Monday, February 29, 2016

Moon Treats!

We used cookies to model the phases of the moon!  Remember that "waxing" means the moon is getting brighter and "waning" means the moon is getting darker.

Cookie Phases of the Moon

The phases of the Moon

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Week of February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!  Once every four years we get an extra day in you know why?  Check out the following video find out.

This week's math lessons will include more work with graphing measures of central tendency.  We will only focus on creating one graph: a box plot.  A box plot can also be called a "box and whisker plot" because it looks like a box with cute little whiskers on it.  You will get plenty of practice drawing these graphs this week.  Be sure to complete your homework Monday and Tuesday evening. Your classwork and homework will help you prepare for a quiz on box plots this Thursday.  Also, please complete two Compass Learning choices and your weekly Google Classroom Journal assignment.  Feel free to use the following page for extra practice.  The answers are found at the bottom.

Over the next two weeks, we will be taking a close look at the relation between the Earth, Sun, and Moon.  The movements of these three celestial objects create moon phases and eclipses.  You will learn all about these phenomena in your science studies!  Please study the following words and memorize the moon phases for a test Friday.

Vocabulary List (Click to Enlarge)

Phases of the Moon (Click to Enlarge) 

Use the following choice sheet to guide your research.  It is due Friday, March 11.

You will have a test March 11, as well.  You can use this study guide to help you prepare.  We will fill in the missing words during Monday's lesson.  (Please note that the moon phase diagram on page 2 of the study guide is incorrect.  Please refer to the updated diagram found on your paper copy of the study guide I gave you.)

Finally, there will be no math tutorial Monday, but we will have it Wednesday from 3:15-4:00.

Enjoy your weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Let's Celebrate African American Astronomers!

February is Black History Month, so it's a perfect time for us to celebrate African-American astronauts!  Here is a list of some famous black astronauts.  Click on their names for more information about them.

* List complied by

A Brief History of Astronomy

This video is a great quick overview of many of the astronomers we've been studying.  Give it a's the best way to spend 2:36 seconds of your studying time!

A Brief History of Astronomy 

Measures of Central Tendency Game

Check out this game for extra practice finding mean, median, mode, and range.  You may also want to challenge yourself placing the data sets in the game on a number line.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Week of February 22, 2016

Are you ready for another action-packed week!?  I hope so, because our calendar is brimming with fun over the next few days!

In science we will continue our work with measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) by displaying these measures in graph form.  We will be working with the following:

Click on each of the tables/charts above to see an example of each.  You can get some more practice with mean, median, mode, and range doing the following (feel free to hand it in for me to check):

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening to complete.  Be sure to finish your two Compass Learning choices and your Google Classroom Journal by Friday.  All of these assignments will get you prepared for a quiz Thursday on graphing measures of central tendency.    Math tutorial will take place Monday and Wednesday from 3:15-4:00.

Our science studies will continue to be focusing on famous astronomers in history.  Use your study guide to help you prepare for Friday's test.  Your "Planetary Pathways" choice sheet a great way to guide your research.  Please complete three choices from the sheet by Friday.

It's also PTA Science week at Ellis!  Our PTA has organized a number of guest speakers to come into our classroom and talk about careers in science.  Let's give these visiting scientists a big Charles Ellis welcome!

This Friday is "Dress as your Favorite Montessori Material Day"!   I have a few ideas in mind...perhaps will I be a golden bead or a fraction piece.  Maybe I'll choose to dress up like a geometric solid or even a peace rose!  What are your ideas?

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Progress Reports Issued Today

Your bi-weekly progress reports are being sent home today (Wednesday).  Please share them with your family, sign, and return them to your homeroom teacher.  Please feel free to email Ms. Susan or myself if you have any questions.

Mean, Median, Mode, & Range Dunk Tank

Step right up to the dunk tank!  Practice your measures of central tendency skills by playing this fun game.

Constellation Guide

Are you planning on doing some research on constellations?  If so, consider using this resource to see information about the constellation's location, myth, and star names.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Week of February 15, 2016

This week marks a big shift in our themes of study!  Our math lessons will move from geometry to statistics and probability.  Our science studies will focus on astronomy.  I'm excited to explore these new concepts together!

Our statics and probability work will begin by us taking a look at "Measures of Central Tendency".   We will practicing finding mean, median, mode, and range using various sets of data.  Here is an overview of how to do each measure:

Measures of Central Tendency (Click to Enlarge)

You will have math homework to complete Tuesday and Wednesday evening, and a quiz Thursday.  You will NOT have a Google Classroom journal or a Compass Learning requirement this week.  Math tutorial will take place Wednesday from 3:15-4:00.  Since we will be working with large sets of numbers, you are more than welcome to bring in a calculator to use on your classwork, homework, and quiz.

Get ready to blast off into outer space this week as we start our astronomies studies!  Our science Montessori shelf has been updated to include books, maps, models, and manipulatives to help you learn all about the furtherest reaches of our universe.  Over the next two weeks, we will be taking a look at historical figures and theories that have shaped the knowledge we have of the universe today.  Use the following resources to help you prepare for a vocabulary quiz (Friday) and a chapter test (next Friday):

Use the following choice sheet to help guide your research over the next two weeks.  Please hand them in for me to check as you complete them. Three choices must be completed by next Friday.

A great place to start your research is at  They have a wonderful section all about astronomers!

Don't forget to wear a smile to school's spring picture day!  Order forms for class pictures were sent home last week. Please let me know if you need another one.  Friday is also a free dress-down day.

Have a wonderful (long) weekend!

See you Tuesday,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mid-term Missing Work

Friday morning, I will staple a page listing any missing required assignments you may have.  This will include classwork, homework, Compass Learning choices, and Google Classroom journals.  If you are missing anything, please hand it in ASAP.  If I do not give you a list, you have completed all of your required assignments so far this term.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Seasons, Solstices, & Equinoxes

We took some time to explore the beautiful path the Earth takes around the sun every 365 days.  The tilt of the Earth on its axis is the reason for seasons, solstices, and equinoxes.  Below is a nice interactive visual you can use to review what we've talked about.  It includes a glossary of terms and a quiz you can try.  This is a wonderful introduction to our studies on outer space we will begin next week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Assertiveness Quilt

Our grace and courtesy focus this week is about being assertive.  Students researched famous quotes about being assertive, wrote them on a square, and stitched them together into an assertiveness quote quilt!  It can be found hanging next to our peace cabinet.

Our assertiveness quote quilt 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine Exchange

It's fun to share kind words with friends to let them know how much we value their friendship.  Let's celebrate our friends with a Valentine exchange!  Monday you will receive a homeroom roster.  You are invited to make valentines that will be exchanged with your classmates this Friday!  If you choose to participate, please prepare a valentine for all of your homeroom classmates.

Valentine Exchange - Friday, February 12

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Week of February 8, 2016

The second week of February is shaping up to be a great one!  Our math studies will once again focus on volume of prisms.  This week we will take a look at triangular prisms.  Here is a wonderful resource you can use to practice this skill.

We will have plenty of opportunities to master finding volume of triangular prisms.  They include:

- Daily lessons and classwork
- Homework Monday and Tuesday evening
- Your GoogleClassroom Journal (due Friday)
Compass Learning (2 choices due Friday)
- Tutorial Monday and Wednesday from 3:15-4:00 (Tutorial has been canceled this week).

You have another week to explore weather patterns!  Use your Meteorology Matrix choice sheet to guide your research. Three choices are due Friday.  The best way to prepare for Friday’s science test is to use your study guide for help.  Also, don’t forget about all the great weather books and materials on the science shelf…they are a treasure of great information!

Finally, don’t forget that Friday is a dress down day for $1.  All proceeds will go towards the Susan G. Komen Foundation for cancer research. 

I hope you enjoy your weekend,

Mr. Trent

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Wild Weather!

Yesterday’s storms gave us a chance to get an up-close-and-personal look at our current topic of study in science: severe weather!  The tornado that ripped through Fort Stewart was spawned by a cold front that raced through our region.  Today, we had a change to compare recent temperature and barometric pressure data (found using our LabDiscs) to see the differences in readings before and after the storm.  Last evenings storms brought both a lowering of air pressure and temperature.  The fact that this tornado happened right in the middle of Severe Weather Preparedness week is a sobering reminder about the need to be prepared for such occurrences.  Check out the science shelf for a variety of checklists you can use to make sure you and your family are ready for future severe weather. 
Fort Stewart, GA Tornado 2.3.16

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Building Our Knowledge of Volume

We enjoyed using centimeter cubes to construct a number of rectangular prisms.   By using the cubes, we could easily discover the volume of the prisms by adding together the number of cubes we used to build each one.  This is a concrete example of the definition of volume:  the amount of cubic units contained in a geometric solid.

exploring volume using centimeter cubes

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Progress Reports Issued

Progress reports have been sent home today.  Please review, sign, and return them to school as soon as possible.  Please let me know if you have any questions.