Friday, November 20, 2015

The Weeks of November 23 & 30, 2015

I'm on my way to Costa Rica for the holiday!  You will be left in the care of Mr. Robert while I am away, and I am expecting an exemplary behavior report when I return.

You have a short week coming up!  On Monday and Tuesday, please complete your "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Float" to raise awareness of World Toilet Day.  Remember to use the following rubric to earn the maximum amount of points possible.  You can keep your finished float on top of your cubby.  Your write-up can remain in your travel folder with your rubric for me to review when I return.  I look forward to seeing how creative you can be with this assignment!


students create model Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade floats 
to raise awareness of World Toilet Day

After Thanksgiving break we will be continuing our work with solving equations in math.  Since we've already talked about adding and subtracting, we will move on to multiplying and dividing.  You will have homework due Wednesday and Thursday.  You will NOT have a quiz in math this week.  Please complete two Compass Learning choices by Friday.  Feel free to check out this resource for some extra practice with the skill:


Our science studies will involve water found on our Earth.  We will not only focus on oceans, but also other salty and fresh bodies of water.  You will have a vocabulary quiz on the following words Friday, December 1.


We will have a few lesson throughout the week all about Earth's water.  The concepts I will cover are include on this study guide:

Earth's Water Notes 


Over the next two weeks, please use the following choice sheet to guide your research.  Three choices from the sheet are due Friday, December 11.  You will also have a test on Earth's Water on the 11th.

A Drop in the Bucket by Trent Kissinger


I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving break!  I am very thankful to work at Charles Ellis and get to spend my day with such a fun group of students and colleagues.

I'll see you in December,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Trip to the Water Treatment Plant

We had an awesome time exploring the water treatment plant!  Thanks to all the workers who took time out of their busy days to show us around.  

Parent Education - The Erdkinder Program

Ms. Tanya will host two sessions for parents and families in 6, 7, and 8th grade to hear a presentation on Erdkinder and ask questions.  The two sessions are:  Wednesday, December 2 - 5:30 to 7:00 and Thursday, December 3 - 7:30 to 8:30.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Troubling Tides

Our resident scientist, Ms. Jessica, visited us today to start an activity called "Troubling Tides:  Will Sea Turtles Survive the Rising Seas?"  Students made observations of a model seacoast that contains "turtle nests".  The next time Ms. Jessica visits, she will show the effect a rising tide has on these nests.  You can check our her work published in Science Scope magazine by clicking HERE.

Ms. Jessica shares her lesson, "Troubling Tides:  Will Sea Turtles Survive the Rising Seas?"

Our New Smart Board!

We just got an exciting new piece of technology delivered to our room:  a smart board!  It turns our projector into an interactive screen!  We can use this smart board to give lessons, practice skills, or simply watch a video clip.

Our New Smart Board

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Virtual Algebra Tiles

Today we used algebra tiles to model solving addition and subtraction equations.  Feel free to practice this skill using these online algebra tiles.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Week of November 16, 2015

The cold temperatures won't last long as we head into this week; our research on algebra and tides will be heating up, too!

Last week in math we practiced writing and reading expressions.  This week we will be solving equations.  We will be focusing on solving addition and subtraction equations.  Once we get a handle this skill, we will move onto multiplication and division next week.  Because of our field trip Wednesday, we will NOT have a quiz this week in math.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening, though.  In addition, remember to complete your weekly Compass Learning requirement by Friday.  You will NOT have a math journal to complete this week.  Here is a sheet you can use for extra help with solving equations:

In science, we will continue our research about tides.  Complete three choices from "Tides of Thanks" by THURSDAY.  You will also be having a quiz on tides Thursday.  Use your study guide to help you prepare.

Please keep in mind the following additional information about this upcoming week:

1.  I will be having tutorial this Monday and Wednesday for those of you who normally attend this extra math practice.

2.  We will be having a field trip to the water treatment plant this Thursday.  Please hand in your permission slip by Wednesday.  This is a free trip.

3.  Friday is a dress down day for $1.00.  All proceeds will benefit diabetes research.

4.  We will be starting a special project Friday.  Everyone will need to bring in a shoebox for this activity.  Please bring one in by Friday.  You'll LOVE what we are going to create with them!

See you tomorrow morning,
Mr. Trent


Friday, November 13, 2015

Georgia Needs a Home!

Georgia the chinchilla needs a home for Thanksgiving!  Please bring in a signed note if you'd like to keep her.  I will provide all the food and materials you need to take care of her.  Her cage is large, so you will need a van or truck to pick her up.  Pickup will be Friday, November 20 and please return her Tuesday, December 1.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day takes place on November 19th!  This yearly event raises awareness of the need for sanitary toilet facilities around the world.  Did you know that 2.4 billion people around the world do NOT have access to a basic toilet?

To do our part, we will be taking a field trip to the Savannah Water Treatment Plant to see how water purification is done in our city.   Following our trip, we will explore various ways countries around the world deal with sewage and waste and try to figure out ways we can help developing countries improve their sanitation practices.

World Toilet Day - November 19, 2015



Friday, November 6, 2015

The Week of November 9, 2015

Welcome to the week of November 9th!  I hope you are enjoying your weekend and are ready for another action-packed week at Ellis!

In math this week we will be taking a look at reading and writing algebraic expressions.  Please keep in mind that we are simply reading and writing expressions this week, not solving them.  Understanding expressions can be tricky because they include so many key words that you must interpret correctly.  We will have plenty of time to practice this skill in class over the next few days.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday night to complete, as well as your two Compass Learning choices that will be due Friday.  We will NOT have a math quiz since it is a 4 day week.  Check out the following page that has a great overview of the skill.  The answers are included so you can check your work.


I came across the following helpful sheet while searching the internet.  You may want to use it as a resource when translating words and phrases into expressions.

Our science studies will continue to be all about Earth's oceans.  Over the next two weeks we will study tides.  I will give you a lesson Monday all about what causes tides and the different types of tides you may come across while studying the ocean.  Here is a copy of what I will share during the lesson.


There are a number of vocabulary words that you will need to master before you fully understand the concept of tides.  Please study the following word list.  You will be tested on them Friday.


To guide your research over the next two weeks, please use the following "Tides of Thanks" choice sheet.  Three choices from the sheet are due by THURSDAY, November 19th.  This is also the day you will have a final test on tides.  Please note that this is a departure from our usual schedule of "science tests on Friday" procedure.  Structure your time so that you will be able to complete your required assignments by the due date.  I've update the online classroom calendar to include this information.


In addition to your studies, keep the following in mind:

1.  You do not have school Wednesday because we will be celebrating Veterans' Day.
2.  My homeroom students are invited to order books from the Scholastic Books Catalog.  Please make you selections by Friday, November 13.  You may order online or send in cash (exact change, please) with your order form.  Your orders provide our classroom with FREE books for everyone to enjoy!
3.  Because I have Montessori certification classes each day after school, math tutorial will be cancelled for the week.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November Scholastic Book Orders

My homeroom students are invited to order books from the Scholastic Book catalog that was shared today.  Feel free to send in cash (exact change, please) and the order form. If you wish to pay via debit/credit card, you can order online from our classroom page HERE.    If you are asked to enter the classroom code while ordering, it is HBZB3.  Each purchase earns our classroom books to add to our resource shelves that everyone can enjoy!  Please make all orders by Friday, November 13.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Square Roots using the Montessori Peg Board

The Montessori Peg Board can be used for a number of lessons.  Today, we used it to model finding square roots of numbers.  The students built "squares" of numbers to discover what it's square root would be.  Reading the value of the beads along the bottom of the square will give you the answer.

solving square roots using the Montessori peg board

Our work with surface currents included research on the world's gyres.  We modeled the formation of gyres using beads and water in a shallow dish.  By blowing across the water, we were able to create gyres that moved in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.  By blowing across the center of the dish (where the equator would be located) we were even able to make two opposite-spinning gyres at the same time!

demonstrating that prevailing winds create surface currents

Monday, November 2, 2015

Set Sail for Exponent Practice

Ahoy!  Are you looking for a pirate-tastic way to practice evaluating exponents?  Check out this game...