Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mr. Brandon's Water Treatment Simulation

We had a great time today learning about caring for natural resources. Mr. Brandon set up a simulated waste water treatment plant.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

End of Term 3

This Friday is the last day of term 3.  Please be sure to hand in any work you still owe me.  You can log on to PowerSchool using your password to see any assignments you are missing. If you need your logon information, please see Ms. Terry in the front office.  You will need to bring a picture ID.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conference request forms have been sent home.  Please review them, marking times and days when you are available to meet.  Return them to your homeroom teacher ASAP. Conferences are planned for the first and second weeks of April.   Please let me know if you need another copy of the form.

Natural Resources Maps

Chance is busy using the web to create a map of the United States that shows the location of natural resources.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Welcome to the last week of March!

Hello!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I'm looking forward to another exciting week in our classroom.  In science, we will be starting our unit on the impact humans can have on the world around us.  We will start by talking about natural resources.  Here is a copy of the powerpoint I will present on Monday.

You will be given a choice sheet to complete that will help you focus your studies about resources.  The sheet will be due next Friday.  This Friday, you will have a vocabulary quiz on the following words:

Natural Resource- any natural material that is used by humans, such as water, petroleum, minerals, forests, and animals.

Nonrenewable resource- a resource that forms at a rate that is much slower than the rate at which it is consumed.

Renewable resource- a natural resource that can be replaced at the same rate at it is consumed.

Coal- a fossil fuel that forms underground from partially decomposed plant material.

Fossil fuel- a nonrenewable energy resource formed from the remains of organisms that lived long ago.

Natural gas- a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons located under the surface of the Earth, often near petroleum deposits; used as a fuel.

Petroleum- a liquid mixture of complex hydrocarbon compounds; used widely as a fuel source.

Biomass- plant material, manure, or any other organic matter that is used as an energy source.

Geothermal energy-  the energy produced by heat within the Earth.

Hydroelectric energy- electrical energy produced by the flow of water.

In math, we will start work on studying volume of geometric solids.  You will have a lesson on Monday and followup homework throughout the week to help you practice your newly-acquired knowledge.  We will use the following formulas:

Rectangular Prismside1 * side2 * side3
Sphere(4/3) * pi * radius3

Cylinderpi * radius2 * height
Cone(1/3) * pi * radius2 * height
Pyramid(1/3) * (base area) * height

I know you are all excited about the Kiss-A-Pig activities coming up this week.  It will only cost you $1 to participate in each of the fun activities.

Monday- Crazy Hair Day
Tuesday- Sunglasses Day
Wednesday- Mix and Match (with uniform) Day
Thursday- Hat Day
Friday- Dress Down Day

This Thursday night in the monthly PTA meeting.  It will be at 6:30 in the Multi-purpose room.  I will be sending home parent/teacher conference request forms. Please turn them into me ASAP.  Spots fill up fast, so the more quickly you get your form back to me, the more likely you will get your desired conference time.  Finally, this Friday is the last day of the third term.  Please have all work completed and turned in by that time.

See you Monday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

The first three students to comment on this post about something they enjoyed learning about this week will get a prize Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sharing what we know!

Today we worked together to figure out tough math problems!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Surface Area of Cylinders

Do you need some extra help with finding surface area of cylinders?  Check out this website for instructional videos and problems to practice on your own.  Remember, you have a quiz on this Friday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jazzy Fun!

Synergy Brass jazzed things up for us today!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week of March 21, 2011

I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day weekend!  As we return to school after our break, please keep in mind that we have a lot to do this week.  In math, we will be practicing finding the surface area of cylinders.  You can find a great website that will show you how to do it here.  We will have a quiz on what we talk about with cylinders on Friday.  In science, Mr. Brandon will be sharing his research about waste water treatment with you!  Be expecting a fun lab about it in the near future.

In addition to these studies, we will take some time Monday to enjoy a visit from the Savannah Children's Choir.  On Tuesday, we will have a special visitor in our classroom; Nina Zolt (the founder of In2Books) will be stopping by to talk to us about the program!  Also, Tuesday we will see a great concert from Synergy Brass.  We will end the week on Friday with a dress-down day and a special "Lunch With Me" day where your parents are invited to join us for lunch.

Wow, what a busy week!  So much to look forward to!

See you Monday morning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Progress Reports

Because of our short week, progress reports will be issued this upcoming Monday. As always, you can check grades anytime using your Power School login. Please see Ms. Terri in the office if you need your login information.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Making Stuff

Today, I mentioned David Pogue. He is the New York Times writer who hosted a great NOVA series called "Making Stuff" about materials science.  You can view each of the episodes here.

Week of March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

This week is a short week because of St. Patrick's Day; we only have school until Wednesday.  For the three short days we are in the classroom, we will be focusing on the Big Bang Theory in science and circumference/area of circles in math.  You will have homework in math Monday and Tuesday night.  Wednesday, you will have a quiz in science based on the work we do in class and the following notes: 

Mr. Trent’s Class –March 13, 2011
CosmologyCosmology is the study of how the universe beganBased on careful observations and measurementsMost cosmologists believe a "big bang" caused the universe to expand in all directions.

What is the "Big Bang Theory"?The theory that the universe started with a big bang.About 14 billion years ago, all the contents of the universe were squeezed into a very small space.The high pressure and temperature caused a HUGE explosion.

After the Big Bang…The light elements formed, like heliumThe forces of nature were created, like gravityThe beginnings of galaxies came into being

Big Bang EvidenceThe expansion of the universeRadiation waves that are picked up by telescopes are believed to be left over energy from the big bang.

What will happen to our universe in the future?Some scientist believe the universe will continue to expand.The stars will slowly die out and our universe will become cold and dark.

Review QuestionsHow old is our universe?How does the expansion of the universe support the big bang theory?List three things that formed by a few minutes after the big bangWhat might happen to our universe in the future?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Greetings from DC

Hi, Charles Ellis! I'm at the K-12 National Science Foundation Conference in Washington, DC! While I'm here, I am going to learn a lot about teaching science and get to tour around our country's capital. Mr. Brandon is also here. He is sharing what he has been doing in our classroom.  The GK12 Program has just been removed from the list of funded NSF programs.  We need to save this program!  Go to to help.

Our nation's capital building

An orchid on display at the National Botanic Garden

"Peacemaker, 2004" by Douglas Miles
The Museum of the American Indian

University of Puerto Rico representatives sharing what is happening in their math and science classrooms.

Thanks for the shout out, Mr. Brandon!

The Hope Diamond (Museum
Of Natural History)

Mr. Brandon showing off his research

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can You Help?

The website provides a place where needy classrooms are matched with those who have the means to make donations.  Our classroom is asking for a number of items.  Please check out our class page to see how you can help.  Please feel free to pass along this link to everyone you know!

Sand Galaxy Models

Isaac is creating models of the three types of galaxies using glue and sand.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dress Down Days (for a good cause).

Don't forget about the two upcoming opportunites to have a dress down day.  On Friday, March 11, bring in a dollar to go towards MDA and you can be out of uniform.  This is only open to middle schoolers (6,7,8 graders).  Ths fundraiser is sponsored by the BETA club.

On Wednesday, March 16 we are raising money to go towards the YMCA Scholarship fund.  It will only cost you a dollar to participate in this dress down day.

The Story of Language

Students in Mr. Trent's homeroom are researching the history of the printing press in preparation for our Spring production of the student-created musical "The Story of Language".

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Monday, March 7, 2011


Today, we watched a Brainpop movie about galaxies.

Ms. Carol's Homeroom Studies Surface Area!

Students from room 19 used nets to practice finding surface area.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Studying Tides & Moon Phases

Mr. Brandon conducts a lab that demonstrates the connection between moon phases and tides.

In2Books - A new twist on fairy tales

I hope you are enjoying your new In2Books books.  I like the fact that this month's books take familiar stories and change the setting and characters.  It breathes new life into familiar stories!  Please remember that you must read and communicate with your penpal by March 25.  Feel free to send as many messages as you wish; it is great writing practice!

Happy reading!

Week of March 7, 2011

I can't believe it is already March!  This year is going by so quickly.

This week in Math class, we will once again be focusing on surface area.  You will have two sheets to complete for homework.  This Thursday will be a test on finding the surface area of cubes, rectangular prisms, and square-based pyramids.  This website offers some great instruction on finding surface area.

In science, we will be talking about constellations and galaxies.  We will be having a test on stars (that includes information we studied this and last week) on Friday.  In addition, your "Seeing Stars" choice sheet is due Friday.  Please be sure you have completed any 4 choices on that page.

Here are your vocabulary words for our studies concerning stars:

Altitude- the angle between an object in the sky and the horizon

Constellation- a region of the sky that contains a recognizable star pattern and that is used to describe the location of objects in space.

Black hole- an object so massive and dense that even light cannot escape its gravity

White dwarf- a small, hot, dim star that is the leftover center of an old star.

Supernova- a gigantic explosion in which a massive star collapses and throws it outer layers into space.

Galaxy- a collection of stars, dust, and gas bound together by gravity

Globular cluster- a tight group of stars that looks like a ball and contains up to 1 million stars.

Nebula- a large cloud of gas and dust in interstellar space; a region where stars are born.

Quasar- a very luminous object that produces energy at a high rate; they are thought to be the most distant objects in the universe. 

Protostar- a ball of gas and dust.  Gravity pulls the gas and dust together, and its center gets hotter (the first stage of the lifecycle of a star)

Above is a movie of our Constellations and Galaxies notes for this week.

I'm looking forward to a great week!

Welcome to your classroom's blog!

Thank you for checking out the new classroom blog.  You will find a lot of useful information on this site including news, announcements, and information.  If you lose your vocabulary list or forget when an upcoming test is taking place, it would be a great idea to check here first.  Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this blog.  See you at Ellis!