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 http://www.history.com/interactives/thanksgiving-by-the-numbers

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