Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Planet Size Comparisons (and a Few Other Facts)

I hope you are enjoying your time researching the inner and outer planets of our solar system.  You may wish to use the following infographic to further your research.

Planet Size Comparisons (Click to Enlarge)

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Week of March 30, 2015

I can tell that Spring Fever may be making its way around our classroom, but stay focused....we have a lot to do before Spring break starts Friday!

The math review theme for the week is expressions and equations.  We will focus on the following topics:

The website Learnzillion has some great videos on how to work with expressions and equations.  Click the logo below to check it out.

Learnzillion Expressions and Equations Practice Tools

In class, we will review do a lot of reviewing together focusing on expressions and equations.  Your Compass Learning time will include additional practice based upon the lesson you requested.  Please complete your homework Monday and Tuesday evening for more practice with this skill.  You will have a quiz on Thursday.  These review quizzes are "give me" grades...90% of the questions are taken directly from your classwork that we complete together!  Take advantage of this fact by using your classwork pages to prepare for the upcoming quiz. 

We will finish up our science studies on astronomy by taking a look at the planets in our solar system.  Since we only have less than a week before break, we will not be doing a choice sheet like you may be accustomed to.  We will be completing an essay in which you will be comparing and contrasting the inner and outer planets.  I will walk you through each step of the research, planning, drafting, publishing phase so that you can hand in your completed essay before you leave school on Thursday.  

Don't forget about the Ellis Science Night this Tuesday evening from 6:00-7:30 in the multi-purpose room.  Our class will be preparing a series of displays depicting each of the branches of earth science.  You will get to showcase your work from throughout this year on the displays.  This will be a great way to share with others all the awesome research you've done in science this year!  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Reminder: Oatland Island Field trip Forms Due Tomorrow (March 26)

Don't forget to sign and return the Oatland Island field trip permission slip by tomorrow.  Here is another copy if you need one.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ancient Doomsday Asteroid Impact Found in Australia

Did you see this in the news?  Evidence of an ancient double asteroid impact has been uncovered in Australia!  Check out the article below.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Week of March 23, 2015

Get ready for an action-packed week at Ellis!  The highlight of the week will be our field trip to Oatland Island this Friday!  Be sure to bring your permission slip into your homeroom teacher by Thursday.

Before we go to the island, we have a lot to do on 49th street.  In math this week we will be reviewing the lessons we've had on ratios and proportions.  We will have three focuses:

1.  ratios
Ratios (Click to enlarge)

2.  percentages
The Percent Proportion (Click to enlarge)

3.  measurement conversions

Measurement Conversions using Proportions (Click to enlarge)

In addition to our daily classwork, you will also have math homework Monday and Tuesday night from your "Putting is All Together" review booklet.  Your Compass Learning activities will also be associated with ratios and proportions.  All of this work will help you prepare for a quiz on ratios and proportions this Thursday.  

Your science studies will continue with a focus on the beginning of the universe, the lifecycle of stars, and other objects found in space.  Please complete your "Seeing Stars" choice sheet by this Friday.  You will also have a quiz Friday about what you've been studying.  You can use your study guide to help you prepare.  Don't forget to review your vocabulary words, as well.  

I came across the following diagram while doing some research that does an excellent job explaining the difference between objects that can be found in space.  It may help you organize your thoughts while doing your own research.

"Name that Space Rock" (Click to enlarge)

Please remember to return your signed report card to school this week.  Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled for the next two weeks.  Please let me know ASAP if you forget your conference time or if you need to change it.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.  I will see you bright and early Monday morning!

Mr. Trent

Report Cards Issued Today

Third term report cards have been sent home today. Please review, sign, and return them by Friday, March 27th.  If you require or request a conference, please contact me ASAP to set one up.  Conferences will be held over the next two weeks.  If you have any questions, please email me at trent.kissinger@sccpss.com.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Week of March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day is almost here!  Our beautiful city really shines during this exciting celebration.  I hope that you get a change to have some fun on your day off Tuesday!

This week marks the first day of the final term of the school year.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone!  We will spend most of this term reviewing our research we've conducted throughout the year.  Use this time to reflect on what you've done, brush up on concepts that require a bit more clarification, and share your knowledge with your classmates.  Each week until the GMAS test, we will have a review focus in both math and science.  This week we will focus on "the number system" in math and "geology" in science.  You will have review homework in your "Putting It All Together" booklet to complete Monday and Wednesday night.  On Thursday, you will have a quiz on the number system.  It will include computation of decimals, fractions, and GCF/LCM.  Update:  You will not have math homework or a math quiz this week...all math work will be done in class and graded as "classwork".  Please complete you weekly Compass Learning assignment by Friday.

In science, we will continue with our studies of the universe with a focus on stars and other small bodies in outer space.  Here is a copy of your class notes and vocabulary words. You will have a vocabulary quiz on Friday, and a test next Friday.

Use this choice sheet to help you keep focused on your work with the above concepts.  Your three choices are due next Friday, March 27.

This Friday, be sure to wear a smile because it is school picture day!  You will get your individual picture taken as well as a picture with all your classmates.  More information and an order form for the class picture was placed in your mailbox.  Please bring any class picture money to school by Friday.

I'll see you Monday,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TED Talk- Terry Moore: Why is "x" the Unknown?

Did you ever wonder why we use the letter "x" to represent variables in math? Check out the following TED Talk from Terry Moore to find out why!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Week of March 9, 2015

It's time to spring ahead!  Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour Sunday morning...this means our week ahead will come one hour earlier!  Here's what to expect:

In math, we will be talking about using algebra tiles to model algebraic expressions.  You can use the following online tool to help you practice this skill.

We will get plenty of time to practice this skill in class.  Please complete your algebra tile homework Monday and Tuesday night.  You will also have a Compass Learning assignment to complete by Friday.  You will have a quiz on algebra tiles Thursday.  This is the last quiz grade of the term in math.  You will NOT have a journal assignment this week.  

Our science work will continue to focus on the Earth, Sun, and Moon.  Please be sure to complete your "Lunar Lunchbox" choice sheet by Friday.  You will have a test Friday on the material found on your study guide.  You will also need to review the phases of the moon and vocabulary you were quizzed on last week.  Please keep in mind that this is the last test grade of the term in science, so be sure you are prepared.  

There are a number of other items to keep in mind this week:

1.  It is the last week of term 3.  All work from term 3 must be handed in by Friday, March 13.  Please check PowerSchool to make are all your assignments have been completed.  All work that has not been submitted by that day will become a zero in the gradebook.

2.  We will be having two assessments this week.  Wednesday will be a practice writing test to help us prepare for the GMAS.  Thursday we will take a science benchmark test.  This test will help me decide upon what review lessons to plan for the remainder of the year.  While these tests are not part of your grade, please take them seriously because they provide your teachers with valuable information about your strengths and needs.

3.  The Kiss-A-Pig fundraiser is in full swing!  Friday is a dress down day for $1.00 to benefit the cause.  In addition, you are invited to join in a dance (also $1.00) during your specials time.  All money raised will be put towards diabetes research.

4.  After school math tutorial has been CANCELLED for this week.  We will resume tutorial Thursday, March 19.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

FREE Tutorial Opportunity

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Moon Phases Good Enough to Eat!

Today, we reviewed the phases of the moon by creating a moon phase chart using Oreo cookies!  Don't forget:  you will have a quiz on this week's 5 vocabulary words and the moon phases tomorrow.

The Phases of the Moon

The Phases of the Moon (Oreo Cookie-style)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Moon Phases Game

Check your knowledge of moon phases using this Moon Match game.  You are challenged to put the phases in order, and identify the correct moon phase name for each.

Box and Whisker Plot Practice

Use these interactive lessons to help you practice making box and whisker plots.

Box and Whisker Plots Practice

PowerSchool Gradebook Not Working

The PowerSchool Gradebook is currently not working correctly.  Because of this, we will not be able to send progress reports home today.  As soon as the program is up and running, we will send them home for your review.

UPDATE:  The gradebook is working again, and progress reports will be issued Wednesday, March 4.  Please review, sign, and return the reports to your child's homeroom teacher by Thursday, March 5.  Please email me at trent.kissinger@sccpss.com if you have any questions or concerns.