Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Holidays!

I’m wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy your break with your family and friends.  I’ll see you again on January 3rd.

Mr. Trent

Holiday Happenings in our Classroom 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mr. Trent's homeroom Term 2 Parent/Teacher Conferences

Mr. Trent's homeroom families:  Please use the following link to sign up for term 2 parent/teacher conferences.  I look forward to speaking to you after we return from holiday break!

The Week of December 17, 2018

We've made it to the half-way point in the school year!  I'm looking forward to a short and fun week with you before we spend the holiday break with our friends and family.

This week we will participate in the Project WET River of Words Poetry project.  River of Words is a yearly publication of poems and artwork that are inspired by watersheds.  We will explore different types of poems and you will create your own River of Words poem.  If you choose to do so, you can submit your poem for possible publication in the 2019 edition of River of Words!  We've had some Ellis students' works highlighted in the book, and I'm excited to see if we have any current students among its pages, as well!

Other than the poem, the only other required assignment you will have is your vocabulary quiz on Monday.  Your words can be found in your Google Classroom account.  Remember, 5th graders do not have a vocabulary list because of the Tybee 4H camping trip.

Most importantly, all works from the second term are due by Wednesday, December 19.  Any works from the second term that are not handed in by holiday break will be marked as incomplete.  6th graders will receive a zero in the grade book for incomplete works.  Please refer to your workplan and/or powerschool to see if you are missing any required assignments.

Finally, our book exchange will take place Wednesday after our annual holiday sing-along.  Please bring a wrapped new or like-new book for your secret pal.  Be sure to put a tag on it stating who it is to and from.  Friday is also a dress down day for $1.00.

Have a nice weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hello from Tybee Island

The 5th graders are having a great time at the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island.  Our days have been filled with fun on the beach, marsh, and in camp!  We've explored coastal ecology and animals (by dissecting sharks)!  We also had a chance to sing some campfire songs and make s'mores...inside because of some rainy weather.  We may be leaving tomorrow, but the memories we've made over the last two days will last forever!

5th grade camping trip to Tybee Island Burton 4H Center

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Week of December 10, 2018

Social studies lessons will focus on American westward expansion in the early 1800’s, the events immediately following the end of WWII, and a final review of our studies in Latin America. Our novel studies will continue with a focus on onomatopoeia.  Please be sure to complete your lesson follow-up work in a timely manner.  

As always, you will have your weekly NewsELA current event and activities to complete. 

You will NOT have a word study list this week.  Instead, we will take the mid-year spelling inventory that will help me decide what word study groups you will be in for the second half of the school year. 

Special information for 5th graders:  Your camping field trip to Tybee Island will take place this week from Wednesday through Friday.  You will not have a vocabulary list this week.  I will also give you special follow-up assignments you will be able to complete during your short week.  I will give individual work to those 5th graders who are not attending the camping trip.  Please be sure to sign up for the camping Remind group to get updates on our time on Tybee!  

Everyone else who will not be attending the trip:  I am expecting an exemplary report from the substitute when I return.  Please remember to follow the procedures we have in place, your days should pass smoothly.  I will  be giving you daily assignments that will be due to my by the end of the day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This will include additional quill and NEWSELA works.   The works will be given to you each morning, so you will have the entire day to complete them.  I will include a coversheet indicating everything that needs to be completed for that particular day.  Ms. Koral will be there to assist you, if needed. 

Please study the following vocabulary words for a quiz on Monday, December 17.

4th Grade Vocabulary List

reservation: a tract of public land set aside for American Indians

skirmish:  a minor fight in a bigger war

Battle of Wounded Knee:  the last of many conflicts between the Lakota Sioux and the U.S. Government (1890)

Gold Rush:  The period of time in the United States in the mid 1800's when gold was discovered in California, causing thousands of people to move west in search of it.

Oregon Trail:  a wagon path that carried pioneers across the Great Plains to the Oregon Territory

siege:  military act of surrounding, blockading, and attacking a target

conquistador:  the title used to describe Spanish explorers of the New World

canal:  a man-made channel of water that connects one body of water to another

entrepreneur:  a person who organizes resources to bring a new or better good or service to market in hopes of earning a profit

cotton gin: a simple machine that separated cotton seeds from the sticky cotton fibers. 

6th Grade Vocabulary List

exchange rate:  how much one country's currency is worth compared to another currency

tariffs:  extra taxes placed on imported goods

embargo:  a ban on trade with another country

quotas:  limits based on the quantity of foreign goods entering a country

specialization:  the process of becoming an expert in a particular type of good or service

literacy rate:  the percentage of a country's adults who can read and write

gross domestic product:  the total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year

Black Market:  an illegal market functioning independently from a country's governmental control

Autocratic government:  a government structure where the country has a president, but he is a dictator with absolute authority. 

Columbian Exchange:  Foods and technologies that were brought from Europe during the time of the colonization of Latin America. 

Have an awesome weekend,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Holiday Book Exchange

Each student in our homeroom is invited to share a special gift by participating in this year’s holiday book exchange! On Friday, December 7th we will be partnered with a secret pal in our homeroom class. Each student will then give a new (or like new book) to their pal during a gift exchange on Wednesday, December 19. Please indicate if you would like to participate in the book exchange activity by returning the form that was sent home with this week's progress report.  

Monday, December 3, 2018

Symmetrical Snowflakes

We met with out mentoring buddies recently to investigate different types of symmetry.  We then created snowflakes that demonstrate bilateral and radial symmetry to decorate the classroom!  It’s asymmetry snowstorm!

Symmetry snowflakes 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Week of December 3, 2018

Welcome to the first week of December!  I appreciate all the birthday wishes on Friday!  Your cards and nice words really made my day special!  

Social studies lessons will focus on American westward expansion in the early 1800’s, the events immediately following the end of WWII, and systems of government in Latin America.  Our novel studies will continue with a focus on onomatopoeia.  Please be sure to complete your lesson follow-up work in a timely manner.  Monday will be your vocabulary quiz on the words list you were given last week.  

As always, you will have your weekly NewsELA current event and activities to complete.  Please study the following word study lists for a quiz this Friday.

Circle group:

-tion: operation, creation, decoration, illustration, imitation
-sion: explosion, erosion, allusion, invasion, expansion

Triangle group:

Long o (o_e): whole, impose, envelope, console, quote
Long o (oa):  poach, encroach, croak, groan, bloat

Square group:

two syllables: towel, poison, tinfoil, tonight, turnip
three syllables:  procedure, advantage, nutrition, unwieldy, completely

It's also time to begin work on this year's production of "Charles Ellis Presents: The Timeline of Life"!  Our script committee will meet this week to get the ball rolling.  Mark your calendars for the night of the show:  Thursday, January 24.

While you have your calendar in front of you, add the following items for this week: 

Thursday, December 6 - Math MAP Assessment
Thursday, December 6 - PTA Festival of Lights (6:00 pm at Ellis)
Friday, December 7 - Language MAP Assessment
Friday, December 7 - 6th Grade Scoliosis Screening

Enjoy the rest of your warm and rainy weekend,
Mr. Trent

Monday, November 26, 2018

Class Pictures Friday

Class pictures will be taken Friday.  This is also a dress down day for $1.00 to benefit Montessori schools in Puerto Rico who are continuing to recover from the hurricanes last season.

MESS Holiday Party

Visit from Br. Betsy Coe

American Montessori Society’s Living Legacy recipient, Dr. Betsy Coe, will be visiting Charles Ellis Montessori Academy on November 26 and 27. She will be hosting a parent education seminar on the Adolescent program from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday the 27th  

Internationally renowned, Dr. Coe is a pioneer in helping schools worldwide develop programs for adolescents that are guided by Maria Montessori’s vision of the Erdkinder. She is executive director of the Houston Montessori Center and principal of School of the Woods in Houston, TX.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Week of November 26, 2018

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break!  I trust you had a nice time off, and I look forward to sending the next few weeks with you before we have off for winter break!  

Social studies lessons will focus on American westward expansion in the early 1800’s, the events immediately following the end of WWII, and continued studies of Latin America.  Our novel studies will continue with a focus on onomatopoeia.  We will also be spending some time exploring the "Clock of Eras" in preparation for the upcoming "Charles Ellis Presents: The Timeline of Life" musical in January!  Please be sure to complete your lesson follow-up work in a timely manner.  

As always, you will have your weekly NewsELA current event and activities to complete.  Please study the following word study lists for a quiz this Friday.

Circle group:

-ize: commercialize, overemphasize, contextualize, revolutionize, departmentalize
-ify: dehumidify, demystify, petrify, recertify, typify

Triangle group:

Long o (ore): shore, adore, chore, deplore, forecast
Long o (oar):  aboard, coarse, board, oarsman, hoarder

Square group:

VCCCV: sandwich, luncheon, complaint, exchange
VV:  beagle, increase, displease, easel, weapon

Exciting news: We will begin working on our annual Charles Ellis Presents musical this week! I will give you a lot more information about this year’s production during our whole group meeting Monday morning. This week’s vocabulary list will include words from the musical theme: the Timeline of Life. Everyone will have the same words, and you will have a quiz on this list Monday, December 3.

The Timeline of Life Vocabulary List (all upper elementary students)

Monera are single-celled organisms that don’t have a nucleus. Bacteria make up the entire kingdom.

Protists are mostly single-celled organisms that have a nucleus. They usually live in water.

Fungi are usually motionless organisms that absorb nutrients for survival. They include mushrooms, molds, and yeasts.
Plants contain chlorophyll, a green pigment necessary for photosynthesis, a process in which they convert energy from sunlight into food. 

Animals are the most complex organisms on Earth. Animals are multi-celled organisms, eat food for survival, and have nervous systems. 

Amphibians are characterized by their semi-aquatic lifestyles (they have to stay near bodies of water, both to maintain the moisture of their skin and to lay their eggs)

Fish vertebrates that breathe using gills and are equipped with "lateral lines" that detect water currents and even electricity. 

Reptiles are characterized by their cold-blooded metabolisms—they fuel themselves up by exposure to the sun

Mammals are characterized by their hair or fur (which all species possess during some stage of their life cycles), the milk with which they suckle their young, and their warm-blooded metabolisms

Invertebrates account for a whopping 97 percent of all animal species; this widely varied group includes insects, worms, arthropods, sponges, mollusks, octopuses, and countless other families...all of which lack a backbone. 

Have an awesome remainder of your holiday,
Mr. Trent 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!  Enjoy your week off!

the annual thankfulness potluck 

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Week of November 12, 2018

Happy Veteran's Day!  Our social studies lessons often include discussion about wars in which many brave men and women have fought.  Veteran's Day is a time to thank those who've served in the branches of the American military.  I hope you enjoy your time off on Monday, and spend a few moments reflecting upon the meaning of the day.

Social studies lessons will focus on the burning of the White House during the War of 1812, writing the rough draft and final copies of our "causes of WWII" essays, and environmental issues facing Latin America.  Our novel studies will continue with a focus on onomatopoeia.  Please be sure to complete your lesson follow-up work in a timely manner.  

As always, you will have your weekly NewsELA current event and activities to complete. Your weekly vocabulary quiz will take place on Tuesday.  Click HERE to see your word list that you received last week.   This is a review week for your word study quiz!  Please study the following words you've had in previous lists.  There is no need to sort them into groups.  

Circle group:

Triangle group:

Square group:
barbed wire

Friday is our classroom potluck lunch! I'm looking forward to celebrating this season of thanks by sharing some good food! Here's your invite:

click to enlarge

Finally, the school board has given notice that we will NOT need to make up the hurricane day as originally planned.  This means Friday, November 16th is the last day of school before Thanksgiving break.  Break will take place from November 19-23.  Students will return to school Monday, November 26.  

Have a wonderful weekend!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Our Thankfulness Tree

A tree of thankfulness is growing in our classroom!  Our thankfulness tree is locate on the peace shelf.  Students are invited to write something they are thankful for on a leaf and place it on the branches.  Visit the tree and see how blessed we are!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Board Approves Waiver of school make-up day/Staff work day

Board Approves Waiver of school make-up day/Staff work day for school closure on October 11, 2018 On Thursday, October 11, 2018, students missed a day of instruction due to emergency weather conditions associated with Hurricane Michael. State law provides for local discretion regarding the make-up of lost school days when four days or less are missed due to certain emergency conditions. Administration reviewed the conditions surrounding the loss of instruction and staff time on October 11th and recommended that the board waive the make-up day for students and staff. For a link to the District work calendars, please click here.

Mock Election Results

Click to enlarge 

Monday, November 5, 2018

ELLIS PTA Yankee Candle Fundraiser

Please support the Ellis PTA and all the work they do for our school by participating in the Yankee Candle fundraiser!  Visit, click "Seller Log in", and type in group code #999971165 to sign up.  Item order can be taken until January 9, 2019.  Thanks for your help!

Sentence Analysis Material

The sentence analysis material allows students to explore the structure of sentences.  By looking closely at the characteristics of sentences, they will be better capable of writing complex sentences themselves.

Sentence Analysis Material 

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Week of November 5, 2018

Welcome to November, our month of thankfulness!  There are so many blessings we have in our lives that we don't even think about on a daily basis.  It is my hope that we take some time over the next few weeks to stop and consider how lucky we are to have schools like Ellis, friends like our classmates, and so many opportunities to learn new things.  I am thankful for each and every one of you!

Social studies lessons will focus on the War of 1812, continuing researching the causes of WWII, and sharing the information you found out about Latin America using the country study charts.  Our novel studies will continue with a focus on vocabulary.  Please be sure to complete your lesson follow-up work in a timely manner.  As always, you will have your weekly NewsELA current event and activities to complete.  In addition, please study the following words for a quiz Tuesday, November 13.

4th Grade Vocabulary List - War of 1812

Democratic ideas- beliefs that support democracy, such as freedom, justice, and equality

blockaded - To stop people or supplies from coming into or going out of a country

surrender - To agree to stop fighting because you know that you will
not win

port - A coastal location that has a harbor in which ships can dock

truce - An agreement to stop fighting, arguing, etc., for a certain period of time

fort - A strong building or group of buildings where soldiers live

James Madison – President of the US during the War of 1812

Francis Scott Key – US envoy who witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. This inspired him to write a poem which became the Star Spangled Banner (our national anthem)

War Hawks  - Young group of politicians, representing mostly southern and western frontier states, coming to power in Congress in the 1810s.

Treaty Of Ghent  -  Signed on December 24, 1815 and ending the War of 1812

5th Grade Vocabulary List - World War II

Anti-semitism - policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jews

Allied Nations- those countries fighting against the Axis powers. i.e. Britain, France, USA, Canada, USSR etc.

Axis Powers- Japan, Germany and Italy

Joseph Stalin - The communist leader of the Soviet Union.

The Blitz (or The Battle of Britain) -  Hitler sent his Luftwaffe to bomb British cities, primarily London, targeting civilians as a way of breaking the resolve of the English. 40,000 were killed but the British held.

D-Day- June 6, 1944, the Allied landing on France's Normandy beaches to begin the liberation of Europe.

U-boats - Short for Unterseeboote, German submarines.

Auschwitz - The largest of Hitler's concentration camps, where 1 million Jews are believed to have lost their lives.

Manhattan Project - The codename for the U.S. project to produce an atomic bomb.

V-E Day -  Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945. The Germans surrendered.  

6th Grade Vocabulary List - Latin America Studies

arable- land that is suitable for farming

currency- a system of money in use in a particular country

deity- a god or goddess; or the creator and supreme being in monotheistic religion such as Christianity

diplomatic relations- a relationship between two countries in which they send representatives to work in each other’s countries

deportation- the action of removing  foreigner from a country

infrastructure- the basic facilities and installations that help a community run, including roads, schools, phone lines, power generation, etc.

investment- the act of putting money or effort into something to make a profit or achieve a result

regulate- control or supervise (especially a business activity) by means of rules.

indigenous- living or growing in a particular region or environment

cartel- a combination of people who want to drive away the competition in their business.

You will have a quiz on the following word study lists on Friday, November 9.

Circle group:

-al: ventral, elemental, acoustical, mythological, detrimental
-ial: congenial, finial, palatial, biennial, gubernatorial,

Triangle group:

Long i (ie): spied, fries, replied, cries, tie
Short i (igh):  sight, knight, flight, sigh,  might

Square group:

VCV: gravity, shrivel, vanish, benefit, column
VVCV: sneaker, leader, peanut, reason, meeting

Important note to 6th graders: Mid-Term progress reports will go home Friday. Please review, sign, and return them to your homeroom teacher the following Tuesday.

Enjoy your beautiful fall weekend, and don't forget to change your clocks back one hour Sunday morning!

Mr. Trent