Friday, January 22, 2021

The Week of January 25, 2021

Congratulations to you for another successful Boosterthon Fundraiser!  This year, we have raised over $10,000 for our school!   Our classroom raised just about $32 per minute of dancing!  This means that we have earned a few more incentives:

Monday, Jan. 25th will be crazy hair day

Tuesday, Jan. 26th will be sunglasses day

Thursday, Jan. 28th will be “show and tell” day

Most students have completed the iReady diagnostic assessment, so we will go back to our normally-scheduled lessons this upcoming week.  Because of last week’s testing, there will be no spelling quiz or vocabulary activity this Wednesday.  Your child will receive new spelling and vocabulary lists to study this Thursday to prepare for a quiz and activity on Wednesday, Feb. 3.  This upcoming week they will be required to complete a ReadWorks and Saxon activity by Friday.

There are a few changes to our weekly required assignments that will take effect this week.  All students will now be required to spend at least 30 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday completing online work on iReady.  In addition, 4th graders will need to read at least one story on Amira for fluency practice each Tuesday and Thursday.  I’ve added these works to your itsLearning calendar/schedule to help them remember to do it.  In order to give you time to complete these added required works, you will now only be asked to complete one Saxon work per week.  I have updated the “Daily Checklist” to reflect these changes (you can access it here).   

Have an enjoyable weekend; you deserve it!


Friday, January 15, 2021

The Week of January 18, 2021

 "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Martin Luther King Jr. 

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  My wish for you this holiday weekend is that you find renewed energy and spirit during this time of remembrance and service.

This upcoming week of school will be a bit different, so please take note of the following changes to our normal schedule:

  1.  There is no school Monday, January 18th

  1.  Tuesday is Hat Day!  Everyone is welcome to wear their favorite hat to Zoom classes!  The students earned this prize as part of their fundraising efforts with this year’s Boosterthon event.  There is still time to register and collect pledges at! This weekend is a great time to get a donation because there’s a special challenge for families: your child can earn a bonus reward simply by getting a donation this weekend only. 

  1. Wednesday is the Boosterthon Dance Party!  A link to the event will be shared on ItsLearning.  On Wednesday, they will also have to complete a vocabulary activity, but there is NO spelling quiz this week.

  1. Thursday and Friday we will be taking the iReady assessment.  All students will log onto itslearning at 9:00am to take the assessment together via the Zoom link on their calendar.  The assessment will take the place of all other lessons we normally have on these days.  I expect this assessment to take about two hours to complete.  More information about the assessment and the iReady program is attached to this email.

  1. Parent/Teacher/Student conferences will continue this Wednesday.  If you have not already picked a time to meet, please do so here:

Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have.  Have a wonderful, LONG holiday weekend!

Mr. Trent

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Week of January 11, 2021

 Hello, Bobcats! 

We will continue with our daily Zoom lessons and follow-up works this week.  Remember that Wednesdays are considered “asynchronous”.  Each Wednesday, your work will be posted to ItsLearning for them to complete by the end of the day.  This upcoming Wednesday, everyone will need to complete the spelling quiz, vocabulary activity, and a cultural activity.  I am available via ItsLearning chat if you have any questions about the posted work.

This term in writing we are focusing on the narrative genre.  This Friday, you will have the opportunity to complete a narrative pre-assessment that will be used to plan future lessons and to show growth over the term.  This assessment will be administered during your regularly-scheduled Zoom lesson time.  

This upcoming week, 4th graders will be introduced to a new reading fluency program called Amira. Amira uses sophisticated voice-recognition software to help increase oral reading fluency!  Spending time on Amira will become a weekly required assignment.

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking some time to practice using the online program that will be used for taking the GMAS at the end of the school year. You can find it here:

It’s time for Boosterthon!  Boosterthon is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Ellis PTA.  This year’s Boosterthon is going to be held virtually, but it should be just as much fun as previous years!  This upcoming week we will be having a pep rally and daily character education lessons during our regularly-scheduled Zoom meetings to get ready for the event.  Please visit to register and start gathering donations.

Finally, parent/teacher/student conferences will be taking place over the next two weeks.  If your family has not already done so, please visit the following website to schedule your time slot:

Have a nice weekend,

Mr. Trent

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Week of January 4, 2021

Happy New Year!  Tuesday, January 5th starts the first day of term 3!  I look forward to another term of fun and learning with you!  

At this time, we are entering the next phase of the SCCPSS “Return to Learn” Covid plan.  There will be three different cohorts of students in our class: 

Cohort A:  Attend class on campus Monday and Tuesday, at home Wednesday through Friday.

Cohort B:  Attend class on campus Thursday and Friday, at home Monday through Wednesday.

Cohort C:  Attend class at home Monday through Friday.

Daily schedules of lessons have been updated in your ItsLearning platform for the upcoming term.  You will notice that the lesson days and times have not changed from last term.  It is my hope that we can keep our current schedule in place as we transition into this next phase of reopening campus.  That being said, some changes may need to be made to accommodate for this different structure.  I ask for your patience as we work through this together.  

Cohort C families, as of now no change in procedures will be made.  Please continue to attend lessons and complete weekly works as was done during term 2.

Cohorts A and B families, in the near future you will be receiving an email from administration with logistical information about returning to on-campus learning.  It will include information about arrival/dismissal times, supply lists, safety procedures, and many other aspects of “Return to Learn”.  You will follow the same lesson schedule and work requirements they had in term 2.  The only difference is that you will be receiving the lessons and having their worktime on campus 2 days a week.  You should continue attending lessons and working on followup works as you have in the past during the 3 days they are at home.  

All students will once again be working "asynchronously" from home on Wednesdays.  I will post Wednesday work on ItsLearning and send a Remind message about it as I have done in the past. 

If you have any questions about what cohort you are in or about anything else associated with the upcoming term, please feel free to email me at

Works for this week will include daily lessons and follow-up in math, cultural studies, geometry, and grammar.  In addition, all students have these daily works to complete:

1. Saxon Math Maintenance - 4th and 5th graders will NOT have Saxon this week. 6th graders, please complete lessons 15 & 16.  This assignment is due by Friday, January 8th.

2. Vocabulary - You will receive your first vocabulary list of the term this Thursday.  Please study it for an activity on Wednesday, January 13th.

3. Word Study - You will receive your first spelling list of the term this Thursday. Please study it for a quiz on Wednesday, January 13th.

4. ReadWorks Comprehension - Please complete your weekly ReadWorks comprehension activity at by Friday, January 8th. 

Finally, it’s time for term 2 parent/teacher/student conferences!  Please visit the following link to choose a day and time for your virtual conference:

See you Tuesday,

Mr. Trent

Friday, December 18, 2020

Happy Holidays!

 Happy holidays to you and your family!  Enjoy your much-deserved time off!  Classes resume Tuesday, January 5th, 2021.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Week of December 14, 2020

 Happy holidays to you and your family!  I hope this festive time of year brings you joy!

Our final week of school before holiday break is packed with opportunities to learn and have some fun, too!  Please note the following information about the week:

  1.  You do NOT have a spelling list to study this week.  Instead, you will take a spelling inventory on Wednesday that I will use to place everyone in appropriate spelling groups for the second half of the school year.  

  2. The end of the term is Friday, December 18th.  All second term work must be submitted by 11:59pm.  Log into your gradebook on ItsLearning to check the completion status of our term 2 assignments.  6th grade families, please also log onto PowerSchool to check your grades.  6th graders will receive their first report card this term, and we want to make sure everything has been entered correctly into PowerSchool.  If you see any mistakes or have any questions, please contact me via Remind or

  3. The annual Festival of Lights is taking place virtually this year on Thursday, December 17th at 6:30 pm!  Your parents will receive an email from administration with the Zoom link so you can join the fun!

Finally, to celebrate the season together, I would like to invite you to a special “Pajama Day” party on Friday, December 18th during our normally-scheduled Zoom lesson!  Feel free to wear something cozy, enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate or tea, and join in listening to holiday stories and playing games!  This is NOT a required lesson, but everyone is welcome. 

Enjoy your weekend,


Friday, December 4, 2020

The Week of December 7, 2020

 "I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring

Than we were in September,'

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December."

-   Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing

The upcoming week of school brings more opportunities for learning and fun!  Our works will include one more opinion writing followup before we take a post-test writing scrimmage on Friday.  The growth shown across the board in writing skills is something we should all celebrate!  I look forward to continuing our writing lessons next term, with a new focus on narratives!

Be sure to be studying the vocabulary and spelling (word study) lists each day to prepare for Wednesday’s vocabulary activity and spelling quiz.  There are only two more Wednesdays left in the term, so that means two more opportunities to “show what you know” in vocabulary and spelling!  

On a similar note, be sure you are reviewing your ItsLearning gradebook to note any missing works.  These should be completed by the last day before winter break.  Feel free to message me with any questions.

Enjoy your weekend,