Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Congrats Ellis Odyssey of the Mind Team!

4th Place in the WORLD!  Congrats, team!  You make Ellis proud!

Week of May 31, 2011

Now that "The Story of Language" is just a fond memory, we can get back to a normal worktime schedule.  Please remember that your choice sheet is due this Friday.  I ask that you complete at least three math and three science items.

We will have a dress-down fundraiser to benefit the victims of the recent tornado outbreak in the midwest.  Please bring in at least a dollar to participate on this Wednesday dress-down day.

On Friday, we will have Field Day!  I know you enjoy this special annual tradition.  Please be sure to bring in your permission slip.  Don't forget a lunch and appropriate clothes.

This week starts the first week of our last parent teacher conferences for the year!  If you need a new time, or forget when your's is scheduled, please contact me ASAP.  I look forward to getting to talk to everyone and discussing the great things we have done this year.

Finally, be on the lookout for some information about our "End of the Year Celebration" that will take place the last day of school.  This is one of my favorite traditions we have in our classroom.  Be thinking about who should receive the many superlatives to be awarded that day!

Have a great (short) week,
Mr. Trent

The Story of Language - Curtain Closed!

Congratulations on a successful run of the musical "The Story of Language"!  You have outdone yourself in creating a beautiful adaptation of the Montessori great lesson.  I am so proud of you all!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Please return all library books....

...by this Thursday (May 26).  Your AR goals for Ms. Carol's class are also due at this time.  Please work hard to take care of these two items.

It's Musical Week!

I can't believe our musical, The Story of Language" is this Friday!  We will be spending a lot of time this week preparing for the show.  On Friday, please be at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church at 6:15 pm.  Let me know if you need a ride.  Remember, tickets are available in the media center ($3 for the 10:30 show and $5 for the 7:00 show).

In addition, Mr. Brandon will stop by to talk more about marsh ecology, and you will get some time to work on your "Sail into Summer" choice sheet.  Remember that your In2Books letters are due this Friday.

I'm looking forward to a wonderful week!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marsh Ecology Fun!

Mr. Brandon helped us make some model marshes today. How do changes to the marsh affect the infauna, epifauna, and nekton?

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OM Team "On Top of the World"

Check out this great article about our winning OM team.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Narrator Script

Auditions for the narrator part of "The Story of Language" will take place this Friday at 2:30.  Below is the script.  It does NOT need to be memorized.  (Sorry for the weird formatting...copy/paste is being uncooperative this morning).

Curtain Opens (Spotlight on narrator)

Narrator- Good morning/evening. Welcome to Charles Ellis Presents: The Story of
Language. We are glad you are here to help us celebrate the fascinating history of
written and spoken word. Before we begin, we would like to remind you of some theater
grace and courtesy. Please turn off all cell phones. During the show, please refrain
from taking any flash photography. There will be no intermission during todayʼs
performance, so please stay seated at all times.

" The great lessons are a collection of five stories that make up an important part
of the Montessori philosophy of eduction. The stories are meant to raise curiosity and
spur questions concerning the world around us. The lessons chronicle the formation of
the universe, the coming of life, the coming of humans, and the development of
language and numbers. Initially introduced in lower elementary, the students use these
lessons as a spring-board to guide their educational choices in the classroom.

" Tonight/today we are pleased to present to you The Story of Language in the
form of a living timeline. The students in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade at Charles Ellis
Montessori Academy have worked tirelessly over the past few months to write the script,
create song lyrics, make costumes, and construct props to present this story to you.
So, without further ado, letʼs begin the Story of Language!

" Our story begins over 30,000 years ago, in Northern Spain where the earliest
cave drawings we have discovered were created. Most drawings show early hunts and
faming equipment. A few thousand years later, painted rocks were found in France. It
is believed that these marks were meant to be good luck charms. Please welcome Ms.
Carolʼs class as they share with you the story of these early drawings.

Ms. Carolʼs Class Skit

" About 3,000 BC, In Mesopotamia (in what is now Iraq) a more advanced form of
writing was developed. The sumerian language used a symbol for each sound. They
used a form of picture-sound writing. They used a nail to write on clay, which was
plentiful from the rivers. Around the same time, along the Nile, the Egyptian people
were developing their own language symbols. Their sacred writing was first used as
charms on the tombs of dead kings to bring them good luck in their afterlife. We call
these markings heiroglyphics. Once the Egyptians made the discovery that water reed,
papyrus, could be made into paper, their writing went though many changes. The
simpler symbols aided the Egyptians as they began trading. Next up is Ms. Kathleenʼs
class to tell you more about this part of the timeline.

Ms. Kathleenʼs Class Skit

" In 2,000 BC the Babylonians developed their empire in the Euphrates Valley after
invasions and wars destroyed the Sumerians. The Babylonians continued to write on
clay, but they used reed pens to form wedge shaped marks called cuneiform. The five
wedge shaped makings were symbols which could range in size from large to small to
make different combinations. About 1,000 years later, the Phoenicians (in modern day
Lebanon) were unable to use clay or papyrus on which to write. The material that was
abundant for them was wood from cedar trees. They coated the writing boards with a
layer of beeʼs wax and used a sharp, metal stylus to scratch symbols on the board.
They created symbols that would work on their materials. The Phoenicians also used
symbols for sounds. Their first letter came from their word for ox - aleph. Their second
letter came from their word for house - beth. Please welcome Ms. Kamiʼs class as they
tell you a little more about the Babylonians and the Phoenicians.

Ms. Kamiʼs Class Skit

" About 500 years later, the Greeks learned writing from the Phoenicians who
traveled to Greece. The Greeks developed as many as ten different alphabets of their
own. Local custom and dialects dictated the way the letters were formed. Over the
next hundred years, the Greeks standardized their alphabet. They were the first people
to give symbols to vowel sounds. The Roman people were introduced to the alphabet
by the Etruscans, who invaded Rome in 750 BC. The Etruscan alphabet was similar to
the Phoenician alphabet. In 500 BC, Romans regained control of their city, and slowly
began making changes in the alphabet. Their language, Latin, had some different
sounds and therefore needed different symbols. As the Romans used their alphabet on
arches and monuments, they introduced the most widely used alphabet in the world.
Ms. Leighʼs class will be taking you back to Greek and Roman times. Please welcome
them to the stage.

Ms. Leighʼs Class Skit

Around 750, the French King, Charlemagne, decided that all children should be
educated. Priests and monks were to open schools in every cathedral and monastery.
Scribes went to work copying materials (the Christian Bible and works by Greek and
Roman authors) to be used to teach reading. The priests wanted the letters to be as
beautiful as possible. They also needed letters that used less space so that a sheet of
parchment (made from the skins of animals) could contain many words. They changed
the Latin alphabet to a small (or lower case) alphabet which also took less time to write.
In 1450, Johann Gutenberg created the printing press, which drastically changed the
way books were created. Gutenberg, while growing up in Germany, loved to read. He
wanted, more than anything, to be able to print a bible. When Gutenberg was a boy the
only way to print was with wood blocks, one letter at a time. It was very costly and
letter blocks made of iron that could be combined to make words. He also developed
an ink that would stay on these letter blocks. Although, Gutenberg experienced many
difficulties he was finally able to print the Bible. Welcome to the stage Mr. Trentʼs class
as they present the story of the French priest writers and the Gutenberg press.

Mr. Trentʼs Class skit

" Our timeline comes to an end in the present day. Once traveling became easier
(especially by airplane) people often found themselves in a place where they could not
speak or understand the native language. It became necessary to develop a language
that could be understood by people of many different countries. International road signs
were developed to give travelers information they needed. These signs were first used
in the Tokyo Olympic Games of 1964. The picture symbols share an idea in a way
similar to the earliest of writing. In addition, sign language is also used today to help
people communicate who may have trouble with traditional means of communication.
Finally, with the advent of personal computers, a whole new language is being created,
and the ability to talk to someone thousands of miles away is as simple as logging onto
the Internet. Please welcome Ms. Lauraʼs class to the stage as they close our timeline
of language.

Ms. Lauraʼs Class skit

" As you can see, the timeline of language is a rich history of ever-changing
pictures and symbols that spans thousands of years and four corners of the world. We
hope you enjoyed our journey through the Timeline of Language. On behalf of the
students and faculty at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy, thank you for being a
wonderful audience. Please join us in our final song “I Shall Sing”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Congrats, Ms. lynn

Did you see the great article in the Savannah Morning News about our own Ms. Lynn?!? Check it out here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

We are busy with preparations for our musical, The Story of Language. Here, Victoria and Treyvon work on a costume. Keep up the good work, everyone!

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Week of May 15th.

CRCT testing is finally over and we can return to our "normal" procedures!  Mr. Brandon will be here Monday to talk to you about marsh ecology.  During worktime, we will be completing a choice menu that will help us start to put closure on our school year.  Your menu will be due Friday, June 3rd.

 Mr. Trent's homeroom will spend a lot of time preparing for the upcoming musical.  Remember to be practicing your lines and song lyrics.  We will be going over them a lot this week.  Have you seen the musical posters?  If not, here is a preview:

Be sure to look forward to Friday because it is another dress down day for $1.00 to benefit the OM team!

See you Monday morning!
Mr. Trent

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chess Tournament

Friday, students participated in a chess tournament organized by Mr. Jerry.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Have you checked out the In2Books website lately?

If you haven't, you should...you may recognize some people on the site!  Check it out at www.in2books.com.

The Cast of "The Story of Language" (Mr. Trent's Class)

Congratulations to the following people for earning roles in the upcoming musical.  It was REALLY hard casting the skits because everyone who tried out did a wonderful job!  Remember, if you didn't get a speaking or acting role, you can still be on stage helping with props and singing our two songs.

PJ – Chase M.
Charlemagne – Lucy A. 
Priest 1 – Emma V.
Priest 2 – Zach S.
Priest 3 – Reggina C.
Gutenberg – Chandler N.
Apprentice – Maya N.
Servant 1 – Jamari K.
Servant 2 – Skyler W.
Servant 3 – Ryan M. 
Clock Holder – Victoria J.

Please start memorizing your parts now, we will begin rehearsal this week.  If you need another copy of the script, you can find it on last week's blog posts.

Ellis Has Talent

Please see the following letter from Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Gloria about "Ellis Has Talent". See me if you need a permission slip.

May 9, 2011

Dear Parents,

It is that time again for Ellis Idol, but this year we are going to call it “Ellis Has Talent”, so we can include all types of acts. Last year’s competition was great! Performers, audience, Ms. Gloria and I all had a great time. We would love to repeat that again this year.

This years Ellis Has Talent is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th at 1:00. There will be 15 solo/group acts. 5 from each grade level 2nd – 8th. 2nd and 3rd, 4th and 5th, and 6th – 8th will be grouped together.

Auditions will be held after the CRCT during the week of May 16th. Contestants will need to have permission from parents and their teachers to audition. The form attached must be turned in no later than May 12th, no exceptions. The title of the song and performers will need to be listed also.

Once the students have signed up, they must audition and perform exactly what they sign up for. No substitutions, no exceptions! Students must provide their own music, and it must be school appropriate. If we feel that it is not school appropriate we have the right to censor it. Students must be ready for auditions, but they may use words for auditions. Their performance must be memorized by June 8th.

​Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Gloria

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Lyrics for Final Song in Musical

Here are the lyrics to the song everyone will be singing at the end of our musical:

I Shall Sing Lyrics
Lyrics by Van Morrison

I shall sing,
Sing my song,
Be it right,
Be it wrong.
In the night,
In the day,
Any how,
Any way,
I shall sing.
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la

With my heart,
With my soul,
for the young
for the old,
When I’m high,
When I’m high,
When I’m low,
When I’m first,
When I’m slow,

I shall sing.
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la

I shall sing,
Sing my song,
Be it right,
Be it wrong.
In the night,
In the day,
Any how,
Any way,
I shall sing.
La la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la

Welcome to the Week of May 9th!

Good morning!  We are over half-way finished with CRCT's!  We will have the science and social studies CRCT this week.  Remember what we talked about with how to best prepare for the test:  a restful sleep the night before, a good breakfast the day of, and an "I believe in myself" paptalk before the test!

In addition to testing, we will be exploring patterns and geometric shapes with a lesson on tessellations.  Here is a great website showing examples of tessellations and some methods of creating some of your own.  I'm sure we will have some tessellation creations in our classroom that would impress Escher himself!

This Friday will be another dress-down fundraiser for the OM Team.  Please bring in a dollar to participate.  The PTA Spring Fling will also take place this Friday at 4:00 in Hull Park.  I hope you can come and join in the fun!

Have a wonderful week!
Mr. Trent

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Story of Language Musical

Where: Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (Corner of Waters & Henry Street)
When: Friday, May 27th
Time: 10:30 am ($3.00) & 7:00 pm ($5.00)
*Tickets will be sold in the Ellis Media Center starting May, 17th.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

"The Story of Language" Script (Mr. Trent's Class)

Scene 1
            (Stage lights up to a large, fancy room with servants and cooks walking and cleaning. Charlemagne sits at a table doing work.  Priests are at work copying documents.)
Little boy: (to the first servant) may I speak to the king.
Servant 1: (leans over and asks/whispers if the boy can speak to him.)
Charlemagne: (directly addresses the boy) what is it? 
Little boy: Can I seek advice from you?
Charlemagne: You may. 
Little boy: I am writing my name on a piece of parchment to show my deaf neighbor who I am.
Charlemagne: And what is your name?
Little boy: PJ….how do you spell that?
Charlemagne: Oh my. (Sighs and props up his forehead with his hand.) You are telling me you don’t know how to spell PJ!?!
(P.J. hangs his head.)
Charlemagne:  It is a sad day in my kingdom when a child can’t even spell his name.  How are we to be the most powerful kingdom if my subjects are so stupid!  Something must be done.  I hereby declare that all children must be educated. (He slaps his hand on the table.) You three! (He indicates to three priests, each with a scroll and a quill.)Let all the priests and monks know that I want them to open schools in all the cathedrals and monasteries.
Priest:  With all due respect might king, it will take forever for our Priests to copy enough books for all the children in the land to use at school.  They will be working 24 hours a day to get the books completed!
Charlemagne:  I am the king!  What I say is law.  Tell the priests to dust off their quills and get to writing!
Priests (all): As you say, king. 
Priests walk off stage looking sad and worried.       
*King Charlemagne Song*                                                       

Scene 2
(Lights will come on to a scene of a workshop.  Walls are lined with shelves of books and tools.  Center stage is a printing press.  A chair is stage right.  Gutenberg is working on his print press.)
Gutenberg:  (to himself) Wow, trying to get this printing press done is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be!  Whenever I think I have it figured out, something goes wrong. 
Apprentice:  (walks into the workshop)  Johann, you’ve been working on that crazy contraption for such a long time.  Take a break from it for while.
Gutenberg:  No, I think I’m just about to finish it!   This invention could be revolutionary.  Up until now, people have depended on their own two hands to copy book and other written material.  With the help of this machine, copies of books can be made much more quickly and with little effort.  I just need a little more time!
Apprentice:  Ok, Johann.  Don’t work too hard, I don’t want you to overwhelm yourself.
(Apprentice walks out leaving Gutenberg alone.   Gutenberg continues to work on his machine, he hit his finger with a hammer and screams in agony.)
 Gutenberg:  Ug, maybe making this machine isn’t a good idea.  I don’t think I will ever figure this out.  Well, maybe I should take a little break.
(Gutenberg goes and sits in a chair stage right and falls asleep with a big yawn.  The French Priest Writers from scene 1 appear on stage surrounding Gutenburg in his dream).
Priest 1:  Gutenberg, keep trying!  Your amazing machine will one day be a reality!
Priest 2:  Gutenberg, trying to copy all of those books by hand was painful and took forever!  Finish the press, your invention could change the world!
Priest 3:   Think of all the books that could be created.  Enough books for everyone in the world!
All three French Priest Writers:  You can do it! You can do it! (unison, getting louder and louder.  Gutenberg is woken up from his noisy dream.  The writers quickly run off stage).
Gutenberg:  What a crazy dream!  Those French Priests sure had a lot of faith in me!  I HAVE to finish this press!
(Gutenberg runs to his press and continues to work.  A cast member runs across stage with a big clock with spinning hands to show elapsed time).
Gutenberg: (yelling) I’ve done it!  I’ve done it!
Friend:  (Running back in) Gutenberg, what have you done?!?
Gutenberg: I’ve finished my press!  Let’s give it a try!
(Gutenberg and Apprentice go to press and load it with paper, ink, and then run the press).
Gutenberg:  (holding up a sheet of paper) We’ve done it, the first page of the bible printed on a printing press.  This is a historic moment!
Apprentice: Congratulations, Mr. Gutenberg.  Your printing press invention will forever change the world.

Auditions for "The Story of Language"

Auditions for our classroom's skit for "The Story of Language" will take place on Monday, May 9th.  Please come with two choices for what parts you would like to have.  In addition, please memorize a line for your tryout.  Remember, if you want to be Charlemange, you must be able to sing his part in our song.  Good luck!

Our "Story of Language Song"

Here are the lyrics of our song for the musical.  You know the tune!

C- Are you ready kids?
S- Yes, your highness!
C- I can't hear you!
S- Yes, your highness!
C- Oh!  Who lives in a castle somewhere out in France?
S- King Charlemagne!
C- I want all the children to be educated!
S- King Charlemagne!
C- If reading and writing is something you wish....
S- King Charlemagne!
C- Priests, grab your quill pens and copy these books!
S- King Charlemagne! King Charlemagne! King Charlemagne! King Charlemagne! King Char-la-magne!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Help out our OM team!

Congrats to the Ellis Odyssey of the Mind team for making it to the world competition in Baltimore! We are having a dress down day this Friday to raise funds to help pay for the trip. It will only cost $1.00 to participate!

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Week of May 2

Are you ready for an exciting week?  You've had literally hundreds of opportunities to share your knowledge this year in 6th grade.  This week, you have yet another chance to "show what you know" by taking the CRCT.  The best thing you can do to prepare for this test is to get good sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and believe in yourself!

In addition to testing, we will be sharing rest of our review lessons.  We will also be spending a lot of time working on our "Story of Language" musical.

Have a great week!

Mr. Trent