Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Report Cards

Report cards have been sent home today.  Please review them with your child.  Since we have met (or will soon meet) for parent/teacher conferences, there is no need to sign and return the reportcard.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Week of January 29

We've made it to the last week of January already!  If the rest of 2012 goes as fast as January has, we'll be ringing in the new year before we know it!  But, before we get too carried away welcoming 2013, let's focus on this week.

In science, we will be finishing up our unit on weather by discussing the earth's climate zones and biomes found in them. Here is a copy of the PowerPoint I will show on Monday:

We will have a vocabulary test this Friday on the following science words:

Weather-  the condition of the atmosphere at a particular time

Climate- the average weather condition in an area over a long period of time.

Climate zones- areas of the world that are located at the same lines of latitude that have similar climates

Biome- A major regional or global biotic community, such as a grassland or desert, characterized chiefly by the dominant forms of plant life and the prevailing climate.

Temperate- free from extremes, mild

Deciduous- plants that shed or lose their foliage at the end of the growing season

Evergreen- plants that do not lose their foliage at the end of the growing season

Lines of latitude- an angular distance in degrees north or south of the equator

Conifer- Any of various mostly needle-leaved or scale-leaved, chiefly evergreen, cone-bearing trees or shrubs such as pines, spruces, and firs.

We will change things up a bit and not have a choice sheet to complete.  Instead, we will do a research project about biomes of your choice and create a polished 3 paragraph essay that will be due next Friday.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you learn about biomes and showing off your writing skills you practice with Ms. Carol.

In math, we will continue to talk about finding the area of composite shapes.  I know this is a really hard skill to master, but i'm seeing a vast improvement in it compared to when we started discussing it last Monday.  Here is an example taken from www.mathsteacher.com:

A figure (or shape) that can be divided into more than one of the basic figures is said to be a composite figure (or shape).
For example, figure ABCD is a composite figure as it consists of two basic figures.  That is, a figure is formed by a rectangle and triangle as shown below.
The area of a composite figure is calculated by dividing the composite figure into basic figures and then using the relevant area formula for each basic figure.

Example 11

Find the area of the following composite figure:
The figure can be divided into a rectangle and triangle as shown below.
So, the area of the composite figure is 222 cm2.

We will have a quiz on area of composite figures on Thursday.  Don't worry, we will have plenty of time to practice this skill in class, and you will have homework to help you prepare, also.

I'm looking forward to another great week at Ellis!

Mr. Trent

Friday, January 27, 2012

Deep Water Currents

Mr. Brandon showed us a neat demonstration about the formation of deep water currents. The first person to correctly comment below stating what causes deep water currents will get a prize!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Parent Climate Survey

Please consider taking a few minutes to fill out the Parent Climate Survey being conducted by the Board of Education.  You can find the survey HERE.  The survey will be available through February 10th.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Studying Can Be Fun!

This week, some students chose to make board games about waves, currents, and tides to help them study for their upcoming test.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Week of January 22, 2012

We've hit the halfway point of the school year!  I hope you are ready for a great week at Ellis.  First, we will be having our Quarterly Assessments this week.  The tests will be used to see how much you learned so far this year and even give us an idea of what we should focus your lessons on for the rest of the year.  We will have the science test on Monday, the Reading/Language Arts on Wednesday, and the Math on Thursday.  Please take these tests seriously and try your best.

In science class, we will continue our work with waves, currents, and tides.  Your notes we took last Monday will be your study guide for the test you will be having on Friday.  Here is another copy just in case you need it:

What are currents?
            A current is a movement of water that follows a regular pattern

Why do currents follow a path?
            1.  Weather
Global winds blowing across the ocean cause surface currents
2.  The Earth’s Rotation
Coriolis Effect- The earth’s rotation causes currents in the northern hemisphere to turn clockwise and currents in the southern hemisphere to turn counter clockwise.
3.  Position of the continents
As currents approach continents, they are deflected (change direction)

But what about currents deep within the ocean?
            Deep currents are caused by changes in density.
Changes in temperature and salinity causes deep water currents to move deep under the ocean.

How do currents affect the climate?
            1.  Warm Water Currents
Create warmer climates in coastal areas that would otherwise be much cooler
2.  Cold Water Currents
Create cooler climates in coastal areas that would otherwise be much warmer


What causes waves?
Waves are caused when wind blows across
the water’s surface and transfers energy to the water.

The waves move across water, but the water below it actually stays in place.

What are some different types of waves?
            1.  Open Ocean Waves
Happen far out in the deep ocean.
2.  Tsunamis
Waves that from when a large volume of water is suddenly moved up and down.
3.  Storm Surges
A rise in sea level near the shore caused by strong winds associated with a storm
4.  Longshore
- when waves hit the shore at an angle, it causes water to move along the shore in a current
Erodes beaches and transports pollution

What are tides?
            Daily changes in the level of ocean water.

What causes tides?
            Tides are influenced by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon.

What are the different types of tides?
            1.  High tide
occurs on the part of the Earth that is closest to the moon. A matching high tide will be happening on the opposite side of the earth.
2.  Low tide
Occurs on the part of the earth that is a right angle from the moon.
3.  Spring Tides
Tides with the largest daily tidal range. 
Occur during new and full moons (every 14 days)
4.  Neap Tides
Tides with the smallest daily tidal range
Occurs when sun, Earth and moon form a 90 degree angle.
Happen halfway between Spring Tides

In math, we will continue to talk about perimeter and area, but we will be working with composite figures.  Composite figures are made when you combine regular polygons together to create some interesting shapes.  Get ready to really put those formulas for perimeter and area to work!  We will be having a lot of classwork and a few pieces of homework to help you get a strong understanding to this sometime confusing skill.  Remember, this is the first week of the 3rd term of the school year.  All grades taken starting this week will be part of your 3rd term report card grade.  You are starting the term with an A+!  Work hard to keep it as high as you can!

A few other notes about this week:
1.  It is Dollars for Disasters Week!  Bring in some loose change you wish to donate to the Red Cross.  The classroom that raises the most amount of money will will a pizza party from Ms. Carla.
2.  Parent/Teacher conferences start this week.  If you need a reminder of when your conference is scheduled, please see me ASAP.
3.  A PTA meeting will take place this Thursday in the MRP at 6:30.  I'd like to see you there!
4.  Friday is a dress-down day!  Hooray!  

Everyone have a wonderful week,
Mr. Trent

Friday, January 20, 2012

End of Term Info.

Final grades have been calculated and are available on PowerSchool.  These are the grades that will be printed on the report cards in math and science.  At our upcoming parent/teacher conference, we can discuss these grades in more detail.  Speaking of conferences, everyone has been given a date and time to meet with Ms. Carol and myself.  Parents, please ask your child for the slip of paper that states your scheduled conference if you haven't seen it yet.  It's official, the year is already halfway over!  Let's make the second half even better than the first!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Area of Triangles

Today students used some yarn and gravity to help them find the height of triangles. This information can be used to calculate the area of the polygon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

All Term 2 Work Due THIS Friday.

In order to print report cards, all work from term 2 must be handed in by this Friday (January 20).  I will be handing out lists of missing work on Tuesday.  Please complete it by the end of the week.

Term 2 Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences start next week!  All Ellis families are required to attend four meetings with your teacher a year.  I will be sending home conference request sheets on Tuesday.  Please choose at least three times that you would be available to meet.  You can just meet with me, Ms. Carol, or both of us.  Return the forms as soon as you can because the times fill up quickly.  I will send you a notes saying when your conference has been scheduled.  If you need to reschedule, please contact me ASAP.

The National PTA has a great article about how to get the most out of your conference.  Click here to see the article.

See you soon!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Week of January 17th.

I'm trying to set a good example by doing my homework today so I can enjoy my holiday tomorrow!  It's going to be another busy week in science and math class.  In science, we will be talking about waves, currents, and tides.  Here's a copy of the info. we will discuss:

I will give a whole-class lesson on Tuesday and then you will be able to complete a "Seafood Feast" choice sheet that will be due next Friday.  I will also give you a vocabulary list to study for a quiz on the words THIS Friday.  Here are your words:

Storm surge- a local rise in sea level near the shore that is caused by strong winds from a storm, such as those from a hurricane.

Tidal range- The difference in levels of ocean water at high tide and low tide.

Tide- the periodic rise and fall of the water level in oceans and other large bodies of water

Trough- the lowest part of a wave

Crest- the highest point of a wave

Wavelength- the distance between two adjacent wave crests or wave troughs. 

Ocean current- a movement of ocean water that follows a regular pattern.

Coriolis effect- the apparent curving of the path of a moving object from an otherwise straight path due to the Earth’s rotation. 

Deep currents- a streamlike movement of ocean water far below the surface.

Surface current- a horizontal movement of ocean water that is caused by wind and that occurs at or near the ocean’s surface.

In math, we will talk about finding area of triangles.  If you want to get a head start on the concept, check out this great video.  Be on the lookout for some classwork and homework associated with finding the area of triangles.

This is the LAST week of term 2!  All work must be handed in by this Friday to be averaged for your report card.  Late work cannot and will not be accepted after this Friday.  It is also time for parent/teacher conferences.  I will send home a conference form that needs to be returned to me ASAP.  Remember, the sooner you return the form, the better chance you have of getting the times you sign up for.

I hope you enjoy your day tomorrow celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.    Take time out to think about character traits he had that you could also try to exemplify in yourself.

Mr. Trent

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mighty 8th Air Force Museum

A special thank-you to the great people who work at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum! The tour was wonderful! We had fun, and learned a lot, too!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun Online Weather Game

Looking for a fun way to review for your weather and climate test this Friday?  Check out this great game from EdHeads.org!

Edheads - Activate Your Mind!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Water Cycle in Action

With the help of Mr. Brandon, students created mini models of the water cycle demonstrating evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Progress Reports

Progress reports were sent home today. Please sign and return them to school tomorrow.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Week of January 9th, 2012

Welcome to the first full week of 2012!  Get ready for a super busy week.  In math, we will be studying finding area of squares, rectangles, and parallelograms.  You will have plenty of opportunities in class to practice this skill and some homework to do, also.  Pay extra attention so you don't mix up perimeter (that we studied last week) and area!

In science, we will continue to talk about climate and weather.  We will have a vocabulary test on Tuesday and a chapter test on Friday based on the following study guide pasted at the end of this blog entry.  Mr. Brandon will be stopping by Monday to do a fun experiment on the water cycle with you.  Mr. Brian will also be available to answer all of your questions associated with your "Water Molecule Story".  Don't forget that your "Cloudy with a Change of Learning" choice sheet is due Friday, also.  Make sure you save up enough energy to enjoy our field trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum on Friday!  Your permission slip and $5 are due to me by Wednesday.

See you tomorrow,
Mr. Trent

The Atmosphere
1.     78% of our atmosphere is Nitogen, 21% is Oxygen, and the remaining 1% is a mixture of other gases.
2.     Layers of the Atmosphere
a.      Troposphere- lowest level where weather happens.
b.     Stratosphere- gases are layered in this layer
c.      Mesosphere- coldest layer
d.     Thermosphere- highest layer, hottest layer

The Water Cycle
1.     The water cycle is the continuous movement of water from sources on Earth’s surface into the air, onto and over the land, into the ground, and back to the surface.
2.     The sun “fuels” the water cycle
3.     Humidity- the amount of water in the air
4.     Evaporation- water changing from a liquid to a gas
5.     Condensation- water changing from a gas to a liquid
6.     Dew Point- the temperature at which water in a gaseous state changes to a liquid

1.     Cloud- a collection of small water droplets or ice crystals
suspended in the air, which forms when the air is cooled and condensation forms.
a.  Cumulus Clouds- puffy, white clouds with flat bottoms. 
b.  Cumulonimbus Clouds- large, black storm clouds.
c.  Stratus Clouds- layered gray clouds that bring long periods
of rain or snow.
d.  Cirrus Clouds- thin, feathery, high clouds.

Air Masses
1.     Maritime- form over water (bring wet weather)
2.     Continental- form over land (bring dry weather)
3.     Tropical- form near the equator (bring warm weather)
4.     Polar- form near the poles (bring cold weather)

Types of Weather Fronts
When large masses of warm air and cold air meet, they do not mix. Instead, they form a front, usually hundreds of miles long. When a front passes, the weather changes. The chart describes the four main types of fronts and the weather changes each type brings.

Type of Front
How It Forms
Weather it Brings
Cold front

Forms when a cold air mass pushes under a warm air mass, forcing the warm air to rise.
Thunderheads can form as the moisture in the warm air mass rises, cools, and condenses. As the front moves through, cool, fair weather is likely to follow.
Warm front

Forms when a moist, warm air mass slides up and over a cold air mass.
As the warm air mass rises, it condenses into a broad area of clouds. A warm front brings gentle rain
or light snow, followed by warmer, milder weather.
Stationary front

Forms when warm and cold air meet and neither air mass has the force
to move the other. They remain stationary, or “standing still.”
Where the warm and cold air meet, clouds and fog form, and it may rain or snow. Can bring many days of clouds and precipi- tation.
Occluded Front

Forms when a warm air mass gets caught between two cold air masses. The warm air mass rises as the cool air masses push and meet in the middle.
The temperature drops
as the warm air mass is occluded, or “cut off,” from the ground and pushed upward. Can bring strong winds and heavy precipitation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Layers of the Atmosphere PowerPoints

Two students work to create PowerPoint presentations explaining the layers of the atmosphere.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Field Trip to Mighty 8th Air Force Museum

On Friday, January 13th we will be traveling to the Might 8th Air Force Museum.  This awesome museum will bring to life many of the things you are studying in social studies.  Please return all money ($5) and permission slips by next Wednesday.  You may either pack a lunch for the trip, or you can pick up a school lunch before we leave.  You will be back before the end of the day for regular dismissal.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Week of January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday, and are ready for an exciting new year filled with many wonderful opportunities to learn something new. 

We are "hitting the ground running" when you return to school tomorrow.  In science, we will be looking at weather and climate.  You will need to know the following vocabulary words for a text next TUESDAY, January 10:

Air pressure- the measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface.
Relative humidity- the amount of water vapor in the air compared with the maximum amount of water vapor that the air can hold at a certain temperature.
Air mass- a large body of air where temperature and moisture content are similar throughout.
Front- the area where two types of air masses meet.
Barometer- an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
Anemometer- an instrument used to measure wind speed.
Weather- the condition of the atmosphere at a certain time and place.
Precipitation- any form of water that falls to the Earth’s surface from the clouds.
I will be presenting a presentation on climate and weather tomorrow.  Here is a copy of the PowerPoint:

 Based on this information, you will be required to complete a choice sheet called "Cloudy with a Change of Learning".  This sheet (with four items completed) will be due next Friday (January 13).

In math, we will be reviewing perimeter of polygons.  You will have a homework sheet to complete and a test on perimeter this Friday (January 6).  I know perimeter is a review of previous years work, but I want to make sure we are comfortable doing it before we move on to harder items (like finding area).

Watch out, 2012!  Here we come!

Mr. Trent