Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2015-2016 School Year GMAS Test Score Reports

As mentioned on this week's Bobcat Blast:  GMAS test scores will be available in the media center on Friday, September 2 at 7:30 - 8:30, 12:00 - 1:00. and again from 2:30 - 3:00.  Scores will not be discussed until conferences and families who are unable to pick them up on Friday will receive them at those conferences.

UPDATE:  Because of the tropical storm, GMAS pickup has been cancelled.  More information rescheduling will be made available through the Bobcat Blast.

GMAS Student Report Guide

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Trip Around the Rock Cycle

This week's studies in geology involve the rock cycle.  In addition to actual metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rock specimens we have on our science shelf we created a model of the rock cycle.  This rock cycle model consisted of a series of dice that allowed us to travel millions of years in just a couple of minutes to see the endless ways a rock can change throughout the centuries.  Some students have even been inspired to create narrative writings all about their experience changing from one rock to another!

the rock cycle dice

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Week of August 29, 2016

August is coming to a close, and September is within sight!  Let's finish out this month together on a hight note by focusing on being kind to one another.

In math, we will use our knowledge of greatest common factor to help us better understand the distributive property.  Check out this video from for a little introduction to the process.

Feel free to use the following sheet for extra practice with the distributive property.  The answer are found at the bottom of the page.

Please complete your classwork posted assignments on TenMarks and Google Classroom by Friday.  This practice will help you prepare for your quiz on the distributive property Thursday.

We will spend this week finishing up our research about the rock cycle.  Please complete the following choice sheet.  Your three choices are due due Friday.

Your final test on the rock cycle is this Friday. Use the vocabulary list and study guide below to help you prepare.

Finally, we will begin using our new student planners Monday!  Please refer to the planner procedures found HERE.  Remember that you planner must be signed by a parent each evening for the remainder of the term.  

Have a great weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Student Planners

An important aspect of 6th grade is learning the practical life skills that are necessary to be successful in middle and high school.   Starting Monday the 29th, all 6th graders will be given a planner.  This planner will be kept in their travel folder so it will be available to them in each class as well as at home.  Each day they will write their lessons, homework, and other important information.  Ms. Susan and myself will show them exactly what to write at the beginning of each class, but it is the students' responsibility to follow directions and fill it in correctly.  We ask that you review and sign the planner each night for the remainder of term 1 to support their efforts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Find the Greatest Common Factor using Factor Trees

Today we used factor trees to find the greatest common factor of a set of numbers.  Here is a great video from that shows you how it's done.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Types of Rocks and the Rock Cycle

Today we started our studies about types of rocks and the rock cycle.  In addition to all the resources you have on the Montessori shelf (rock samples, diagrams, books, posters, three-part cards, etc) consider checking out the following website from that has a number of interactive activities you can use to learn more about the topic.

Types of Rocks and The Rock Cycle Interactive Website

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Week of August 22, 2016

It's hard to believe that we have arrived at the last full week of August!  Let's work together to make this the best week ever!

In math, we will continue our investigation of Greatest Common Factor.  I will show you how to use prime factorization to find GCF.  This will come in handy when working with large numbers.  I'll also share with you a few division rules that will be a life-saver when trying to find factors of numbers.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening, and a quiz Thursday.  Please complete your Google Classroom Math Journal classwork by Friday.  Check out this video all about prime factorization for an introduction to the skill.

Prime Factorization Video

I'm excited to introduce you to another tool you can use to practice your math skills: TenMarks!  TenMarks is an online program where you can hone your skills, track your progress, and even play some fun games!  Both you and your parents will get a username and log in, so you can show off what you know to them!   Please complete your posted assignments on TenMarks sometime this week.

Our science studies will take us on a trip around the rock cycle!  We will investigate how rocks are formed and change over time.  Over the next two weeks, please complete the following choice sheet to help guide your research.

You will have two assessments associated with the rock cycle.  First, this Friday will be a vocabulary quiz.  Next Friday, you will have a test on the rock cycle.  Use the vocabulary list and study guide below to help you prepare.

Your first progress report of the year will be sent home this week!  Please review it with your family, sign it, and return it to your homeroom teacher.  You can find more detailed information about the grades on the report by logging into the PowerSchool program.

Have a good weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Making Mineral Crystals!

Part of our mineral studies involved discussion about crystals.  This week, we grew our own crystals using a solution of water and borax!  The results were pretty spectacular!

It only took 24 hours for our borax crystals to form....

...and they turned out beautiful!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scholastic Book Orders

Everyone loves a brand new book!  You can get some great deals by ordering from our Scholastic Book order catalog.  In addition, our classroom will receive free books with each order!  Only online order will be taken this year.  The books will be conveniently delivered to our classroom.  You can order online at  Use the following teacher code when signing up:  HBZB3.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Week of August 15, 2016

After a week of high temperatures, I hope you find something cool to do this weekend!  I'm so glad we have a working air conditioner in our classroom to keep us chilled and comfortable.  Although, I know many of you are so busy that you haven't even noticed the room temperature!  I'm seeing some very interesting work happening, and I'm excited to see what new creations you come up with this week!

Our math lessons this week will be about finding the greatest common factor (GCF) of a set of numbers.  Be careful not to get GCF mixed up with LCM that we studied last week; this is the most common mistake students make when working with the two.  First, I will show you how to use our handy-dandy Montessori peg board to find the GCF of numbers.  Then, we will move onto some other strategies you can use.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening.  Your classwork will include a written journal on Google Classroom that will be due Friday. ou will have a quiz on GCF Thursday.   As you work through the week, check out this sheet if you'd like some extra practice finding GCF.  The answers are found at the bottom of the page.

You can also visit this fun game called "Sketch'sWorld" where you must help a pencil-drawn person escape some evil erasers...while answering some GCF problems along the way!  Click the picture below to play!

We will continue investigating minerals this week.  We will spend some time discussing mining of minerals just like the ones you've been using in class.  I know you will enjoy the lab I have planned for you!

Remember that you must complete three choices on your Tic Tac Toe sheet by Friday.  You will also have a test on minerals Friday.  You can use your notes and study guide to help you prepare.  

This week will also be the first administration of the MAP assessment. We will use the results of this test to show growth throughout the year.  You will take this test at least one more time this year, so try your best.  The score will also be used for promotion decisions.  Promotion requirements for 6th grade can be found by clicking on the “Standards and Assessment” tab above.

Enjoy your weekend,

Mr. Trent

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mineral Identification Lab

This week students are becoming detectives to discover the identities of mystery minerals!  With the help of some simple tools, we are able to gather important data that can help us discover important physical properties of minerals: color, luster, breakage, hardness, and streak.  There are many more minerals to be examined on our Montessori science shelf.  Check them out!

mineral identification lab

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Week of August 8, 2016

Welcome to your first FULL week of school!  I'm trusting you to follow the procedures we talked about last week to ensure that everyone has the ability to learn in a peaceful and smoothly-running environment.  Let's get started!

Your math lessons this week will include finding the least common multiple of a set of numbers.  We will use the peg board material to help us understand the concept.  You will have homework to complete Monday and Tuesday night.  Your first math quiz of the year will take place Thursday! If you need some extra practice finding LCM, feel free to refer to this sheet (the answers are found at the bottom of the page):

In science, we will start our earth studies lessons by investigating minerals!  After a lesson on Monday, I will set you free to explore all you can about minerals for the next two weeks!  To help guide your studies, please complete the following choice sheet.  Your three choices will be due next Friday.

You will have two assessment grades associated with our work with minerals.  This Friday, you will have a vocabulary quiz on the following words:

mineral- a naturally formed, inorganic solid that has a definite crystalline structure
streak- the color of the powder of a mineral 
luster- the way in which a mineral reflects light
cleavage- the splitting of a mineral along smooth, flat surfaces
fracture- the manner in which a mineral breaks along either curved or irregular surfaces

Your second test grade will be about what you've learned during your minerals studies.  I will teach you some note taking skills to help you organize your thoughts.  I will also provide you with the following study guide .

You will also have the opportunity to do a lab where you will identify unknown minerals based upon their characteristics.  You will perform a number of tests that will give you the data necessary to name the mineral. 

I know this seems like A LOT to remember!  To help you keep it all organized, please keep the following in mind:

1.  The daily and weekly schedule is written on the board.

2.  Please copy your daily "I can" statement and homework into your planner for each class.  Your planner is kept in your travel folder and will be taken home with you nightly.

3.  I keep the calendar updated on this blog.  It includes all important tests and assignment due dates.  You can find the classroom calendar by clicking on the "Calendar" button at the top of this page.

4.  All upcoming graded items are shown on PowerSchool (the online shared grade book).  If you have not created your account, please see Ms. Jade' in the office for your username and password.

Finally, please remember to sign and return all of the "Back to School" paperwork by this Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Mr. Trent