Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Useful links at

The amount of websites on the internet can sure be overwhelming at times.  I've collected a few of my favorite sites that will help you in class and placed them on the online bookmark site  Simply type "student12" in the Guest Access box.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Progress Reports

Please review the progress report that was sent home today.  Sign it, and return it to your child's homeroom teacher Tuesday, Feb. 28. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Week of February 27, 2012

As soon as everyone left after lunch today, I went right to work planning an exciting week for you!  In Math, we will be finding the surface area of the geometric solids we recently worked with.  Surface area can be tricky because there are a lot of steps to follow (and alot of places to lose your place or make a mistake).  I really need you to focus, focus, focus while we are working with surface area over the next few weeks.  HERE is a great website that gives you the procedures for finding surface area.  It also includes online quizes to check your understanding.  Be expecting homework Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night and a quiz on Thursday.

In science, we will be talking about the Earth, Sun, and Moon connection.  We will specifically be focusing on nuclear fusion, the phases of the moon, and eclipses.  HERE is the presentation I will show you on Monday.  Below are your vocabulary words that you must study for a quiz on Friday:

nuclear fusion- the process by which nuclei of small atoms combine to form a new, more massive nucleus;  the process releases energy
sunspot- a dark area of the photosphere of the sun that is cooler than the surrounding areas and has a strong magnetic field.
eclipse- an event in which the shadow of one celestial body falls on another
phase- the change in the sunlit area of one celestial body as seen from another celestial body
satellite- a natural or artificial body that revolves around a planet
Yes, that's right!  ONLY 5 WORDS!  But, don't get too excited...the rest of the quiz will require you to identify the phases of the moon we will talk about on Monday.  Here is a picture of the phases you must know:

Over the next two weeks, you will be working on a choice sheet to guide your studies on the Earth, Sun, Moon connection.  This choice sheet will be due Friday, March 10th.  The 10th is also the day of our final test on these topics.

So, you can see it's going to be a busy, busy, busy week.  But, look forward to Friday because we will have a "Drop Everything and Read" event to celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday!  Rest up this weekend so we can hit it hard on Monday.

See you then,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Visit from Famous Astronomers!

Some students created puppets and wrote monologues about the astronomers we've been studying.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Constellation Research Help

Having trouble finding information for your constellation research choice?  Check out THIS great website!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Friday Good News...

In addition to Friday being a half-day, it will also be a dress down day for students!

Cube Nets

A lot of cutting and folding lead us to find 11 ways to create a net that forms a cube.

Seeing Stars

Mr. Brandon came today and helped us use astrolabes to measure positions of constellations.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The SHORT week of February 21st

It's a short week coming school on Monday and a half-day Friday!  That's not going to slow us down, because we can squeeze 5 days of fun into 3 and 1/2!

In math, we will be working with geometric solids.  We will start by looking at nets and the type of solids they create.  After that, we will identify the sides, faces, edges, and vertices of each.  This work will prepare us for starting surface area next week.  Get ready to do a lot of cutting and folding!  Check out THIS online tool all about geometric solids.  Finally, don't forget to complete one geometry sky-tower choice.

In science, we will continue investigating historical views of the universe and famous astronomers.  Your three work choices are due this Friday.  In addition, you will have a test on what we have studied on Friday.  Your study guide will simply be the packet I gave you last Monday.  All of your test questions will come from these pages.  Pay careful attention to the questions on the back of the WILL see these again (hint, hint)  Perhaps you could make a foldable to help you prepare?

Let's get this week started!

Mr. Trent

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CRCT Practice

Click here for an online CRCT practice activity.  The username is grade6 and the password is grade6.

Circle Formula Poem

Here's the poem I shared with you in class today to remember the formulas for circumference and area:

Tweedle dum and tweedle dee,
round the circle pi times d,
When it’s area they declared,
we must use pi r squared.’

Monday, February 13, 2012

Progress Reports

Progress reports went home today!  Be sure to review, sign, and return them to school tomorrow (Feb. 14).  If you have any questions, simply write a note on the top page, and Ms. Carol or myself will get in contact with you ASAP.

Valentine Fun!

There are a few Valentine activities going on this week to look forward to. First, the Jumprope for Heart fundraiser will happen on Thursday from 1:00-2:45. Also, the Valentine's dance will be Friday from 6:30-9:00. Be sure to bring in your permission slip if you are planning on attending.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Week of February 13, 2012

I'm sure everyone is excited for Valentine's Day this week!  Our lessons for this week are also a cause for excitement...circumference of circles and famous astronomers!

In math, we will work together to discover the circumference of circles.  We will start by using our trusty rulers to measure circumference, then we will explore a formula that will make the whole process a lot faster.  Be ready for some homework and classwork that you will need to complete.  In addition, we will have a quiz on Thursday.  HERE is a fun online basketball game that helps you practice finding circumferences of circles.

We will start a new unit of outer-space in science this week.  We will start off by talking about famous astronomers in history, telescopes, and constellations.  Here is a copy of the powerpoint I will share with you tomorrow:

You will be given a "Planetary Pathways" choice sheet to guide your studies.  It will be due next Friday.  This Friday, you will have a vocabulary quiz on the following words:

Astronomy- the study of the universe

Year- the time required for the Earth to orbit once around the sun

Month- a division of the year that is based on the orbit of the moon around the Earth

Day- the time required for the Earth to rotate once on its axis

Telescope- an instrument that collects electromagnetic radiation from the sky and concentrates it for better observation

Constellation- a region of the sky that contains a recognizable star pattern and that is used to describe the location of objects in space.

Zenith-  the point in the sky directly above the observer on Earth

Altitude- the angle between an object in the sky and the horizon

Horizon- the line where the sky and the Earth appear to meet

Light-year- the distance that light travels in one year; about 9.46 trillion kilometers

I really enjoyed reading your biome essays!  Please see me if you have any questions about the grade you earned.  

See you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Geometry Sky Tower

The Geometry Sky Tower Montessori material is used to practice geometric vocabulary. Here, a student completes the "Parts of a Circle" activity.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Area of Circles Practice

Would you like some more practice finding area of circles?  Check out THIS fun memory-style game!  Remember:  A = pi x r2

Monday, February 6, 2012

Using Foldables to Help Us Study

We created "pocket books" to help us organize our biome notes. Using this study tool can help when preparing for Friday's test.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rolling into the First Full Week of February

Here we are again, ready to start another week of school!  In math, we will be starting an in-depth discussion about circles.  Some of what we talk about will be a review from previous year's work, but it is important that we are comfortable manipulating circles so that some work we do with surface area in the near future will be easier.  Here is come circle information taken from

arc: a curved line that is part of the circumference of a circle
chord: a line segment within a circle that touches 2 points on the circle.
circumference: the distance around the circle.
diameter: the longest distance from one end of a circle to the other.
origin: the center of the circle
pi (pi): A number, 3.141592..., equal to (the circumference) / (the diameter) of any circle.
radius: distance from center of circle to any point on it.
sector: is like a slice of pie (a circle wedge).
tangent of circle: a line perpendicular to the radius that touches ONLY one point on the circle.
diameter = 2 x radius of circle

Circumference of Circle = PI x diameter = 2 PI x radius
PI = PI = 3.141592...

Area of Circle:
    area = PI r2 

In science, we will finish up our research essays about biomes.  I am so excited to begin reading you essays and learn all the great facts you've discovered!  Remember to use the cover sheet rubric to be sure you've included all the requirements for the assignment.  The essay will be due this Friday.  Friday will also be the day we have our test on climate zones and biomes.  We will create a study booklet on Monday to help you prepare.  You will also need to review the notes I gave you last Monday.  You can find it in THIS blog post.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Registration Packet Updates

We are in the process of making sure all information we have on file here at Ellis is up to date.  If your child came home with a registration packet, please take the time to fill it out so we can have the most up-to-date information available.  I appreciate your time filling out this paperwork.

Biome Research

This week, students are researching the world's biomes and writing an essay to share their findings.