Today, our resident scientist from Savannah State, Ms. Jessica, visited us with some data from her work. She showed us how to estimate dolphin population size using pictures taken of dorsal fins. To do this, we analyzed the data and plugged it into the Lincoln-Peterson equation. Thank you, Ms. Jessica, for sharing this fun activity!
Georgia, our classroom pet chinchilla, needs a home for the holidays. If your family would like to keep her please bring in a signed note. I will provide the food and other supplies you will need to care for her. She can be picked up this week and returned in the new year.
- The last week "2014" will be part of your "name, date, activity" procedure.
Let's use this week to get some closure on both the calendar year and term 2. This about your successes and areas of struggle over the past term. What can you do to improve your life inside and outside of school in the new year based on what you've learned? Perhaps thinking about such things could help you choose a New Year's resolution, if that is part of your holiday traditions.
We will continue our work with inequalities this week in math. Together we will explore solving inequalities and plotting them on a number line. This can be a tricky skill to master, so please exercise extra focus with your math studies. Here is a great resource you can use when working with solving and graphing inequalities:
You will have two Compass Learning requirements to complete by Friday, as well as a weekly journal entry. You will NOT have a Compass Learning or journal assignment this week. These assignments (as well as your homework on Monday and Tuesday night) will help you prepare for you last math quiz of the term on Thursday.
In science, we will continue to look at the distribution of Earth's water. While you will not have a choice sheet or a quiz this week, you will be complete a number of classwork activities that will help you further understand where water is found here on Earth. As a culminating activity, you will be creating a written response about examples of the "Unconscious Exchange of Services" you've come across so far this year in your research. Your written response is due Friday, December 19th.
As you know, this Friday is the last day of the term. All work from term 2 is due by that day. Any work not handed in by Friday will be given a score of "zero".
This upcoming week of school is shaping up to be a lot of fun! You can expect exciting labs, opportunities for your own research, and even a fiedltrip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum!
Last week, our math lessons focused on solving equations. We spent a lot of time discussing the need for equality on each side of the equals sign in the equation. This week we will take a look at number sentences that are not equal...these are called inequalities. Here is some information about reading and writing inequalities:
You will have homework Monday and Tuesday (Update 12.8- Because of my absence, you will have math homework Tuesday and Wednesday) evening to complete. In addition, be sure to finish your weekly math journal and TWO Compass Learning assignments by Friday. All of this work will help you prepare for a quiz on inequalities Thursday.
Our science studies will continue to focus on the distribution of water on Earth. We will take some time to explore groundwater in more depth. I have an artistic lab for you to complete that will help you understand how urban development can effect the level of the water table beneath it. Your "Drop in the Bucket" choice sheet is due Friday. You will also have a test on Earth's water Friday. Use your notes to help you prepare.
A few reminders:
1. Please hand in your permission slip and payment ($5) for the Might 8th Air Force Museum field trip by this Thursday. Any student not handing in their slip or money by that day will not be able to attend the trip. Please let me know if you are unable to cover the trip cost, because a generous donor has agreed to pay for anyone who can't afford it. Please pack a lunch that will not require a microwave to prepare.
2. The last day of the term is Friday, December 19th. All 2nd term work is due that day. Please check Power School for missing assignments.
3. Progress reports will be sent home Tuesday. Please review, sign, and return them Wednesday, Dec. 10.
We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.
That’s why our classroom is joining in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14). Last year, 15 million students tried computer science in one week. This year, we're joining students worldwide to reach 100 million students! Our Hour of Code is a statement that Charles Ellis Montessori Academy is ready to teach these foundational 21st century skills.
On Friday, December 12th we will be taking a trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum. Please return the following form and $5 to your homeroom teacher by Thursday, December 11. Any student who does not bring in a slip or payment by the 11th will not be able to attend. A generous donor has offered to pay for anyone who is unable to afford the cost of the trip. Please let me know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
Congratulations to Makayla West, whose letter to the editor concerning ocean pollution was published in the Saturday, November 29th 2014 edition of the Savannah Morning News!
Fight plastic pollution, one piece at time
Pollution can travel thousands of miles in an ocean gyre. The pollution and waste clumps in the middle of the gyres, and then go onto the coastlines of the beaches.
A negative effect on the environment is that when baby sea turtles go to the ocean, they go into the ocean gyres, because in the middle there is seaweed, and the turtles use the seaweed for shelter.
There are two practical ways to decrease the amount of plastic used in daily life. One is to pick up five pieces of plastic pollution, which I do whenever I’m out. Anther is to buy items that have the least amount of plastic packaging.
There is a lot in store for you this first week of December! I've updated the classroom calendar to reflect all upcoming assignments and tests. You can get to it by clicking on the "calendar" tab above, or by simply logging onto your Google account (it is synced to your Google Calendar).
Our math lessons this week will focus on solving algebraic equations. We will be "using inverse operations to isolate the variables". While this may sound a bit confusing, with practice you will catch on. Here is a quick-reference chart you can use when working problems:
Solving Equations Quick-Reference Chart (Click to enlarge)
As usual, you will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening to complete. Your lessons, Compass Learning requirement (due Friday), and Google Classroom journal (due Friday) will help you prepare for a quiz on solving equations Thursday.
If you'd like some more practice solving equations, check out the following sheets. The answers to the problems can also be found in the document.
We will continue our work with Earth's water, but expand our focus from the oceans to other places where water is found. You'll have "the world in your hands" during a fun introductory activity using an inflatable globe during tomorrow's lesson. Your notes from the lesson and weekly vocabulary words are found below. Use them to study for Friday's vocabulary quiz and next Friday's test.
You will have the next two weeks to do your own research about Earth's water. Use the following "Drop in the Bucket" choice sheet to help focus your work. Four assignments from the sheet are due next Friday.
Even though we only have school for two days this week, we are going to fit a week's worth of learning into it! I'm excited to share with you a mini-unit on the effect of Earth's oceans surface currents on pollution. Through a series of experiments, videos, and readings I hope you come to understand that local trash can become a global problem if not disposed of correctly. In preparation for our lessons, I suggest you check out the 5 Gyres website, www.5gyres.org. The 5 Gyres project aims to being awareness to pollution transported by surface currents found in the ocean.
5 Gyres: Understanding plastic pollution though exploration, education, and action
What is a Gyre?
Because of our limited time together this week, you will NOT have a Compass Learning requirement or Google Classroom journal to complete. While I will not assign homework, I suggest that you take the time you normally spend on your studies in the evenings to do the following:
1. Catch up on any missing assignments you may have (classwork, homework, Compass Learning, journals, etc)
2. Review any topics from this year that you feel you need more practice doing.
3. Complete some extra Compass Learning lessons.
4. Do some independent study concerning ocean gyres and pollution.
We had a beautiful day today to visit the Presidents Street Water Treatment Plant. Seeing the dirty influent water go through the facility and emerge as clean effluent water was quite an amazing site! Thank-you to the great workers at the plant who gave us the tour.
Presidents Street Water Treatment Facility
After our time at the water treatment plant we took the bus over to Ellis square. We had a quick lesson on architectural features found in many Savannah buildings. With the help of some measurement tools (and our knowledge of indirect measurement) we were able to estimate the hight of the Cay building! We ended our day with a picnic in the square and a walk around City Market.
I hope you are filled with civic pride seeing Savannah at its best today. Your city is filled with hard-working people (like those at the water treatment plant) who help keep Savannah running smoothly so we can enjoy places like City Market.
Field Trip Fun!
UPDATE (Nov. 22): The architect of the Cay Building, Christian Sottile, learned of our trip, and would like to share with your the following information about the building:
...the design is concentrated on providing different scales of legibility and viewing. One scale is from a distance with the design of the strong cornice and the deep shadow lines, as well as the patterns created by the Serliana (Palladian) window motif. This allows the structure to engage in the Savannah skyline with distinction as a taller building. The other scale is that of the pedestrian up-close. The human scale. Here, the attention to finer-grained detail at the street level includes embellishments like the engraved street names, detailed lanterns, canopies, street trees, street clock, etc. Students may also note from the square how the strong color differentiation between base middle and top help to relate it to surrounding buildings. The base levels are intentionally aligned with the building on the neighboring Trust Block to the south. Of course, also of interest is that the structure is built over a four-storied underground parking structure--meaning that effectively you are looking at a ten-storied building. This as you know made construction a real challenge, but the result is a balanced plan with parking out of sight and public space where it belongs--in the square.
My name is Keya Jackson, and I am really excited to be working with Mr. Trent and Mr. Christopher at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy this school year. This opportunity is funded by the National Science Foundation GK-12 Ocean Literacy Program (NSF GK-12) at Savannah State University (SSU). The NSF GK-12 program is designed to help scientists improve their communication skills by partnering with experienced school teachers. Aside from my work at Ellis, I am pursuing my Master of Science degree in Marine Sciences at SSU. My bachelor’s degree is from Hampton University (VA). For my master’s thesis research, I am assessing the socioeconomic impact of black gill disease on commercial shrimp trawlers in Georgia by observing infection rates and interviewing shrimpers. The disease does not impact humans when consuming the shrimp, but reduces the energy output of the shrimp and may make the shrimp product less marketable. I hope to share some of what I learn from my research with the students. The take home message that I hope to impart on Ellis students is that we are just as connected to this world as any other organism, and that we need to be cognizant of our actions and potential influences on our surrounding environment.
This week we've been taking a close look at tidal data from around the world. As part of our studies of Spring and Neap tides, we charted tide heights in Boston and Saint Johns Bay. By comparing the data, we can clearly see that the tidal ranges in Saint John's Bay are almost double that of those in Boston.
graphing Spring and Neap tide data
Working with all of these numbers can really make your head spin! Luckily, we were able to take a break from our studies when Macy, the therapy dog, stopped by our classroom. Macy visits hospitals and nursing homes to provide comfort to those how are dealing with health issues.
Progress reports will be sent home today. Please review them with your family, sign, and return them to school tomorrow (Wednesday, November 19). Please keep in mind that the most up-to-date grades are available anytime by logging into the Power School Parent Access Program.
This time of year we often pause to think about the things we are thankful for in our life. I am thankful that I get to come to Ellis each day and spend time researching our amazing world!
Our math lessons this week will continue to focus on algebraic number sentences. Not only will we be talking about expressions, but also equations. Equations are a bit different than expressions because they include the "equals" sign (=). You will be spending your week investigating the properties of multiplication as they are related to expressions and equations. Here are the properties you will get to know:
Properties of Multiplication (Click to enlarge)
You will have a homework to complete Monday and Tuesday night, and a quiz on Thursday. Please complete your weekly Compass Learning assignment and Google Classroom journal by Friday. All of these assignments will help you master these properties.
In science, we will continue our research with tides. Be ready for an awesome lab where we will plot neap and spring tide data in Boston, MA and St. John, NB to visually compare their tidal ranges. Your "Tides of Thanks" choice sheet is due Friday. You will also have a test on tides Friday. You can use your study guide to help you prepare, as well as the following presentation I shared last week:
There are a number of other things going on this week:
1. Math tutorial will take place Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15-4:00.
2. Friday is a dress down day. It will cost you $1 to participate. All the proceeds will benefit "Pennies for Patients".
3. Friday we will be taking a field trip to the Presidents Street Water Treatment Facility to see how waste water is cleaned and returned to nature. We will also be traveling to Ellis Square. Once there, we will use what we know about indirect measurement to find the height of the Cay Building! Afterwards, we will enjoy a picnic lunch in the square before returning to school. This is a free trip, so please return your permission slip by Wednesday to participate.
4. Friday night is the middle school Fall dance. Please return your permission slip to join the fun!
This upcoming week in math we will be taking a look at some basic algebra. Don't be afraid...we'll start at the beginning with learning how to write algebraic expressions. The key to understanding how to do so is identifying key words. Here is a practice sheet that tells you all about how to do it and gives you some practice problems to complete. The answers are found at the bottom of the page.
You will have homework to complete Monday and Wednesday night (this is a bit different from our normal routine because we do not have school Tuesday). You will also need to complete a Compass Learning assignment and a journal activity on Google Classroom by Friday. This practice will prepare you for a quiz on writing expressions Thursday.
In science we will continue our research on oceans. Over the next two weeks, I will ask you to focus your work on tides. Here are a copy of your notes, vocabulary words (quiz Friday), and your choice sheet to guide your research (due next Friday).
I'm learning so much with some fellow science teachers at the NSTA regional conference in Orlando, Florida! My brain is swimming with things to share upon my return. Here's a preview of a fun lab I'd like to conduct with you. Can you guess what it could be about?
Please remember your grace and courtesy as you move throughout your day today. Place anything in my box that you would like me to correct when I get back to Savannah. Don't forget to complete your Compass Learning and journal assignment. I've already corrected a few of your journal entries in Google Classroom. Keep up the good work sharing resources you come across in the comments section of the prompt.
Progress report will be sent home today. Please review, sign, and return them tomorrow (Wednesday). Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have any questions. Remember, you child's most up-to-date grades are available at any time by logging into the PowerSchool Parent Access program.
Attached to the progress report is permission slip for our upcoming field tip to the Presidents' Street Water Treatment Plant and lunch in Ellis Square. It is a free trip, so please simply complete both sides of the form and return it to me by November 19. The trip will take place on November 21.
Goodbye, October. Hello, November! We will start off our month by studying exponents in math. You will be exploring how to read and write exponents, as well as solve expressions that include exponents. You will have homework to complete Monday and Tuesday evening, a quiz Thursday, and a math journal and Compass Learning activity due Friday. Check out these resources you can use to learn all about exponents.
In science we will continue our work with currents and waves. Use your study guide to help you prepare for Friday's test. Your "Seafood Feast" choice sheet is also due Friday. You must complete at least three choices from it.
I will be attending the National Science Teachers Association Convention in Orlando Thursday and Friday. I'm expecting a glowing report from the substitute teacher concerning your grace and courtesy while I am away. Please review your procedures in preparation for my absence.
Today we talked about ocean surface currents. NASA has created an amazing animation using an enormous amount of data they gathered from June 2005 through December 2007. It provides a unique Vincent van Gogh-esqu interpretation of the movement of ocean water. There's a great writeup about the piece from Fast Company Design you can read HERE.
It's SCARY how fast October has gone by! Let's enjoy this last week of the month together.
In math this week we will continue our investigation with ratios. We will discover how we can use ratios to find missing measurements. This is called indirect measurement. With this skill, we will be able to discover the unknown height of buildings just by measuring the shadow it casts on a sunny day!
Check out this video to help you understand the process a little more:
You will have indirect measurement homework Monday and Tuesday night. You will also have a Compass Learning and Google Classroom journaling exercise due Friday. This all will help you prepare for a quiz on indirect measurement Friday. HERE is an online quiz you can take to check your understanding.
This lesson will prepare you for a field trip to Ellis Square we will will take in the spring in November. Once there, you will be challenged to find the height of the Cay Building without even leaving the ground!
In science, we will be researching ocean currents and waves. Our studies will include the different types of currents and wave, and what causes each. I will present the following information Monday.
I'm enjoying my time here at the Phinizy Swamp in Augusta, GA! The park is a mixture of natural and man-made swamps teeming with all sorts of birds, bugs, and slithery/slimy things! I'm learning a lot about water education through Project WET. There are so many fun lessons I'm excited to plan for you upon my return!
I trust that you are having a great week at Ellis. Please remember your procedures and aid those in the classroom who are needing some help following them. You know I expecting an exceptional grace and courtesy report when I return.
I'll see you Monday,
The Phinizy Center for Water Sciences - Augusta, GA
This week we got some hands-on practice with customary and metric units! Over the past two day, students rotated though a series of stations that allowed them to experiment with length, weight, capacity, and non-standard units of measure.
The Savannah Food Day Festival is an annual free event that promotes health diets, reducing hunger, sustainable farming, and fair working conditions for farmers and food workers. This year, the festival will be held in Daffin Park on Sunday, November 2 from 11 am to 6 pm.
To get into the Food Day spirit, there are a number of special activities planned this week! We will keep a three-day lunch diary to get a snap-shot of our eating habits. We will then try to identify small steps we can make to eat more responsibly. On Tuesday and Wednesday, you will get a lesson about whole foods. On Friday (National Food Day) you will hear from the farmers who grow the collard greens and pink-eyed peas that you enjoy at school lunch!
I'm sure you are wondering, "When will our playground be open again?" We will be able to enjoy our newly refurbished playground Monday at recess!
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get down to business. In math this week we will continue to use ratios. This time, we will use them to covert between units of measurement. Check out the following video I made for you about the skill:
Converting Units of Measurement using Equivalent Ratios
You will have measurement conversion homework to do Monday and Tuesday nights. In addition, please complete a Compass Learning activity and a Google Classroom journal by Friday. There will be a quiz on measurement conversion Thursday. Use the following measurement table to help you with your conversions:
In science we will continue our work with ocean topography. Please complete at least three choices on your "Go Fish" sheet. These are due Friday. In addition, don't forget to be studying nightly for your test on ocean topography that will take place on Friday. You can use your notes and vocabulary sheet to help you prepare.
Parent/Teacher conferences continue through this week. I'm enjoying getting a chance to talk to everyone's families. After-school math tutorial will NOT take place this week so I can hold conferences. Tutorial will begin again next week.
I will be attending a workshop in Augusta this Thursday and Friday. I am expecting exceptional grace and courtesy when I am away. I am asking the substitute to give me a detailed report of behaviors. Please focus on your work, follow the procedures, and aid others who are having trouble remembering them.
Welcome to term 2! It always feels good to have a fresh start...today is yours! The second term of the school year marks another chance for you to explore your interests and show what you know. I'm excited to see what this term has in store for us!
This week also marks Earth Science Week! We will celebrate everything Earth science with special activities and prizes each day!
In math we will be continuing to work with ratios. We will use them to work with percents. You will have lesson in class, homework Monday and Tuesday evening, a Compass Learning assignment (due Friday), and a Google Classroom journal (due Friday). All of these will prepare you for a percents quiz that will take place Thursday. Please see the following resource for more information about percents and how to use ratios to solve percent problems. If you choose to do any of these practice problems, feel free to hand them in and I can check them for you.
Don't forget about our field trip to the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island this Friday! We will be exploring the coastal ecosystem and focusing on currents and tides. You will need to wear shoes that can get wet (hint, hint). Your permission slip and $10 payment is due by Wednesday. Any student who does not submit both of these items by Wednesday will NOT be allowed to participate in the field trip. If you cannot afford the fee, please contact me via email and I can cover the cost for you (through funds from a generous donor).
Parent-Teacher conferences will take place over the next two weeks. I look forward to speaking to everyone about all the awesome things going on here at Ellis. Because of conferences, after school tutorials will be cancelled for the next two weeks.
The playground will be closed for resurfacing on Thursday, October 16th and Friday, October 17. If you currently pick up your child from the playground gate, please pick them up from the front lawn with Mr. Trent.
Permission slips were sent home today to attend a field trip to the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island. The trip will take place Friday, October 17. We will be exploring the coastal environment and discovering how currents and tides affect our area of the world. Please return the permission slip (two-sided) and $10 payment by Wednesday, October 15. Students who do not hand in their slips and payment by this date will not be allowed to attend. If your family is unable to pay the fee, please email me and we can use generously donated money to pay for your child to attend the trip.
You will have homework to complete Monday and Tuesday night. Please also do your weekly Compass Learning assignment by Friday. These (and your classwork assignments) will prepare you for a quiz on unit rates Thursday. This is your last quiz of the term in math, so study hard to get the highest score you can.
A math journal will also be due Thursday Friday. This will be assigned and submitted via the Google Classroom program. We will have a lesson on using Google Classroom Monday. This awesome resource will allow you to submit your journal electronically to me.
Our studies in science will include continued research with plate tectonics. Your "Clean Your Plate" choice sheet is due Friday. You will also have a final test on plate tectonics Friday. These are your final grades for the term in science.
Continents Adrift: An Introduction of Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics
Parent/teacher conferences have been scheduled and will begin the week of October 13. Please let me know if you need a reminder of when your conference has been scheduled.
Finally, if you are planning on inviting your family to lunch on October 15, please submit your permission slip by Friday.
In an effort to use technology to improve learning, we are proud to announce the use of Google Classroom! Our weekly math journal will be assigned and submitted via this program. Check out this video for a tutorial of Google Classroom.
Our classroom is raising money for the Montessori Education Society of Savannah! All proceeds will be used to pay for Ellis teachers to get Montessori certification. The 6th grade is creating a "Savannah Staycation" basket to be raffled. It will be filled with Savannah-themed items. I've created a shared Google Doc to organize the donations. Click HERE to access the form. Please identify any ideas you may have for items to include in the basket. If you are moved to donate an item or two, please identify your name next to the item and include an estimated cost. All donations should be sent to my room by Thursday, November 6th.
The baskets will be raffled off at an Oyster Roast on Friday, November 7th at 7:00 pm (2010 Walthour Road, Wilmington Island). Tickets for the event will go on sale today!
Thank you so much for you donations, and I hope to see you at the Oyster roast!