Friday, December 20, 2013

Wishing You a Happy Break!

I hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday break!  I'll see you in 2014!

Merry Christmas,
Mr. Trent

Our holiday sing along is a favorite Ellis tradition!  

Today we decorated our room with snowflakes that showed reflective and rotational symmetry!

If you have some free time over your break, check out this cool "Make-A-Flake" program!  Can you identify the lines of symmetry on your flake?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Week of December 16, 2013

It's the last week of school for 2013!  I hope this past year has been full of happiness and joy, and wish you an upcoming year even better than the last!  Let's see what's in store for this week:

In math, we will talk about negative numbers.  Using number lines, we will investigate opposites of numbers and absolute value.

After some classwork and homework based upon these topics, we will have a quiz on Thursday.  This will be your last grade for the term, so please try your best (as always).  We will use our time in the afternoon together to work on your Compass Learning assignment for the week.

In science, we will be completing a writing assignment.  This assignment will allow you to review everything we've studies so far this year and put it into the context of the Unconscious Exchange of Services matrix we discussed at the beginning of the year.  Please follow this plan when completing your assignment.

You will be given class time to complete your assignment.  Your rough draft will be due Wednesday, and your final copy will be due Thursday.  This is your last assignment of the term in science.  It will be counted as a test grade.

In addition to it being a free dress-down day, this Friday is also the annual Ellis holiday sing along at 2:00 in the schoolyard!

It's going to be a wonderful week!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Geyser in Our Classroom!

As part of our discussion about the distribution of water on Earth, we created a model of an erupting geyser!  Remember that the conditions must be just right for a geyser to form.  Most of the world's geysers are found in Yellowstone National Park.

Our classroom geyser is created using a glass jar, rubber stopper, and a glass tube.  The water is heated using an electric stove.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Progress Reports Issued

The last progress reports of the term have been sent home today.  Please review, sign, and return them by Wednesday, Dec. 11.  

Graphing Inequalities Resource and Practice

Do you need some more practice graphing inequalities?  Check out this resource and practice page (answers included).

Inequalities Handout

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Week of December 9, 2013

I'm so excited to share with you what is planned for the second week of December!  It's going to be a busy and fun-filled week at Ellis! Here is what is in store for the week:

In math, we will be looking at solving and graphing equations that include inequalities.  The important thing to keep in mind is that the only thing that is different from the equations we've solved in the past and inequalities, is that inequalities include a greater than, less than, greater than or equal to, or less than or equal to symbol instead of an equals sign.

Inequality symbols and meanings

After we solve inequalities, we will graph them on a number line.  Check out the following resources for more information about solving and graphing inequalities.

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday night to complete about inequalities. You will have a quiz on Thursday and your weekly Compass Learning assignment due Friday.

In science, we will continue to research the distribution of Earth's water.  

Earth's Water Distribution Interactive

To prepare for Friday's test, review your vocabulary list and notes you received last week.  Your "Drop in the Bucket" choice sheet is due Friday, as well.  

Finally, be looking forward to your field trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum on Friday!  Be sure to bring in your signed permission slip and $5 by Wednesday to attend this awesome trip.  Remember that this trip, as well as all of your other reminders, assignments, and upcoming tests can be found on the classroom calendar.  The calendar button is located at the top of this page.  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Field Trip: Mighty 8th Air Force Museum

Permission slips were sent home today for next Friday's field trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler.  Please return the form (with both sides completed) and $5.00 to your homeroom teacher by next Wednesday, December 11.

The mighty 8th Air Force Museum

A Festive Time of Year!

Our classroom is all decked out for the holidays!  Check out our "geolotree" that is decorated with rocks, minerals, seashells, and starfish!

Our classroom's "geolotree"

Earth's Water Materials

We are practically drowning in information about Earth's water!  There are a number of materials students are using to investigate the distribution of water on our planet.  

A simple demonstration shows a scale model of all water on Earth (1 L) compared to water that is usable for human use (1 mL)

Here students are using three part cards to practice identifying water features like rills, springs, and canals.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Solving One Step Equations How-To

Here is a great overview of the work we've done solving one step equations.  Keep in mind that you will only need to focus on positive integers this year, so pay no attention to the examples showing negative numbers (unless you want an extra challenge).

Monday, December 2, 2013

How Much Water Do You Use?

Did you ever wonder how much water your household uses a day?  I think you'll be surprised to find out the answer!  Use to estimate your family's daily water usage.

Use to see how much water your family uses a day.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Week of December 2, 2013

Welcome back!  I hope you had a restful and happy Thanksgiving Break!   Now it’s time to get back into our school routines.

When we meet tomorrow, we will have a math lesson on solving equations that include multiplication and division operations.  You will solve them in much the same way we solved addition and subtraction equations:  isolating the variable by doing the inverse operation.  You will have plenty of practice doing this which will include homework Monday and Tuesday night, daily classwork, and a quiz on Thursday.  Completing this week’s Compass Learning activity will also help you master solving these equations. 

Over the past few weeks in science, we have been limiting our studies to ocean water.   This week, we will begin to investigate other water found in other places on our planet.  Check out the following slides I will share with you on Monday about Earth’s water. 

Please study the following vocabulary words for a quiz on Friday. 

To help guide your studies concerning Earth’s water, use this “A Drop in the Bucket” choice sheet.  Your FOUR choices are due next Friday.  

You will also have a test next Friday on what we’ve studied about Earth’s water.  This week’s lab is all about groundwater (water found below the surface of the Earth).  I hope you come to appreciate this very delicate source of drinkable water.

Be looking forward to some fun this Friday.  First, it is a dress down day for $1.00.  All money raised will be donated to Toys for Tots.   Secondly, it is career day!  Throughout the day, visitors will come to our classroom to share information about their careers.  It’s never too early to explore what job you may wish to pursue after schooling.  Perhaps one of our visitors will inspire you to follow in their footsteps. 

See you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!  Enjoy your time with your family and friends!  I'll see you Monday, December 2.

Thanksgiving by the Numbers Infographic. (2013). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:46, November 22, 2013, from

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Week of November 25, 2013

It's the time of the year when I enjoy taking time to count the reasons I'm thankful, and I can admit that many items on my list are associated with Charles Ellis Montessori Academy!  I'm looking forward to spending this short school week with you!

We only have school Monday and Tuesday this week.  I'm sure you are excited for our field trip to the President Street Water Treatment Facility on Tuesday!  On Monday, we will take some time to talk about how waste water is cleaned and returned to the environment.  Check out this podcast from the Radiolab program on NPR that tells of the process of water treatment and uses of the sludge produced during treatment:

"Poop Train" - From Radiolab on NPR (contains a word some may find offensive)

On Tuesday, be sure to wear comfortable shoes because we will have our tour of the facility.  After the tour, we will find our way to River Street to enjoy our lunch along the Savannah River.  Pack an appropriate lunch (or purchase a bagged lunch from the cafeteria).  

You have the option to dress down Monday and Tuesday.  Just bring in $2.00 on Monday!  All the money will be donated to the Relay for Life fundraiser.  

I'll see you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Terrific Tide Song

Take a listen to this great tide song!  You can use it to help you prepare for your quiz on tides tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You're Invited: 2nd Annual MESS Holiday Party

Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Montessori Education Society of Savannah Holiday Party on Thursday, December 5th at 6:30-9:00 pm at 224 East 50th Street.  It's a good time for a great cause!  I hope to see you there!

Graphing Spring and Neap Tide Data

This week we are using data collected from NOAA to create tide charts for Boston Harbor and St. John on the Bay of Fundy. The drastic difference in tidal ranges is caused by the topography of the land surrounding the locations.

Tide charts show the levels at high and low tides.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Progress Reports

Progress reports have seen sent home today.  Please review, sign, and return them to school tomorrow (Wednesday). 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Week of November 18, 2013

The week of November 18th is shaping up to be a good one; it is the last full week before Thanksgiving break!

This week in math, we will be investigating how to solve equations that involve addition and subtraction operations.  Remember, equations are number sentences that include an equals sign.  When working with equations, it is important to always have each side of the equals sign equivalent to the opposite side.

solving equations involving addition and subtraction

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday night this week.  In addition, please complete your Compass Learning assignment sometime before the end of the day Friday.  On Thursday, you will have a math quiz on the concepts we covered in class.

In science, we will finish up our work with tides.  Remember that your "Tides of Thanks" choice sheet is due Friday.  You will also have a test on tides Friday.  Use your booklet that I gave you last Monday to help you prepare for the test.  In lab this week we will create our own tide charts using high and low tide data.  Mr. Vinay will also visit to tell us more about tidal data from local waters.

Tide Charts show tidal data visually.  NOAA provides detailed tide charts online.

This Friday is a dress down-day.  There is no cost to participate because it is the last Friday of the month!

Finally, the grade book issues that plagued us last week have finally been fixed.  Therefore, we will be sending home progress reports.  Please review, sign, and return them to your child's homeroom teacher.  Attached to the progress reports will also be a permission slip for our next field trip on November 26th to the President Street Water Treatment Facility.  After our tour, we will head on down to River Street to enjoy a picnic lunch along the water.  There is no cost associated with this trip.  Please return the slips by Friday, November 22.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Progress Reports - UPDATED

Because of some computer issues that are out of our control, we will not be sending progress reports home today.  The reports will be sent home tomorrow (Thursday), and should be signed and returned Friday, November 15.

UPDATE- We are still having problems accessing our grades to print progress reports, so we will not be able to send them home this week.  Luckily, you still have access to your child's grades through the Power School Program (see link to the right).

A New Peace Stick!

A special thank-you to Ms. Keitsa (a former Ellis Montessori teacher) who gifted our classroom a "peace stick" from her recent trip to Ethiopia.  Such sticks are used by the Dorze mountain people during community meetings.  Please feel free to use this stick when talking out disagreements with friends.  It can be found on our peace shelf.

A Dorze woman making bread.  Copyright- Keitsa Brisson

Our classroom's peace shelf.

Properties Basketball Game

Do you need a bit more practice with your properties?  Check out this fun basketball game!

Properties Basketball Game - For extra help when studying properties of multiplication.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Visit from author Catherine Maguire (for GIRLS only)

Ms. Laura is welcoming all 6th grade GIRLS to a special meeting with the author, Catherine Maguire!  This Friday, Ms. Maguire will share her experiences while writing the book "The Bloody Book Bag Ordeal".  This special assembly is made possible with help from the Savannah Children's Book Festival.  Please see Ms. Laura in the media center if you have any questions.

"The Bloody Book Bag Ordeal" by Catherine Maguire.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Week of November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!  I hope you enjoy your long weekend, and spend some quality time with your friends and family.

I have an exciting week planned when you return to class on Tuesday.  In math, we will be working with algebraic properties.  During our lessons, we will be taking a close look at algebraic expressions to see if we can identify some rules they follow.  Once we identify these rules, we will use them to solve some algebraic problems.  Be expecting some homework that will be due on Wednesday, and a quiz on Thursday.  Your Compass Learning assignment will also be about these properties.  Be sure to complete it by Friday.

Algebraic Properties (Click for larger view)

In science, we will start a two week unit on Tides.  Here is a list of important vocabulary words you will need to know about tides for a quiz on Friday.

I'll take some time Tuesday to introduce you to tides.  Here are the notes I will share in class:

After Tuesday's introductory lesson, you will be free to do your own research on tides using the following choice sheet to guide you.

The choice sheet is due Friday, November 22.  Make sure you are doing your best work!

Here are a few more reminders about next week:
1.  There is no school Monday (Veteran's Day).
2.  Progress reports will be sent home this week.  Please review them and return them to your homeroom teacher the next day.
3.  This Friday is 6th grade school pictures.  6th graders have permission to dress down for the pictures.

I look forward to another wonderful week at Ellis!

Mr. Trent

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Magic of Algebra Tiles

Algebra tiles make working with algebraic expressions a snap!  Each tiles shape represents a unit, x, or x squared.  By manipulating them into different groupings, we can find equivalent expressions.

An algebraic expression shown using algebra tiles.  

An equivalent algebraic expression shown using the algebra tiles.  Notice that the same tiles are used in the first and second expression...this proves that the expressions are equivalent.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Week of November 4, 2013 (UPDATED)

Welcome to the first week of November!  Have you noticed that it is a bit darker in the mornings when you are preparing for school?  This is a natural yearly occurrence as our amazing planet travels around the sun while tipped on its axis.  We will talk more about this, and many other things, when we talk about outer space later on in the year.  If you are interested in learning about it now, check out the bottom section of our science Montessori shelf during your work time.  Also, don't forget to set your clocks back one hour before bed on Saturday night!

I'm very excited to math this week because I will be showing you a new material you can use to make working with algebraic expressions and equations a snap:  algebra tiles.  I will show you how to use these tiles this week, and you will have plenty of time to practice during our work time.  I will not assign math homework, but you will have an open-note quiz on Thursday.  UPDATE:  You will NOT have a math quiz on Thursday.  Please also complete your Compass Learning assignment by Friday.You can use the following algebra tiles template to practice at home, if you wish.

Algebra Tiles

You can also try your hand at modeling expressions using this online algebra tile activity.

Modeling expressions online algebra tiles activity

In science, we will continue our research concerning currents and waves.  Please work with good purpose to complete your Seafood Feast choice sheet by Friday.  You can use your notes that we took last Monday and Tuesday to study for your upcoming test.  Here's another copy of the notes if you need them:

There's just a few more items to keep in mind this week:

1.  Scoliosis screenings will take place in the nurses office on Monday.  There is nothing special you must do to prepare for this, it is literally a 5 second examination.  UPDATE:  Scoliosis screenings have been rescheduled.

2.  I will not be in school Wednesday because I will be attending a workshop on Elba Island concerning natural gas.  The workshop will help me prepare upcoming lessons for you about natural resources.    I'll be sure to take a lot of pictures and share them with you when I return.  UPDATE:  I will also be absent on Tuesday to attend a last minute meeting.

Finally, here's a pic from our work with Ms. Kirsten's class.  We spent some time Friday afternoon helping the younger students with their nature studies by making leaf rubbings.

Leaf rubbings with Ms. Kirsten's Class.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deep Ocean Currents Lab

This week's lab showed us that differences in water temperature can cause deep ocean currents to form.  The red dye represents the less-dense warm water, and the blue dye is the more-dense cooler water.  The warmer water rises as the cooler water sinks.  This causes currents to form far below the surface of the ocean where wind energy cannot reach to move the water.

This lab demonstrates that deep ocean currents can be caused by differences in ocean water temperature.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Progress Reports

Progress reports were sent home today.  Please review, sign, and return it tomorrow.  If you have any questions, write them on the orange cover sheet and I will get back to you as soon as possible.  You can also email me at

Mr. Trent

Monday, October 28, 2013

From Expressions to Currents

Today was a busy day in math and science class.  We started out with an expression word sort that prepared us to begin reading and writing algebraic expressions.

Word choice is important when writing expressions.

Next, we moved on to talking about ocean currents.  Click below for a link to the amazing surface currents video we viewed in class.

"Perpetual Ocean" is an artistic masterpiece created using time-lapsed images from NASA showing surface currents in motion.  

Finally, we investigated the cause of deep-ocean currents by viewing a demonstration that proved that cold water is more dense than warm water.  As seen in the picture below, the cold blue water does not mix with the warm clear water above it.

Because it is more dense, the cold (blue) water does not mix with the warmer water above it.  Such changes in temperature (and salinity) cause deep ocean currents to form.  

I look forward to seeing what else you discover this week about expressions and ocean currents!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Week of October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween Week!  I hope this week brings you more treats than tricks!  
This week in math we will begin our work with algebra.  I know even just saying the word "algebra" can make some students shudder with fear, but we will work together to make it as painless as possible.  Our lessons begin with a discussion on how to read and write expressions.  You will have some homework Monday and Tuesday night.  On Thursday, we will have a quiz.  Your Compass Learning activity on expressions is due Friday.  Here are a few resources you can use to practice reading and writing expressions.  The first one is a textbook chapter.  If you choose to do some practice work from this resource, bring it into school and I can check it for you.  The second one is a worksheet that has the answers conveniently found at the bottom of the page.  

In science, we are continuing our studies of the ocean.  We will spend the next two weeks talking about currents and waves.  You will have a quiz on the following vocabulary words this Friday, November 1.

In class, I will present a lesson on currents and waves.  I will give you a note-taking sheet to help you organize your thoughts during the presentation.  I've also included a completed copy of the sheet below.  This is your study guide for your final test on currents and waves on Friday, November 8.

To help guide your studies on currents and waves, please complete the following choice sheet entitled "Seafood Feast".  You will need to complete on appetizer, entree, and dessert by Friday, November 8. Please hand you choices in to be corrected as you complete them.  Don't forget to use a rubric if required.

Here are a few more notes to keep in mind for the week:

1.  Even though I thoroughly enjoy Halloween, please remember that costumes are not part of our dress code.  Please come to school in uniform on Halloween.
2.  If you've been invited to math tutorial, please be in the classroom at 7:15 am Tuesday and Thursday.  Tutorial will continue to holiday break in December.
3.  This Friday is a dress down day for $1.00.  All donations will be donated to "Pennies for Patients".

Finally, I am going to take a few minutes throughout the week to share some spooky short stories from one of my favorite books:  "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark"!

Mr. Trent

Monday, October 21, 2013

Exponential Reasoning

Today we used the Montessori bead materials demonstrate exponents.  We then used a number cube to generate random bases and exponents and identified them in their exponential form, standard form, and value.

The bead material can show exponents in three dimensions! 

Randomly generated bases and exponents provided us with valuable practice of basic exponent concepts.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Triassic Triops

Congratulations to Davonte for winning the Triassic Triops as part of our Earth Science Week celebration!  If you'd like to get your own triops, start saving up your allowance money and check out

Grow your own Triassic Triops!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Week of October 21, 2013

I am really enjoying getting to meet with everyone's parents at conferences!  Talking about all the wonderful things we've done so far in our classroom makes me so excited to see what is yet to come this year!  Those of you who signed up online can review your conference day and time by visiting the Sign Up Genius page.  I look forward to meeting with the rest of the 6th grade parents this week.

During school hours, we will be having some math lessons on exponents.  Our lessons will include some work with the exponent montessori material, a fun number cube game, and plenty of other opportunities to practice this important skill.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday night.  A quiz on exponents will take place Thursday.  Don't forget your weekly Compass Learning requirement (it's all about exponents, too)!  Here is a textbook excerpt and a few notes you can use to further your understanding of exponents.

Exponents notes (click to enlarge)

Exponents notes (click to enlarge)

In science, we will finish up our studies on ocean floor topography.  Your "Go Fish" choice sheet is due this Friday.  Please complete at least three items as you do your research.  You will also have a test this Friday about the different landforms we discussed.  Use your study guide to help you prepare.  During our lab time, we will be doing a simulation where we will map the ocean floor using data collected from sonar equipment aboard a research vessel.  When you are finished, you will have a map of what landforms lie below the waves.    

Speaking of oceans, I came across this great song parody about how amazing the world's oceans are.  It was created by the people at, who are committed to protecting the ocean ecosystem.  Do you recognize the song?

Finally, check out this awesome game from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Join players from around the world who are working together to reveal an aquatic image by answering trivia questions about the ocean.  It's a lot of fun, and you are guaranteed to learn something new!

Don't forget to keep an eye on the online class calendar.  I make sure it is updated often with assignment due dates, upcoming tests, and other important information (like this Friday's free dress down day).

Have a wonderful weekend, and i'll see you bright and early Monday morning!
Mr. Trent

Burton 4H Fieldtrip on Tybee Island

A great time was had by all on out field trip to the Burton 4-H on Tybee Island!  We saw snakes, turtles, alligators, and even dissected a shark!

Our trip to the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Picture Day - POSTPONED

School pictures have been postponed for 6th grade.  A make-up day for school pictures will be announced in the near future.

UPDATED:  6th graders will have their school pictures taken Friday, November 15.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hands-on Measurement Stations

It's impossible to understand units of measurement without hands-on practice using them.  This week, we are visiting a number of stations set up to offer practice using both metric and customary units of length, weight/mass, and capacity.

The measuring spoons, cups, and buckets are used to show capacity.

Students watched a Brainpop movie about the history of the customary and metric units of measurement.  

This matching activity helps get us in the measurement mindset before we use rulers, yardsticks, and metersticks to find length of various objects.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Week of October 14, 2013

Welcome to the first week of term 2! As of now, everyone has a 100%, A+ in every subject!  It's your challenge to keep it that way.  It is also Earth Science Week!  Be expecting special prizes and surprises throughout the week!

Earth Science Week takes place October 14 - 18!

This week is promising to be great!  In math, we will use what we've discussed concerning ratios to help us convert between different units of measurement.  We will talk about both the customary and metric units of weight, capacity, and length.  I think you'll find that, by using ratios, doing measurement  conversions is a snap!  You will have some homework to complete Monday and Tuesday evening.  In addition, you will need to complete a Compass Learning activity of your choice by Friday.  Our lab time this week will be devoted to using measurement tools to become more comfortable using appropriate units, understanding conversions, and relating the metric and customary units to real-life situations.   These, and other class activities, will get us ready for a measurement quiz on Thursday, October 17.  This LearnZillion site has a wonderful explanation of conversions of measurements.  Check out this great document for more practice with measurement:

In science, we will be diving under the surface of the ocean to investigate the many landforms found there!  Please study the following words for a test on Friday, October 18th.  Note:  This will be the first science grade of the term.

This picture may help you when you are studying your vocabulary words:

Click the picture to make it larger.

I will present the following PowerPoint as part of my introductory lesson on ocean topography early this week.

To help guide you in your studies, please refer to this "Go Fish" choice sheet.  You will need to complete THREE of the choices by Friday, October 25.

It's never too early to prepare, so here is a study guide you can use to get ready for your final test on ocean topography that will take place on Friday, October 25.

There are some other exciting activities going on this week, too:

1.  Our fieldtrip to the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee is this Friday.  Get ready to learn all about coastal ecology and shark anatomy!  Remember, your permission slips and payment ($13.00) are due Wednesday.

2.  This friday is also picture day!  We will get our pictures taken before we head to Tybee Island.

3.  Parent/Teacher/Student conferences will take place over the next two weeks.  I look forward to meeting with your families to speak about all the wonderful things going on at Ellis and how we can work together to help you reach your goals.

I'll see you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, October 10, 2013

PowerSchool Parent Access

Monday is the first day of the 2nd term, and we will be making the transition to using the PowerSchool program for recording grades.  This will allow us to print your child's first report card at the end of the 2nd term!  The program also allows you access to up-to-the-minute grade reports of your child's performance.  Is soon as we enter a grade, it is available for you to see.  You will also be able to see your child's class averages, missing assignments, and assignment-specific notes from your teachers.  It's a wonderful program that makes communication between school and home a snap.  We will discuss this program a little more at our upcoming conferences.

In the meantime, take your photo-ID to Ms. Debbie in the office to get your log-on information.  The sooner you sign up, the sooner you will have access to your child's grades.

Once you have your log-on info, go to the PowerSchool site.  You can access it from, from the link to the right of this blog entry under "Useful Sites", or by clicking below.

Do you want access to PowerSchool while you are on the go?  Check out the PowerSchool apps for smartphones!

If you have any questions about using the program, check out this video or FAQ.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Percents Practice

Our final quiz of the term in math is on Thursday!  Would you like some extra practice with percents?  First, be sure you have completed your Compass Learning activity for the week.  The movie will review with you how to calculate percent problems and give you some problems to quiz yourself.  You can also review this video, and then try these percent problems on your own.  The answers are at the bottom of this blog entry.

If you are looking for a little extra challenge, try this awesome game from The Legend of Dick and Dom from the BBC.  It's really fun, and provides quite a percentages challenge!

Check out this awesome percentages game!

Have fun discovering percentages!

Answers to percentages problems found above.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Important Progress Report Information

Progress reports are being sent home Tuesday. Please review the packets, sign, and return them by Wednesday, October 9. In addition, please note the following reminders found on the coversheet of the progress report:

1. Parent/Teacher/Student conferences will begin the week of October 14. We are offering an online sign-up option for your convenience. Please visit and click on the “Sign Up Genius” button at the top of the screen. We have attached a form to the progress report packet you can use to sign up if you are unable to access a computer. Please keep in mind that conferences are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. We kindly ask that you sign up for a conference by Friday, October 11. Once you sign up, we will send you a note verifying your day and time. We look forward to meeting with everyone to talk about the great things going on at Ellis!

2. A permission slip for a fieldtrip to the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island is attached to the packet. The trip will take place on Friday, October 18. Permission slips and payment ($13.00) are due by Wednesday, October 16.

3. Friday, October 11 will be “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul” Day! We invite you to bring a crock pot of chicken soup to share. Parents are more than welcome to come to the classrooms at 12:30 to enjoy the soup.

4. All students will need a copy of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulson by Monday, October 14.  A copy of the book can be ordered from Amazon for less than $5 (shipping included).

Please obtain a copy of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen by Monday, October 14.  

5.  This Friday is the last day of term one!  All work must be handed in by that day for credit on first term averages.

If you have any questions concerning your child’s progress, please make note of them on this coversheet. We will respond to them as soon as possible. You can also contact us at or

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Week of October 7, 2013

Welcome to the LAST week of term 1!  The year is almost 1/4 of the way over already!  Time flies when you are having fun, right?!

This week in math class we will be looking at percents.  We will spend a lot of time working on finding percents of numbers.  You will have some homework Monday and Tuesday night, followed by a quiz on Thursday.  Check out the following resource for more information about percents and some extra practice.  These pages are self checking: the answers to the questions are located at the bottom of each page.


Check out this wonderful how-to video all about percents.

This week in science we will be finishing up our work with plate tectonics.  I've really enjoyed looking at your work over the past week.  Overall, there is an obvious increase in the amount of quality work due to the student-created rubrics you are using to guide your work.  Careful planning pays off!  Keep it up!  Your "Clean Your Plate" choice sheet is due Friday.  Friday you will also have a test based on the study guide I gave you last week.  Please work hard to prepare for this test because it will be the last grade for the term...and you last chance to bring your grade up as high as possible.  In lab this week, we will be creating a scale model of the Earth's interior and identify the characteristics of each of its layers. The activity is a great mix of science and math!

Please take note of the following items:
1.  ALL WORK is due this Friday.  I cannot accept any work after the last day of the term, so please work hard to make up any missing assignments.  Any work not handed in by Friday will become a zero.

2.  Progress reports will be sent home Tuesday.  Please review them with your family, sign, and return them to your homeroom teacher on Wednesday.

3.  Parent/Teacher/Student conferences begin next week.  Please sign up for your conference online HERE. A paper sign-up sheet will also be sent home for you to request a conference time, if you choose not to use the online sign-up option.  Conferences are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  You will receive a written confirmation from me about your conference date and time when it has been scheduled.  Remember, all families are required to attend four conferences a year.  Both Ms. Carol and myself will be part of this first conference.

4.  Please return your permission slip and payment for the upcoming fieldtrip to the Burton 4-H Center on Friday, October 18th.  All forms and money ($13.00) are due by Wednesday, October 16th.  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

First Term Parent/Teacher/Student Conference Sign-up

Next week marks the last week of term 1!  That means it's time to plan parent/teacher/student conferences.  Ms. Carol and myself would like to meet with you to talk about your child's progress so far this year.  We are offering an online sign-up option for conferences.  To do so, click on the "Sign-up Genius" button below.  I will also send home a paper copy of the schedule, if you choose not to use the online form.  Please keep in mind that conferences are scheduled on a first-come, first serve basis.  I will send home a note confirming your day/time when it is scheduled.  Please make a conference date/time request by Friday, October 11.  If you have any questions, please contact me at

Click here to sign up for 1st term parent/teacher/student conferences. Please choose a conference date and time by October 11, 2013.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Plate Boundaries Good Enough to Eat

This week we used some food to make models of the different plate boundaries we've studied.  Models can be used to demonstrate natural phenomena that is too large in scale to recreate in the lab.

Two graham crackers can be used to represent plates creating a mid-ocean ridge at a divergent boundary.

We used a graham cracker to represent oceanic crust and a rice crispy treat to represent continental crust.  When pushed together at a convergent boundary, the oceanic subducted and created a trench.