Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Week of February 3, 2020

Welcome to Musical Week! I'm so excited for you to perform the show you've been working on so hard for the past few weeks! "The Kingdom of the Red River" is going to be a smash hit!

Most of our time this week will be spent getting ready for the musical. You will have a few lessons, but your followup work will be modified to fit with your shorter work periods. You will NOT have quill or newsela this week, but you will need to study for a vocabulary quiz on Monday, February 10th. Here are your words:

4th Grade Vocabulary

plantations, Large farms where crops are raised 

slavery, The practice of forcing people to work without pay as enslaved people, and denying them the freedom to decide how to live their lives 

survival, The state of continuing to exist, especially in spite of difficult conditions

value, Usefulness or importance

wages, Money that is paid or received for work conductor, n. A person who led or directed enslaved Africans to freedom during the Civil War using the Underground Railroad 

contributions,. Money, materials, information, or labor given by someone to help others 

gourd, A plant whose hard-shelled fruit is sometimes dried and hollowed out to be used as a tool 

passengers, Enslaved Africans who traveled to freedom on the Underground Railroad 

rebellious, Resisting, or fighting, being controlled by someone else

5th Grade Vocabulary

Draft- Required military service for males 18 years-26 years during a time of need, if your number is picked you have to go

Geneva Accords- This document divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel

USS Maddux- U.S. ship that was reported to have been shot at by the North Vietnamese

Deferment- Getting out of or putting off war service

War Powers Act - Limited the President's ability to send troops

Henry Kissinger- National Security Advisor that worked with Nixon and secretly met with one of North Vietnam's negotiators to end the war

Kent State University - College students were protesting the war and National Guardsmen were brought in that fired into the crowd and killed 4 people

Containment- To keep an idea or thing isolated

Guerrilla Warfare- a Military strategy used by Viet Cong that used hit and run tactics

Napalm- Gasoline based bomb that set fire to the jungle

6th Grade Vocabulary

Rain shadow- an area on the side of a mountain away from the wind that receives little rainfall

Permafrost- permanently frozen layer of the ground below the top layer of soil

Prime Minister- the most powerful political leader in Canada. He or she is the leader of the political party that has the most people voted in to be members of parliament.

Premier- the most powerful political leader in a province. He or she is the leader of the political party that has the most people voted in to be members of the legislature.

Federal Government - A system of government in which individual states share authority with a central government. Examples include Canada and the United States.

Quebec- A province located in the east-central part of Canada. Predominantly French-speaking, it has sought independence from Canada at several points to preserve its cultural heritage.

Champlain- French explorer in Nova Scotia who established a settlement on the site of modern Quebec (1567-1635)

Iroquois- a family of North American Indian languages

Hudson Bay- an inland sea in northern Canada

French Canadian- a Canadian descended from early French settlers and whose native language is French

Break a leg,

Mr. Trent

Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Week of January 27th, 2020

The last year of January is already here! We have so much to do this week to get ready for Charles Ellis Presents! The work you have done so far is astounding, and I'm so excited to see you on stage. We will begin to practice without our scripts this week, so be sure to memorize your lines if you have a part. We will also be continuing our work on the set and costumes. It's two weeks until the big night! Your studies this week will include continued work with your novel studies, a grammar practice at, and a current event article to read at In addition, we will begin our new structured writing activity! We will be writing an informative essay about what you are currently studying in social studies. On Monday you will have a quiz on the vocabulary words you were given to study last week. You will have a word study quiz this Friday based on the following sorts:

See you Monday!
Mr. Trent

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Week of January 20, 2020

"The time is always right to do what is right" - Martin Luther King Jr.

Are you ready for another awesome week at Ellis? I hope so because we have a good one headed your way!

We will not have school Monday so we can celebrate MLK Jr. Day. When you return Tuesday, you will have a regular school day (there will be no explorations). Lessons this week will include novel studies and grammar practice using Your newsela current event article is about the recent wildfires in Australia. Social studies lessons will be about The Korean War, the life of the American Indian during westward expansion, and Canada studies. You will NOT have a word study quiz this week. You will need to study the following vocabulary words for a quiz on Monday, January 27th.

4th Grade Vocabulary List

Abolitionist Movement- an effort by many groups and individuals to end slavery in the U.S.

William Lloyd Garrison- Published The Liberator (a newspaper that called for the complete and immediate abolition of slavery by peaceful means); founded the New England Anti- Slavery Society

Frederick Douglass- Famous speaker, writer, newspaper editor, and reformer who had escaped slavery; his intellect and demeanor were proof for many slaves, once freed, could function as independent U.S. citizens

Underground Railroad- Network of abolitionists (like escaped slave Harriet Tubman), paths, and places that secretly helped slaves escape North of Canada

Uncle Tom’s Cabin- Book published in 1852 that depicted the horrors of slavery; made slavery a moral issue for many

John Brown’s Raid- In 1859, John Brown and fellow abolitionists attacked a federal arsenal in Virginia and tried to start a slave rebellion; he was hung for treason and became a martyr

Discrimination-  to make a difference in treatment or favor based on something other than individual merit

Abolish-  to do away with something

The Liberator- An anti-violence abolitionist newspaper first published in 1831, which is seen as the start of the abolitionist movement

13th Amendment of the Constitution- officially ended the practice of slavery in the United States 

5th Grade Vocabulary List

Communism- a system where the government owns the factories and natural resources and controls the production of goods; people are not free

Cold War- the state of tension without actual fighting between the United States and the Soviet Union, and which divided the world into two camps

Iron Curtain- the imaginary dividing line between eastern and western Europe during the Cold War

Berlin Airlift- When U.S. and Allied airplanes delivered supplies to West Berlin every day fro 321 days.  

Aggression- attack against a person or country

Blockade- surrounding an enemy’s territory in wartime to keep people and supplies from passing

Nikita Khrushchev- premier of the Soviet Union and head of the Soviet Communist Party during the Cold War 

Cuban Missile Crisis- In 1962, the U.S. learned that the Soviet Union had built missile launching pads in Cuba. 

Joseph McCarthy- a Wisconsin senator who accused U.S. state department officials of being Communist. 

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)- Signed in 1949, it created an alliance between the U.S. and European countries to protect itself from Communist aggression. 

6th Grade Vocabulary List

Hudson Bay- located in Central-Eastern Canada

St. Lawrence River- connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean 

Canadian Shield- a large geological region of Eastern and Southern Canada that has rocky, rolling landscape and thin soil.   It has an abundance of forests and mineral deposits. 

Great Lakes- 5 large bodies of water located along the border of the U.S. and Canada

Ottawa- the capital of Canada, located in the province of Ontario

Rocky Mountains- a major mountain system of the United States and Canada, extending 3,000 miles from Alaska south to New Mexico

Tundra- a vast, level, treeless plain in the arctic regions. The ground beneath the surface of the tundra is frozen even in summer

Extraction- The process of removing natural resources from the ground—like harvesting trees, mining minerals and gathering raw materials to be used in the production of products.

Transportation corridor- a route that makes travel and trade easier

Transportation barriers- physical features that make it difficult to travel or trade

This year's Boosterthon Fun Run was a smashing success. Not only did we make our school goal of $18,000, but we also achieved a 100% participation rate in our classroom! We have a number of incentives because of your hard work. First, we will have a pot-luck lunch on Wednesday. Feel free to bring in some food to share. On Thursday, you will be able to view a movie in the afternoon. Congrats on your hard work and generous pockets!

Finally, 6th graders will be attending the Mountain Film Fest on Friday, Jan. 24th. Be sure you have returned your permission slip to attend.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Week of January 13, 2020

This week is shaping up to be a great one!  Social Studies lessons will include westward expansion, the Cold War, and the political/physical geography of Canada.  Our language arts lessons will include a writing scrimmage on Monday that will help us practice writing to a prompt within a certain timeframe.  Your required assignments will include lesson followup work, a grammar assignment, and a current event comprehension activity.  In addition, please study the following appropriate word-study list for a spelling test on Friday, February 17th.

Arrow Group

 Plus Group

Smile Group

There are a number of other exciting things happening this week:
1.  The Boosterthon Fun run is Thursday, January 16th!  Be sure to get your pledges in by that day so we can do some laps at Daffin Park!

2.  6th graders will be attending a viewing of films that are part of the Mountain Film Festival on Friday, January 17th.  This is a free fieldtrip, but you must return your permission slip to attend.   The 6th grade trip to the Mountain Film Festival will be Friday, January 24th.

3.  We will continue our planning of the upcoming Charles Ellis Presents: The Kingdom on the Great River.  The script, song, dance, costumes, and set are really coming together nicely!  I'm so excited to see what you create for this year's musical!

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Boosterthon Fun Run!

Our class is having a BLAST preparing for the CEMA Bobcat Fun Run coming up soon! We've also begun learning how to choose to live with character every day through Booster’s brand new character theme, MindSpark: Wild West. While they're teaming up with the MindSpark Kids to compete in character duels, your students will learn five 21st-century character traits that will help strengthen themselves and our world. Make sure to ask your students what they've learned each day, and together you can watch the story unfold on!

Remember, we need your help connecting to sponsors who can make a pledge to help our school! Please make sure all pledges for the CEMA Bobcat Fun Run are entered on The more pledges we get, the more incentives our class earns on our Pledge-O-Meter.

Make sure to register your child on Search for your school or use our school registration code:


Finally, make sure you have returned your child's permission slip to attend the run on Thursday, Jan. 16th in Daffin Park. 

Thank you for your generosity and support of our school. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Term 2 Parent/Teacher Conference Sign-up (Mr. Trent's Homeroom only)

I'm using (the leading online SignUp and reminder tool) to organize our upcoming SignUps.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Week of January 6, 2020

Happy new year!  I hope your holiday break was restful and rejuvenating!  I'm excited to get 2020 started with you!

This week we will continue our novel studies with a focus on text talk.  While you will not have any followup work to complete in social studies, please do your weekly current event and grammar practice works by Friday.  You will NOT have a word study quiz this Friday, but I will be asking a few students to complete another spelling inventory to better help me put you in the correct spelling group for the term.

There are a number of things to be very excited about this week:
1.  It's the official kick-off of this year's BoosterThon!  The run will take place next Thursday, but we will be having daily character education lessons and pep rally's to get you pumped up for the big day!

2.  We will be choosing committees for our upcoming Charles Ellis Presents: The Kingdom on the Great River show.  What committee would you like to serve on?

3.  It's time to choose new classroom jobs!  Be on the lookout for a new job application.

See you Tuesday,
Mr. Trent