Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Week of November November 11, 2019

The 5th Grade overnight camping trip to Fortson 4-H was so much fun! I'm sure you classmates will have a lot to share with you about the trip!  I'm looking forward to camping with the 4th graders and 6th graders later on this year, too!

Because Monday is Veteran's Day, your weekly vocabulary quiz will be taken Tuesday, November 12th based on the words you were given last week.  You will NOT have a word study quiz this week, but you will need to complete your weekly assignments at www.quill.org and www.newsela.com.  In addition, 4th and 6th graders will need to complete week 9 of the "Red Door" writing activity.  We have a number of novel study groups who will be staring new books this week!

Have a restful long weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Week of November 4, 2019

Happy November! I enjoy counting my blessings this time of year. I feel truly lucky to visit Ellis each day and see all of the wonderful research happening in our classroom!

It's mid-term election time! Our social studies lessons this week will focus upon the election process and our responsibilities as a US citizen to be involved in the voting process. Your followup choices from your election lesson will be due Friday. As always, you will also have a weekly quill.org grammar assignment and a www.newsela.com current event article assignment to complete. Our novel study focus will be about personification.

This week's vocabulary words will be associated with the mid-term elections. Everyone will have the same vocabulary list and a quiz on Tuesday, November 12.

ELECTORATE – Those eligible to vote


INCUMBENT – A person currently holding office


PARTY PLATFORM – Statement of the principles or beliefs of a political group


POLLING PLACE – Place where votes are cast


REGISTER – The process by which a persons’ name is added to the list of eligible voters


SUFFRAGE – The right to vote


POLITICAL PARTY – A group of people who join together because they share many ideas about  what government should do


CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – A political subdivision for the purpose of electing U.S.  representatives


CANDIDATE – Person who seeks or is put forward by others for a political office


CAMPAIGN – Course of action designed to influence voters in an election

Your word study words are found below. Please glue your list to your workplan and study them for a quiz on Friday, November 8th.

Swirl Group

Star Group


Arrow Group
5th Graders attending the field-trip to Fortson 4-H camp from Wednesday through Friday: You will be exempt from all followup work this week EXCEPT your vocabulary quiz that will take place Tuesday, November 12. If you are not attending the trip, your followup work will be due as usual.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Week of October 28, 2019

It's the spookiest week of the year!  Let's scare up some fun and learning!

Our social studies lessons will include the creation of the Constitution of the United States, people of the Great Depression, and Latin America country profiles of Haiti, Cuba, and Mexico.  Please complete any follow-up work from these lessons by Friday.  As always, everyone will also have a weekly quill.org grammar practice assignment and a current event to read about recycling Legos at Newsela.com.  Writing practice will include completing week 7 of the "Red Door" narrative writing project (for 4th and 6th graders) and a writing process lesson from Ms. Pat (5th graders).

You will have a vocabulary quiz on Monday based upon the social studies words you were given last week to study. 

Like last week, your word study lists will look a bit different than you've seen during term 1.  You will have more than 10 words and (often) more than 2 categories.  I've made pre-printed spelling lists for you that can be found on the language arts shelf.  You can simply glue these lists onto your workplan, instead of having to write them down.  I'll also provide you with ready-made sorting card cards to cut apart and use in practice sorting.

Arrow Group

Star Group

Swirl Group

Please note that no costumes can be worn to school Thursday.  

Have a wonderful fall weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Week of October 21, 2019

The weather is finally turning cooler!  Let's take advantage of the chance in temperature to refresh our minds!

Our social studies lessons will include battles of the Revolutionary War, the Great Depression, and Latin America country profiles.  Please complete any follow-up work from these lessons by Friday.  As always, everyone will also have a weekly quill.org grammar practice assignment and a current event to read at Newsela.com.  Writing practice will include completing week 6 of the "Red Door" narrative writing project (for 4th and 6th graders) and a writing process lesson from Ms. Pat (5th graders).

Your word study lists will look a bit different than you've seen in the past.  Starting this week, you will have more than 10 words and (often) more than 2 categories.  I've made pre-printed spelling lists for you that can be found on the language arts shelf.  You can simply glue these lists onto your workplan, instead of having to write them down.  I'll also provide you with ready-made sorting card cards to cut apart and use in practice sorting.

Here are the word lists for the week:

Swirl group

Arrow group

Star group



Please study the following vocabulary words for a quiz on Monday, October 28th.

4th Grade Vocabulary List

Branch- a part that has a role within a larger organization 

Legislative branch- passes laws for a nation 

Executive branch- carries out and enforces the laws made by Congress 

Judicial branch- interprets and applies the laws 

Amendment- a change or addition to a written document 

Due process- a legal process established to make sure people are not punished for a crime without first being found guilty in an orderly, adequate process that includes a fair trial 

Prohibit- to not allow 

Explicit- clear, apparent, and thoroughly described 

First Amendment of the US Constitution- Includes freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to petition, and freedom of assembly 

Criminal case- a case brought by the government against a person accused of committing a crime 


5th Grade Vocabulary List

Stock- shares of ownership in a company 

Drought- a long period of dry weather with little or no rain 

Dictator- a ruler with total power over a country and its people 

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)- helped transform the Tennessee River Valley from poverty to productivity by building dams to control flooding and produce electricity. 

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)- a plan to put young American men back to work preserving the nation’s natural resources 

New Deal- President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to recover from the Great Depression. 

Herbert Hoover- President of the United States during the Great Depression 

Duke Ellington- one of the most famous musicians of the “swing era” (1930’s) 

Margaret Mitchell- Southern author of the book “Gone With the Wind” 

Jesse Owens- American track-and-field athlete who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany 


6th Grade Vocabulary List

Latin America- large region in the western hemisphere that includes South America, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. 

Gulf of Mexico- an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, cradled by Mexico and the southern US coastline from Texas to Florida 

Caribbean Sea- an arm of the Atlantic Ocean between Cuba and South America 

Panama Canal- a man-made feature located in the country of Panama. It is an important waterway that allows ships to easily travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean 

Latitude and longitude- imaginary lines on a map that are used to find locations on Earth’s surface 

Amazon River- the second largest river in the world that flows primarily through Brazil. 

Andes Mountains- the longest continuous mountain range in the world which run along the western edge of South America 

Amazon Rainforest- the world’s largest tropical rainforest that sprawls across much of northern South America 

Political map- designed to show governmental boundaries of countries, states, and counties, the location of major cities, and they usually include significant bodies of water. 

Physical map- designed to show landforms like deserts, mountains and plains 

The PTA fall festival will take place this Friday!  I hope to see you all there to enjoy the autumn season!

Finally, term 1 parent/teacher conferences are coming to an end this week.  I've enjoyed getting a chance to sit down with everyone and talk about our classroom.  

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

6th Grade PowerSchool Grading Info.

Dear 6th Year Parent,

The 2nd quarter of this 2019-2020 school year began this week. As we discussed at the 6th year meeting at the start of this year, your child did not receive grades in PowerSchool for the 1st quarter in an effort to allow him/her to get used to the process of receiving grades, due dates, etc. 
We wanted to remind you that official grades have now begun. Teachers will now begin placing grades into PowerSchool. You will receive a progress report at mid-term, and, of course, you will also continue to receive communication in other forms, such as Transparent Classroom, from your child’s teacher. 

Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher with any questions. 

Thank you for your support,
The Upper Elementary Team

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Week of 14, 2019

I love a fresh start!  This week is the first of the 2nd term of the school year, and a perfect time for a reset!  Remember your classroom procedures and use your workplan to guide your days...if you  do, your term 2 will be a success!

In social studies, I will be presenting lessons on the political/physical geography of Latin America.  We will also be presenting our puppet shows about the Revolutionary War and the 1920's in America!  5th graders will enjoy another writing lesson with Ms. Pat, while I will help everyone else edit the first half of the "Red Door" narratives we've been working on.  As usual, we will have some time to enjoy our novel study books together.  Your required assignments will include lesson followups, a www.quill.org work, and a current event article at www.newsela.com about what animal eat.

I used the spelling inventories we took last Friday to place you in new word study groups.  Please study the following words for a quiz on Friday, October 18th.

Swirl Group
-est: strangest, cleanest, quietest, harshest, kindest
-iest: earliest, crummiest, murkiest, shiniest, fanciest

Arrow Group
short ea: thread, deaf, meant, dread, read
long ea: beast, cream, pea, leak, neat

Star Group
accent in first syllable: sidewalk, driveway, lightning, slightly, higher
accent in second syllable: delight, surprise, survive, describe, arrive

Finally, be sure to be prepared for your first vocabulary quiz of the second term!  It will be based on the words given to you last Monday.


Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent


Friday, October 4, 2019

The Week of October 7th, 2019

Here we are, the last week of term 1! It seems like only yesterday that we were walking into our classroom on the first day of school!  As we finish our first 9 weeks together, I challenge you to have the best week yet!

Our social studies lessons will focus upon important people and events in the American Revolution, American culture in the 1920's, and a final review of European countries.  Your follow-up work associated with these lessons is due Friday. 4th and 6th graders will reach the mid-point of the "Red Door" narrative assignment and 5th graders will receive a writing lesson from Ms. Pat.   In addition, don't forget to do your weekly www.newsela.com current event and www.quill.org activity.  

Your word study quiz this week will take the form of a spelling inventory that I will use to put you into spelling groups for the second term of the school year.  Because of the nature of this test, you will not need to study a word list this week. 

Your vocabulary words for the week will be a review of some vocabulary words you've seen during term 1.  They are found here:


4th Grade 1st Term Vocabulary Review List


Please study the following terms for a quiz on Monday, October 14, 2019


Folk Art- the traditional, typically anonymous, art of usual non-professional artists

Ornamentation- an object or action done to embellish one's appearance 

Tyrants- a cruel and unreasonable ruler

Boycott- to stop buying or using goods or services from a certain company or country as a protest

Representative- a person chosen to speak or make decisions for another person or group of people

Republic- a country governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (like a president)

Fauna- animal life

Vanity- pride in oneself or appearance

Townshend Acts- law that taxed tea, glass, paper, paint, and lead

Engraving- a print made from an engraved plate, block, or other surface.



5th Grade 1st Term Vocabulary Review List


Please study the following terms for a quiz on Monday, October 14, 2019


Alexander Graham Bell- invented the telephone in 1875.


Thomas Edison- An inventor best known for creating the first practical light bulb and electrical generating system.


Assimilation- the process of fitting into a new culture or becoming like others in that culture

Refugee- a person who flees one country for another in search of safety. 

Treaty of Versailles- a peace negotiation signed in 1919 between Germany and the Allied Powers that officially marked the end of WWI.

Louis Armstrong- legendary jazz musician who began in New Orleans

Visa- a legal permit to enter a country

Deportation- to force a citizen of another country to leave a country

Gold Rush- a large-scale and hasty movement of people to a region where gold has been discovered, as to California in 1849.

Chisholm Trail- a cattle trail leading North from San Antonio, Texas to Abilene, Kansas It was used for about twenty years after the Civil War.



6th Grade 1st Term Vocabulary Review List


Please study the following terms for a quiz on Monday, October 14, 2019


European Plain- a vast, flat area stretching from France’s Atlantic coast to the Ural Mountains.


Pyrenees- a mountain range that forms a border between France and Spain


Heartland- the central or most important part of a country, area, or field of activity.

Agriculture- the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.

Eurasia- the large landmass that includes both Europe and Asia

English Channel- a narrow sea between Great Britain and France

Urban- characteristic of a city or town.

Rural- relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town.

Allied Powers- The alliance between Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States during WWII.

D-Day- June 6, 1944; when Allied Forces invaded German-occupied France

Friday is a half day of school! Dismissal will take place three hours early. Please let me know of any changes in dismissal for the day as soon as possible.

Most importantly: since Friday is the last day of the term, it is also the last day to hand in any required assignments from term 1.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, September 27, 2019

The Week of September 30, 2019

Welcome to the last week of September!  I can't wait to see what fun and learning comes our way as we begin October together!

I will be visiting a Montessori school in South Carolina on Monday.  My observations there will help me make a better environment for you in our classroom.  I expect an exemplary report from the substitute when I return Tuesday.

On Monday, you will receive two assignments you can complete without a lesson from me: a language arts editing sheet and a social studies biography sheet.  These will count as your followup work for the week.  Please complete them by Friday.  As always, you will also have your weekly quill.org and newsela.com assignment to do.

Your vocabulary quiz, based upon the words that were given to you last week, will take place Monday morning.  This Friday, you will have a word study quiz based on the words found below.  Please note that this is a review list that is made up of words you've had on your lists during term 1.  You do NOT need to sort these words into any categories...you must simply spell them correctly.

Circle Group - prequel, postscript, affectionless, stubbornness, reluctantly, momentarily, sequester, dehumidifier, reptilian, snappiest

Triangle Group - dome, robin, freeze, squeak, refrain, relay, weep, gleam, center, eagle

Square Group - skating, moaning, waterproof, blood pressure, wake, spoke, thesis, crises, carried, delaying

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

No Hurricane Dorian Make-up Days Scheduled

On Tuesday, September 3, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019 the District was closed due to the dangerous weather conditions associated with Hurricane Dorian. Students missed a total of four instructional days due to conditions associated with this weather emergency. Governor Kemp instituted a State of Emergency beginning on August 29, 2019 and followed with a mandatory evacuation order for all Chatham County residents living east of interstate 95 beginning Monday, September 2, 2019.

Administration has reviewed the conditions surrounding the loss of instruction and developed strategies for maintaining instructional progress in a manner that neutralizes lost academic calendar days. Because the storm occurred early in the school year, we anticipate that teachers will be able to incorporate the required curriculum into the remaining instructional days without adverse impact on student performance.

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.

State Board Rule 160-5-1-.02 provides that local Boards of Education (LBOE) may, without the necessity of authorization from the State Board of Education (SBOE), elect not to complete, as make-up days, up to four additional days otherwise needed which are the result of days when school was closed due to emergency, disaster, act of God, civil disturbance, or shortage of vital or critical material, supplies, or fuel as provided in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-168(c)(3).

Based on the timing of this incident, the State Board Rule allowing for up to four emergency days to be waived, and the possibility for future emergency weather interruptions calling for the need to maximize existing make-up days, staff recommends that no make-up days shall be utilized at this time.

THUS, BE IT RESOLVED, upon recommendation of the Superintendent, that the Board, as authorized by Georgia law and State Board rule, waive student make-up days related to the District closure that took place on September 3RD through September 6THas a result of Hurricane Dorian.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Individual & Class Pictures

Fall pictures are coming home today!  Please order what you wish and return any unpurchased pictures.  Order form for class pictures are coming home, as well.  Families may order class pictures by sending cash or check (payable to Strawbridge) to school with the order form OR by going online to www.strawbridge.net and using code: FM322621.  Class pictures and make-up individual pictures will take place on Friday, September 27th.  


Friday, September 13, 2019

The Week of September 16, 2019

Welcome to the second week of September!  I've been having a great time having lessons and viewing your follow-up work, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the upcoming week!

In social studies, I will be presenting lessons on the American Revolutionary War, the causes of WWI, and European languages & religions.  Your follow-up work from these lessons is due by Friday.  In addition, your follow-up work will include a current event article quiz about America's top chess player at www.newsela.com and a grammar practice activity at www.quill.org.  4th and 6th graders will be continuing with the second paragraph of the "Red Door" narrative with a focus on writing similes.  5th graders will have an other writing workshop with Ms. Pat.

On Monday, everyone will have a vocabulary quiz based upon the social studies words you were given to study last Monday.

This Friday, you will have a word-study quiz on the following words:

Circle group:

-ian: authoritarian, valedictorian, veterinarian, utilitarian, reptilian
-iest: finickiest, unluckiest, snappiest, portliest, ghastliest  

Triangle group:

Long e (ee):  freeze, creek, sleep, creep, breeze
Long e (ea):  grease, wheat, breathe, squeak, stream

Square group:

Change “y” to “i” before adding suffix: replied, hurries, carried, copies, studied
Add suffix: obeying, decaying, enjoys, displayed, delaying

Finally, don't forget that Monday is spirit night at Chipotle!  A portion of all sales will come to Charles Ellis.  I hope to see you there for some good food and fun!

Have a nice weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Week of September 9th, 2019

I am so glad that Dorian decided to stay out to sea and spare our beautiful city of any damage!  I look forward to hearing all your hurricane stories when we return to school Monday.  That being said, we are simply going to pick up where we left off in social studies and language arts the week before the hurricane came.  Here is your updated plan for the week:

Our social studies research will include studying the 13 colonies, the late 1800's in America, and continued research of Europe using the country study charts Montessori material.  We will also read the next chapter in our novel study books.  Some students will start a creative writing project that will give you a chance to create a magical adventure!

In addition to any followup work from your lessons, you will have the following required assignments that will be due Friday:

www.newsela.com current event quiz about how Hurricane Dorian affected the Bahamas 
www.quill.org grammar activity

You will have a word study quiz on the following words Friday, September 13. Please write these words onto your workplan and study and throughout the upcoming week. It is important that you are writing your words down on Tuesday since you will have one less day to prepare for your quiz.

Circle group:

-er: promoter, analyzer, misnomer, sequester, milliner
-ier: amplifier, dehumidifier, intensifier, quantifier, emulsifier


Triangle group:

Long e (ee):  breeze, fleet, leech, sweet, weep
Long e (ea):  bleach, bleak, gleam, preach, spear


Square group:

singular: axis, crisis, ellipsis, oasis, thesis
plural: axes, crises, ellipses, oases, theses

Your vocabulary words this week will be about your social study lessons. Please copy and study the following words into your workplan. You will have a quiz on these words Monday, September 16th.

4th Grade Words



Stamp Act-  law that required colonists to buy stamps for paper goods and documents

Sugar Act- law that increased the price of sugar, molasses, and several other colonial goods

Parliament- the body of representatives that makes laws for Great Britain

Tyrants- a cruel and unreasonable ruler

Boycott- to stop buying or using goods or services from a certain company or country as a protest

Boston Massacre- an event in 1770 where five colonists were killed by British soldiers

Townshend Acts- law that taxed tea, glass, paper, paint, and lead

Engraving- a print made from an engraved plate, block, or other surface. 

Propaganda- information, often misleading or one-sided, used to promote a particular cause


Quartering Act- law requiring the colonies to provide housing for British troops in the colonies




5th Grade Words



Emigration- the act of leaving one’s country to settle in another

Immigrant- a person who moves to a new country

Assimilation- the process of fitting into a new culture or becoming like others in that culture

Refugee- a person who flees one country for another in search of safety. 

Visa- a legal permit to enter a country

Deportation- to force a citizen of another country to leave a country

Ellis Island- in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. as the United States' busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954

Steerage- the cheapest passenger accommodations aboard a ship. 

Persecution- the subjecting of certain people to cruel or unfair treatment because of their ethnic origin or religious beliefs

Pluralism- the existence of groups with different ethnic, religious, or political backgrounds within one society.



6th Grade Words


United Kingdom- a small island nation located off the coast of mainland Europe.


Trade- the action of buying and selling goods and services


Climate- The average weather conditions in a certain place over many years.


Manufacturing-  make something on a large scale using machinery


Deposits- a natural layer of sand, rock, coal, or other material


Heartland- the central or most important part of a country, area, or field of activity.


Agriculture- the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.


Hub- a central airport or other transport facility from which many services operate


Urban- characteristic of a city or town.

Rural- relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town.


Have a nice weekend,

Mr. Trent