Friday, October 31, 2014

The Week of November 3, 2014

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,

And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;

The place we occupy seems all the world.

- John Clare, November 

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.

Click image to enlarge.

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.

Enjoy your weekend,
Mr. Trent  

Thanks, SCAD Performing Arts Department

Thank you, SCAD Performing Arts Department for visiting us today and presenting a lively "Midsummer-night's Dream"!

SCAD Performing Arts Department Presents:  A Midsummer-night's Dream.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The World's Tallest Buildings

Yesterday we used shadows to calculate the height of our school.  Click HERE to discover a list of the world's tallest buildings.  They are MUCH taller than Ellis!

There is also a great Podcast from NPR about the One57 building under construction in New York City I spoke to you about.  The shadow it is casting is causing quite a stir in Central Park.

"New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers" NPR Podcast

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perpetual Ocean

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.

Perpetual Ocean

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Week of October 27, 2014

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:

Indirect Measurement 

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.

Here is a complete copy of the notes that will guide you through the lesson.

You will have a vocabulary quiz Friday on the following words:

To help guide your research, please complete three choices from this menu.  Your work is due next Friday.

You will have a test on currents and waves next Friday, also.  All of these due dates have been updated on classroom calendar.

Take note that Friday is a dress-down day.  Please wear clothes that follow the policies outlined in the Ellis Student Handbook.  Sorry, no Halloween costumes.

Enjoy your weekend!

Mr. Trent

Hello from Phinizy Swamp!

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,
Mr. Trent

The Phinizy Center for Water Sciences - Augusta, GA

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hands-on Measurements

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.

length sorting cards

fun with non-standard units of measure

capacity exploration

using an electronic scale to measure weight

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Savannah Food Day Festival: November, 2nd in Daffin Park

Savannah Food Day Festival 

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!

It promises to be a week of food fun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Week of October 20, 2014

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.  

Enjoy your weekend,
Mr. Trent

Fun at the Beach!

We had a great time on Tybee Island today learning all about our coastal ecosystem.  A special thank-you to the great people at the Burton 4-H Center for sharing your expertise!

walking to North Beach

the view of the lighthouse from the berm

a recently deceased horseshoe crab

Instead of sandcastles, some students created miniature models of the parts of the beach.

a stone crab

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Burton 4-H Permission Slip and Money Due Tomorrow

Please remember that all permission slips and money ($10) for the Burton 4-H Fieldtrip are due tomorrow (Wednesday).  Please click HERE to print another copy of the slip, if needed.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Week of October 13, 2014

Welcome to term 2!  It always feels good to have a fresh 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.

In science we will begin this term going under the sea!  We will be studying ocean topography (landforms) over the next two weeks.  Here is an overview of what we will be discussing:

You will have your first science vocabulary quiz of the term this Friday.  Please study the following words to prepare for this quiz:

To help guide you in your research, please complete three of the choices on the following sheet by Friday, October 24.

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.

Happy Earth Science Week!
Mr. Trent

Important Dismissal Changes

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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Proportional Dunk Tank Fun!

Do you want a fun way to practice ratios and proportions?  Check out the following Dunk Tank game!  Just click "Dunk Tank" below and press "Launch".

"Dunk Tank" Ratios and Proportions Game

Burton 4-H Center Fieldtrip

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.

Tybee Burton 4-H Center

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Week of October 6, 2014

Welcome to the LAST week of the first term of school!  The theme this week will be tying up loose ends.  All first term work must be completed and handed in before you leave for the weekend.

In math, we will be continuing our work with ratios by investigating unit rates.  Use the following resource for an introduction to what we will be talking about.

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.

I'll see you Monday morning,

Mr. Trent

Google Classroom

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.

Google Classroom Tutorial 

Basket Fundraiser Donations for MESS

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!

Mr. Trent