Friday, August 31, 2012

Ten Marks

I am happy to inform you that we will be using a new online supplemental math program - TenMarks, which will provide your student with additional math practice.

TenMarks is an online program that enables students to practice and master math concepts - one topic at a time. They can work on direction from the teacher, or choose to practice on their own, anytime. While they are practicing, TenMarks helps them with hints on every problem if they get stuck, and gives them short video tutorials to view if they need an explanation - really helping them grasp the concept they are working on.  These videos can also come in handy when trying to figure out confusing homework assignments!  

I have set up each student with their own individual account, and loaded the math curriculum for their grade into TenMarks. From the teacher account, I can monitor and review their progress, and assign work and give them feedback.  I will assign one topic (10 questions) each Monday.  They will have until Friday to complete it.  They may work on it at school or at home.  In addition, they may log in anytime and complete practice questions on any topic of their choice.  

There is also a reward zone for some extra motivation where they earn certificates to print out when they master a concept, and some educational computer games they can play after they complete work.

Students are able to access TenMarks from home to continue working on the program at their own pace.  To log in to their account, students should go to and click on the red "Log In" button on the upper right corner of the page.  Your child was given their username and password last week in school.  If they forget their log on information, please email me at for a reminder.  Also, I am able to have a weekly report sent to you via email that will inform you of their progress.  Please let me know if you would like this report emailed to you.  

I just wanted to let you know that we're using this new program, which I believe will really help students improve their math skills and confidence. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Branches of Earth Science

Today we used a sort to help us identify the four branches of Earth Science: oceanography, geology, meteorology, and astronomy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Unconscious Exchange of Services

As an introduction to our year studying Earth Science, we investigated the Montessori lesson of the "Unconscious Exchange of Services".  In this lesson, we learned that all things, both living and not, are unconsciously connected to other things around them.  Such connections can be both positive or negative.

Unconscious Exchange of Services Visual

Students filled in a matrix to identify such connections.

We also watched a Brainpop Video (username and password: cema) on symbiosis, and used our Classroom Responders to answer questions to test our comprehension of the video.

Can you name an example of an unconscious exchange of service?  The first three replies in the "comments" section of this blog entry will receive a prize!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Updated Daily Schedule

I've included a copy of the daily schedule in the welcome packet you will receive Monday.  We've had to make some last-minute changes to it, so here is an updated copy:

Montessori Work Period (Homeroom 1)
Carol- Social Studies/Lang. Arts
Trent- Math/Science
Montessori Work Period (Homeroom 2)
Carol- Social Studies/Lang. Arts
Trent- Math/Science
REP- 2:00 – 3:00 (Ms. Eileen)
GEP- 2:00 - 3:00 Monday-Friday (Ms. Pat)

The Week of August 26, 2012

Welcome to your first week of school!  I must confess that ever since open house on Friday, I have been extremely excited to get back to school.  It was so nice seeing former students and meeting new ones.  I also enjoyed hearing about how parents were looking forward to the year beginning, too!

Please remember that this year classes will begin at 8:30.  You are more than welcome to come to class anytime from 8:00 until then, but will be marked late if you get here after 8:30.  At 3:00 we will begin to dismiss.  Because of the construction of our new schoolyard (YAY) dismissal will be a bit different.  Bus riders and Pryme Time procedures will remain the same as before, but car riders and walkers will go to the following areas:

We will spend the majority of time together this week getting to know each other, learning the classroom procedures, and getting ourselves organized.

If you have supplies, please bring them along with you into the classroom Monday morning.  We will work together to organize them.  Any missing supplies must be brought to school by Friday, Aug. 31.

You will be getting an orange handbook that will tell you important information about the upcoming year.  Inside the front cover, there is a stapled packet that must also be reviewed.  Please sign the following items and return them to your homeroom teacher ASAP:
1.  The Code of Conduct signature page (the last page of the orange booklet)
2.  The Classroom Procedures signature page
3.  Montessori Academy Contract
4.  Phys. Ed. Permission form (this page must be completed before you can attend Phys. Ed)
5.  The Walking Fieldtrip permission slip
6.  Student Insurance application (optional)

You can find copies of the Code of Conduct, Classroom Procedures, and many other important files on my Scribd page.

In math, we will be taking the Montessori GAT so I can discover your strengths and needs so I can plan small group lessons for next week.  In science, we will take a look at the different domains of Earth Science that we will be studying this year.  I also have an interesting activity that will help you realize the interconnectedness of both living and nonliving things.

Your only homework for this week will be to review those important documents and have them signed and returned.

Oh, and don't forget:  Friday is an "Out of Uniform" Day!

Enjoy your last day of summer vacation!  I'll see you in the morning,
Mr. Trent

Friday, August 10, 2012

Welcome Back, Ellis!

Welcome new 6th grade Ellis students!  Please take a look at the important information below about the upcoming school year.  I'm excited to start another wonderful year at Charles Ellis!
Welcome Back Letter 2012

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

I had the opportunity to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Ga this past week.  It is a wonderful place where sea turtles and other creatures of the sea are brought to be nursed back to health.  They have a wonderful exhibit area where you can learn all about the lives of turtles.  In addition, there is a viewing area so you can see right into the hospital and watch the veterinarians working on the animals.  My favorite part was the building of large tanks where the turtles can rest and recover before being set free back into the Atlantic.  I highly recommend visiting the center.