Friday, September 30, 2016

The Week of October 3, 2016

Happy October!  I have a good feeling about what this month will bring, and I'm excited to experience it with all of you!

Because the end of the term is Wednesday, our week will not be structured like you are accustomed to.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will be reviewing the lessons we've had during term 1 by completing an "I Can" Booklet.  We will complete the tasks in the booklet together in class.  Upon its completion Wednesday, it will count as an assessment participation grade in both math and science!

Because Wednesday is the last day of the term, it is important that you hand in any missing work by that day.  Any assignments from term 1 that are not handed in by the end of the day Wednesday, October 5 will earn a 0% in the gradebook.  

Thursday is the first day of term 2!  We will spend Thursday and Friday taking a look at our math writing skills.  We will review the journals we have written so far this year in Google Classroom and explore how we can improve upon them.  

There will be NO HOMEWORK or TESTS this week.  Take this time to finish missing assignments, organize your travel/PIN folders, and review your first term lessons.

Finally, parent/teacher conferences begin this week.  Please email me ASAP if you need reminder of when your conference has been scheduled or if you need to reschedule.  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Charleston Observations

I will be taking professional leave Thursday and Friday to conduct classroom observations of Montessori Schools in Charleston, SC.  These observations are part of the coursework requirements for the American Montessori Society Certification program in which I am currently enrolled.

We have worked hard so far this year to practice our classroom procedures.  Please follow them while I am out so our classroom can continue to be a joyous place of learning.  I'm expecting an exemplary grace and courtesy report when I return.

Please keep the following in mind:
1.  You have your unit rate quiz Thursday and your plate tectonic test Friday.  These are the last assessments of the term.

2.  There are a number of classwork assignments due Friday- Google Classroom journal, TenMarks, and the "Clean Your Plate" choice sheet.  Please place these items into my inbox Friday for me to check over the weekend.

3.  The end of the term is Oct. 5.  All work from this first term is due by that day.  Please focus on completing any missing work you may have.

Enjoy the rest of your week,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Power School Login Information

I'm happy to share that you no longer need to come to school and show your ID to acquire your Power School Parent Access log in information!  Usernames and Passwords were sent home with your child today.  If you haven't done so already, please sign up for an account so you can see your child's most up-to-date grades.  We will continue to send bi-weekly progress reports home, but Power School Parent Access is the best way to see your child's progress each day.  You can log into the program HERE.  Detailed instructions on how to use the program are found below.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Week of September 26, 2016

The last week of September is shaping up to be a good one!

Our math studies will focus upon finding unit rates.  To help you understand this skill, I'm excited to introduce you to Ratey, the Math Cat!  He's a cat that's GREAT with rates!

Here is a great resource you can use to practice finding unit rates.  The answers are found at the bottom of the sheet.

Please complete your weekly math journal found at Google Classroom and your online TenMarks assignment.  Both of these followups (in addition to your Monday and Tuesday night homework assignments) will help you understand how to calculate unit rates.  Your LAST math quiz of the term will take place Thursday!

Your science studies will allow you to continue your research concerning plate tectonics.  Use your work time wisely to complete your choice sheet.  Your three works are due by Friday.  Your final test on plate tectonics will take place Friday, as well.  This will be your LAST science test of term 1!  Use your study guide to help you prepare.  I've included a copy of each below in case you need to reprint them.

Be looking forward to Friday, because it is a special dress down day!  Bring in $1.00 to participate.  All of the money collected will be donated to Wyatt Wrath to help pay for his lymphoma treatment.  This is a great way to show your support for a schoolmate in need!

I hope you have a nice weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Term 1 Parent/Teacher Conferences

Can you believe the end of the first term of school is upon us!  October 5 is the last day of the term.  Please be sure that all work from term one is handed in by that day...all work not completed by that day will earn a "zero" in the gradebook.

On Thursday, September 22, Ms. Susan and myself will send home progress reports.  Attached to your report is your parent/teacher conference sign-up form.  Please circle all the dates and times you are available to meet and return it with your signed progress report ASAP.  I will review your choices and do my best to choose a time that works for everyone.  I will staple your assigned time/date in your planner to share with your family.

Dividing Fractions Practice has some great online dividing fractions practice!  It includes a lesson review, manipulatives, and unlimited problems to try.  Use this as a resource to master this important skill!

Our Restless Earth: Earthquakes

Earthquakes are one of the results of the movement of tectonic plates upon the asthenosphere.  Earthquakes happen daily all around our Earth.  The United State Geologic Survey has a great interactive map that shows the locations of earthquakes happening on Earth in real-time!  Check it out HERE!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Week of September 19, 2016

Welcome to the wonderful week of September 19th!  I hope you are ready for another 5 days of math & science FUN!

This week in math we will be dividing again!  Don't worry: we are taking a break from dividing decimals and looking at dividing fractions!  We will work together this week so master this important skill.  You will have plenty of opportunities to practice:

1.  homework Monday and Tuesday night
2.  classwork that includes your weekly TenMarks assignment (Due Friday)
3.  a Google Classroom journal classwork assignment (Due Friday)
4.  a number of whole-group and small-group lessons throughout the week

In addition, check out this division of fractions practice sheet (the answers are found on the bottom).

Our science studies will focus on the exciting world of plate tectonics!  Over the next two weeks you will definitely understand why some people refer to our planet as being "restless"!  

After a lesson on Monday and Tuesday about plate tectonics, you will have a chance to do your own research on the topic.  There are many awesome tools on our science shelf that I will show you, as well as some online sites that offer mounds of information about plate tectonics.  Use the following choice sheet to help guide your research.

You will have two assessments associated with your work on plate tectonics.  First, a vocabulary quiz this Friday.  Second, a final test on Friday, September 30th.  Use the following vocabulary list and study guide to prepare.

It's time for your next bi-weekly progress report! It will be sent home this week. Please review, sign, and return it to your homeroom teacher the day after you get it.  

It's also time for October book orders.  Please place your order online by September 28 at noon, so I can be sure they are delivered by early October (I know a number of you will be ordering spooky stories to get in the spirit of the season)!  Click HERE to place your order.  My homeroom code is HBZB3.

I'll see you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cubing of Binomials

Over the past few weeks, some students have been using the binomial cube Montessori material to understand how to cube two-digit numbers.  This tool is first introduced in the lower elementary as a sensorial material.  Upper elementary students can use it to explore complex mathematical concepts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Red Cabbage pH Indicator Lab

Soil fertility is in part based upon the its pH level.  This week, tested the pH of common household substances using an indicator made from red cabbage!

Boiled red cabbage makes a great pH indicator.

Add the pH indicator to liquids and note the color change.

The color of the liquid can be compared to a chart indicating its pH.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Soil Dissection

soil dissection lab

We got our hands dirty doing a soil dissection lab!  By looking closely at soil, we discovered its basic recipe:

- small rock/mineral pieces
- organic material
- water
- air

Regional ingredients are added to this recipe to create the many unique soils found around the world.  Here is a copy of the Soil Taxonomy poster we have at our science shelf showing major soils found on planet Earth.

(download the file to enlarge)

The Week of September 12, 2016

This week is shaping up to be a good one!  I'm excited to see what amazing works you share with your classmates and myself!

Your math studies will use the skills we practiced in class last week with long division.  This week, we will take a look at dividing numbers that contain decimals.  Here is an extra-practice sheet you can use to hone this skill.  It includes a concise overview of how to divide decimals at the top.  The answers are found at the bottom of the page.

You will have homework to complete associated with division of decimals Monday and Tuesday evening.  Please also complete your Google Classroom journal and TenMarks assignment by Friday.  All of this practice will prepare you for a quiz on dividing decimals Thursday.

Your science studies will continue to focus upon soil.  Items found on the test this Friday will be taken from the following vocabulary list and study guide you received last Monday.  Use it to prepare for you test. 

Your class time can be used to continue your work exploring soil.  The "Rake the Leaves" choice sheet is an excellent resource when looking for ways to learn about soil.  Three choices from the page are due this Friday.

One of the many great things about our classroom is that you are encouraged to be the teacher!  Share your work with your classmates and let them know what you learned!  Did you discover an interesting fact about soil?  Tell it!  Perhaps you created an easy way to remember the steps of division.  Share it!  Your classmates will appreciate your expertise.  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Science of Soil Game

Are you looking for a fun way to learn about different types of soil?  Travel around the United States looking at soil characteristics of each region you visit while playing this game.  Pay attention to what you learn, because the more questions you answer correctly, the larger your watermelon patch will grow!  How many watermelons can you get?!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Week of September 5, 2016

As I write this, Tropical Storm Hermine is moving across Georgia bringing wind and rain.  Luckily, she will move out of the area tonight so you can enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!  I'm taking this opportunity to plan a fun week for you!

Because we did not have school Friday and we do not have school Monday, our weekly schedule will be a bit different than what you are used to.  All of your assignments that were due last Friday ("Hard Rock Cafe" choice sheet, Google Classroom Journal, Ten Marks) will be due Tuesday.  You will also have your rock cycle test Tuesday.  I've updated your classroom calendar to reflect this change.

Our math studies this week will include a review of long multiplication.  This review will set you up for success when we start to discuss division of decimals in the near future.  You will NOT have any homework or Google Classroom Journal assignments this week.  Please do complete the assignment that is found on your TenMarks account by Friday.

In science, we will get our hands dirty talking about soil!  Please use the following vocabulary sheet to prepare for a quiz on the words this Friday.  You will have a test on soil (based upon the study guide below next Friday).

Over the next two weeks, feel free to research everything associated with soil!  You can use the "Rake the Leaves" choice sheet to guide you.  Your choices will be due Friday, September 16.

Ms. Susan and myself will send home another bi-weekly progress report this week.  Please share it with your family, get it signed, and return it to your homeroom teacher the following day.  Progress reports share important information about your graded work with you and your family.  This helps us make sure you are on the right track to be successful.

Ms. Carla has organized some guest speakers to visit our room this week.  These speakers from the Rape Crisis Center will talk to you about respect for yourself and others.  I'm expecting you to show grace and courtesy to our guests by listening carefully to them and being involved in their presentations.  

Make the most of this long weekend!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 1, 2016

School Cancelled Sept. 2, 2016

All Savannah-Chatham Public Schools and administrative facilities will be closed tomorrow, Friday, September 2, 2016, as a result of the dangerous conditions associated with Tropical Storm Hermine. 

Based on current information from the National Weather Service and the Chatham Emergency Management Association, storm impacts could bring dangerous flooding, rain, heavy winds and power outages during school arrival and throughout the day on Friday. As a result, all Savannah-Chatham Public Schools and administrative facilities will be closed on Friday, September 2, 2016. 

The cancellation includes all afterschool activities and athletic events scheduled for tonight, Thursday, September 1st and Friday, September 2nd, 2016. Please make sure to check our website – for further updates.

Tropical Storm Hermine

As Tropical Storm Hermine heads towards the Georgia coast, we are tracking its every move in our classroom!  Using forecast maps from NOAA and our own barometer readings, we are able to keep an "eye" on this soon-to-be hurricane!