The next unit in Social Studies will be learning about daily life in America during the Roaring Twenties. This was a time when the country experienced a boom in the economy and people buying new products. There were many changes in culture such as movies, sporting events, and music.
In Math, students are just finishing up their unit learning how to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators. This is one of our grade level essential standards. For students who do not master this standard, we will be re-teaching and retesting. We will move on to our next unit of multiplying fractions. Students will learn to multiply fractions by fractions, whole numbers by fractions, and fractions by whole numbers. You can help your student succeed by practicing multiplication facts at home.
In writing, students have been learning about opinion/persuasive/argumentative writing. Students have been gathering research to support their claim or thesis. Students have also been learning about how nonfiction authors structure their texts. Students are learning about cause/effect, problem/solution, descriptive, chronological, and compare/contrast text structures. Learning about how and why authors use these text structures will help students as they read and write nonfiction texts.
In Reading, students continued their studies of Greek and Latin Roots. Students also continued studying comparing/contrasting, cause/effect, and various text structures during both whole group and small group instruction. The text structure activities support students in both their reading and writing practices. The reading focus continues to be on non-fiction texts, which also supports the writing unit.      

Arts In Action

All students in grades K-5 will be treated to an arts and core integrated performance by Sean Driscoll's "The Story Ship" in the PE Room on Friday, February 10 th. Below is a blurb about their work:
"Formed in 1999, The Story Ship has thrilled audiences with educational workshops and performances of interactive animation, music, storytelling, theater, comedy and magic for nine years. This unique combination makes their performances and workshops truly original."
Our Kindergarten classes have been working hard to learn about American symbols both in and through the arts. They will share their learning with their parents and community members on Friday, February 24 th in the PE Room, after which guests are invited to the classrooms to learn about other arts integrated projects connected to this unit of study. Students are asked to wear blue jeans and comfortable shoes that day for dancing. They will be provided with a tie-dyed shirt they created in visual art class upon arrival that day and can take it home to keep after the performance.

Auditions for The Lion King were held on Thursday, January 12 th. We were very excited to see all of our talented fifth graders audition for their characters of choice. We have an amazing cast and ensemble, all of whom will be working hard to learn lyrics, lines, and choreography in the coming weeks. Their final performance is Thursday, April 6 th, 7:00 p.m. at Saluda Trail Middle School Auditorium. Make plans to attend!


Violin students will be taking a field trip to see Black Violin perform at Knight Theatre in Charlotte in late March.  Permission slips will be going home in mid-March for this trip, so be on the lookout for those.  Parents of violin students: if you are a district-approved chaperone and would like to chaperone for this trip, please email Mrs. Le ( or send a note through your child's teacher, and you will be sent the details. We will need at least 7 chaperones, and Black Violin puts on a fantastic show!

PE News
4th Grade
Alright 4 th graders, it's almost time to get your swim suit, grab your towel, and make a splash. This is just a reminder that 4 th grade students will be participating in swimming lessons taught by certified YMCA swimming instructors this school year as a part of their physical education class. The students will travel to the Rock Hill Aquatic Center where each child will receive a 40 minute swimming lesson for four days over a period of one week.
The dates for swimming are March 13-16. Permission slips will be coming out in the middle of February, so watch for them in your child's communication folder. We will need some volunteers tohelp in overseeing the pool area/locker rooms, so check to see if your day/work schedule allows you to drive and meet us at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center. Remember, in order to serve as a volunteer, the volunteer application must be completed.

Math Memo  
A Growth Mindset in Mathematics
In general, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and 'smartness' can also be learned and that the brain grows from experience and effort.  The opposite, a fixed mindset, is the idea that you are smart, or you are not. In math, that translates into "some people are good at math, and some are not." Did you know that praising efforts rather than intelligence or results can impact your child's ability to persevere in challenges?! The goal is to have children thrive on challenges and see failures, not as a sign of low intelligence, but as a learning opportunity.  Brain research tells us that making mistakes actually wires more connections into the brain! When a person has a growth mindset, they accept challenges, see their efforts as worthwhile, and are open to learning from mistakes. Students with a growth mindset achieve at higher levels than those with fixed mindsets. How can you help? Some simple ways:
  • Adding "yet" when they claim they are "not good at this" (Respond: "You are not good at this yet.")
  • Ask questions that focus on their effort and choices and get them to reflect on satisfaction of that effort (e.g. What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?)
    Model this yourself as you share about your day
Media Center


      Our second book fair of the year will start at the end of February.  The dates for the book fair are February 27th through March 3rd.  More information will be sent home in folders as the dates get closer.  All proceeds from the book fair go to buy new books for the library for the students to enjoy and students that purchase books, get great books to read and keep at home!
     In class, students are learning how to be good digital citizens and how to be safe online.  We are also reading many books and doing activities that go along with the books. 
     Check out these two new books  that are in the library waiting to be checked out!
Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin

For information on this book and reviews, go to

Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

Title One News 
How to Strengthen Your Child's Reading Comprehension at Home
Having conversations with your children about the books they read helps them understand what they read. Here are some questions you might ask your child about a book:
  • What was the problem in the story?
  • What were the important points?
  • Summarize the main events.
  • Tell some ways that _____ and _____ are alike/different.
  • How did _____ feel? Why?
  • How did _____ change? Why?
  • What did _____ learn?
  • Why do you think _____ did _____?
  • Is this a good title for the book? Why, or why not?
  • Why do you think the writer said _____?
  • How did the writer help you know _____? Show me a place in the story that helped you know that.
  • What was the most important part of the story?
  • What lesson is the author trying to teach you?
These are just a few of the many questions you might ask your reader at home. Pick two or three of these questions to ask your child each time you talk about his or her reading.
Keep these reading conversations casual and fun for you and your child!
  Notes From the Nurse 

When to Keep Your Child Home from School
If your child is not feeling well, your physician is the best person to consult about whether she can go to school. Common sense, con­cern for your child's well-being, and the possibility of infecting classmates should all contribute to the decision about whether your child should stay home.
As general guidelines, keep her home if:
  1. she has a fever
  2. she is not well enough to participate in class
  3. you think she may be contagious to other children
If your child has been ill but is feeling better, yet has still awak­ened with a minor problem, such as a runny nose or slight head­ache, you can send her to school if none of the three circumstances listed above is present. Even so, make sure the school and your child have a phone number where you can be reached during the day if more serious symptoms develop and she needs to return home.
Last Updated
Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2004 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The district requested a waiver from the state for testing online this year for SC READY.  A decision has been made on the method of elementary testing.   
May 9th & 10th - SC READY All grades ELA parts 1 & 2 (paper/pencil) 
May 11th - SC READY All grades Math (paper/pencil)
May 16th - SCPASS Gr 4 Science (online) 
May 17th - SCPASS Gr 4 Soc. Studies (online)
May 18th - SCPASS Gr 5 Science (online)
May 19th - SCPASS Gr 5 Soc. Studies (online)