Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

I love celebrating New Year because it's a perfect time to concentrate on changes we can make to improve our own and other's lives.  Do you have a New Year's resolution or wish? Check out this awesome site where you can submit your wish to be written on confetti that will rain down on the lucky people celebrating at Times Square in New York City tonight!

I hope your New Year brings you happiness, prosperity, and excitement for a promising future!

Mr. Trent

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I'm out playing in the Pennsylvania snow and trying my best to send some down to Savannah for you to play in, too! Merry Christmas, Charles Ellis Bobcats!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tessellation Fun for the Holiday Break!

If you have some down-time or are (gasp) bored over the holiday break, check out the following information about making tessellations.  There are some good instructions on making some more advanced patterns than what we had time to discuss in my homeroom class today.

Winter Break is Here!

Today, we eased into winter break by completing a few holiday-themed lessons.  First, we learned how to create tessellations and then we used them to create wrapping paper!

After that, we used wrapping paper to explore surface area of geometric solids.  Be on the lookout for more work with surface area after we return from winter break.

 We ened our day with the annual Charles Ellis Holiday Sing-Along on our BRAND NEW playground!  Great songs and beautiful weather...perfect!

 I would personally like to thank everyone for the cards, gifts, and kind words shared with me today.  I really enjoy working with the students and parents of Ellis!  It's like a gift everyday!

Please have a safe, enjoyable, restful holiday break.  I'll see you in 2013!

Mr. Trent

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Have the World in Our Hands!

Ms. Cathy showed us a great way to discover the amount of water on the Earth's surface.  We tossed an inflatable globe around the room and counted the number of fingers that landed on land and on water.  We then found the average and discovered that about 70% of the Earth is covered with water. 

Mathnasium Holiday Math Camp

Mathnasium Holiday Math Camp

Library Books Due Tomorrow!

Please remember to return all your library books to the media center by tomorrow (Dec. 19). 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Week of December 17, 2012

Welcome to the last school week of 2012!  I can't believe we are just about ready to enter 2013.  Looking back over the past 12 months, I can think of many joys and happy times associated with Charles Ellis.  I can't wait to see what happiness comes in 2013!

Remember that this week is truncated (we only have school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday).  In math, we will have one more lesson on writing equations and then we will have a quiz on it on Tuesday.  Do the following to prepare:  look over your classwork and homework, log onto TenMarks and do some online practicing, refer to our math text for some independent study, and check out previous blog entries for more study suggestions.  

Tuesday is also the day that your science work on Earth's water will come to a close.  Please have your "Drop in the Bucket" choices completed by then.  You will NOT have a journal or Compass Learning assignment due this week (although, you are always welcome to sign into Compass Learning anytime you wish to do extra work). 

Get excited for Wednesday!  I have some fun holiday-inspired activities planned, and we will have our annual Ellis sing-along under the front portico in the afternoon!  I've been practicing my part all weekend....FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!

See you tomorrow,
Mr. Trent

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Practice Your Equation-Making Skills!

Practice makes perfect!  Do you need some more practice writing equations?  Click below for some practice problems from 

Discover Water! is a really fun website to investigate!  It's filled with interesting facts, games, and activities all about H2O!  If you complete enough of the activities, you will be able to create an online water conservation poster.  If you make one, show it to me and I'll post it on this blog!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Aquifer Profiles

Students used data from a number of holes dug for wells to create a horizon profile of the water table for a fictional area. You see the zone of aeration, zone of saturation, and the impermeable layer? This lesson is part of the Project Wet curriculum.

Monday, December 10, 2012

More Resources for This Week's Lessons

Are you looking for more resources to guide your studies this week? Click on the Math Goodies picture below to be taken to a website that will give you some more explination and practice with converting word problems to equations.

What about some more information about how water is distributed on our Earth?  Well, look no further!  The following document contains a "flood" of information on the topic!

Water Distribution Text

Getting in the spirit!

Our classroom's geolo-tree is casting a warm glow! It's decorated with rocks, minerals, and fossils! Check out the starfish on top!

UPDATE:  The first person to comment below with three items found on our tree will get a prize!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Week of December 10, 2012

Can you believe this amazing weather?  How lucky are we to live in such a place where you can wear shorts in December?!  I'm just taking a quick break to update the blog with your items for the week, then I am headed outside to enjoy the day!

In math this week, we will be continuing our investigation about algebraic equations.  Instead of simply solving equations, we are going to try our hand at writing our own!  We will start by taking a look at key words that will help us choose which operations to use in our equations.  Here is a list of common operations:

Addition- add, plus, sum, total, increased by, more than
Multiplication- product, times, multiply of
Subtract- minus, difference, subtract, less than, decreased by
Division- divide, quotient

We will use these words to create our own equations when reading word-problems.  This can be a bit tricky, but we will work through this together.  I'm going to need you to be on task at all times to get this complex skill.  Here is a video that is a good overview of the process:

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday night.  Be ready for some graded classwork during the day, also.  We will check your understanding with a quiz next Tuesday (December 18).   In addition to this work please be sure to complete you weekly Compass Learning choice.

In science, we've recently been spending a lot of time focusing on the world's oceans.  This week we will start looking at other sources of water on Earth.  I'll present the following lesson on Monday:

Please study these vocabulary words for a test on Friday (December 14).
Earth's Water Vocabulary

To guide you along with your research, please complete at least 3 choices on the "Drop in the Bucket" sheet.  It is due on WEDNESDAY, December 18th!

Drop in the Bucket Choice Sheet

There are a lot of other exciting things happening at Ellis this week, too!

Monday, Dec. 10- Holiday Book Fair opens in the Media Center!
Thursday, Dec. 13- PTA Meeting and Holiday Concert (6:30 in MPR)
Friday, Dec. 14- Dress down day (last Friday of the month) & Middle School Dance (Be sure you have your permission form signed and returned if you plan on attending).

Enjoy the rest of your beautiful weekend!

Mr. Trent

Thank You Career Day Speakers!

A special thank-you to those volunteers who came to our room last week to share the ins-and-outs of their careers with us!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Special Guest Career Speakers

Tomorrow, we will welcome three guest speakers into our classroom.  They will share with us inside information about thier careers!

Larry Carlile-wildlife biologist
Jack Simmons- philosophy professor
Greg Keyes-author

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Field Trip

We had an awesome time today at the Mighty 8th Museum. Check out these great pics from the day!

Pictures or Money Due Friday

Please return all unwanted school pictures by this Friday, Dec. 7.  If you wish to purchase some or all of the package, please submit payment by Friday, also.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Progress Reports (UPDATED)

Progress reports will be issued Monday, December 3.  Please review them with your child, sign, and return them on Tuesday, December 4.  If you have any questions or concerns, please write them on the coversheet and Ms. Carol and myself will get back to you ASAP.  As always, your child's grades are available for your review using the PowerSchool online program. We are having some problems with the gradebook software, so we will be sending progress reports home Tuesday, December 4th.  Please sign and return them Wednesday, December 5th.

Student Health Survey

This week, your child is invited to take a Student Health Survey being conducted by the GA Department of Education.  Results from the survey will be used to better plan health curriculums across the state.  You can preview the survey HERE.  If you would not like your child to participate in this survey, please complete the following opt-out form and return it to your child's homeroom teacher.

Health Survey Opt-Out Form

The Week of December 3, 2012

Welcome to the first full week of December!  In math we will be continuing our work with exponents, but will be adding the challenge of using order of operations to solve equations!  Don't worry, we'll have plenty of practice doing so this week!  You will have homework due Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday, you will have a quiz.  On Friday, your one Compass Learning choice is  due.  Here is an explanation of what we will be doing:

Order of Operations

Would you like some more practice with order of operations?  Check out the following sheets...the answers are on the last pages.

Order of Operations Practice

In science, we will continue our work with currents, waves, and tides.  It is very important that you use your worktime this week of discover the following:

1.  What are waves, currents, and tides?
2.  How do waves, currents, and tides form?
3.  How are waves, currents, and tides similar and different?

Your "Seafood Feast" choice sheet should guide you as you discover these questions.  It will be due this Friday.  In addition to these choices, please prepare for your test on waves, currents, and tides this Friday.  You can use your notes we took last Monday as your study guide.  Finally, please complete your science journal by Thursday.

I'm sure you are looking forward to our field trip to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum on Wednesday!  Please remember to pack a lunch (or you can grab one from the cafeteria before we leave).  If you have not returned your permission slip or money ($5), please do so by tomorrow.  Check out this great video introducing you to this amazing place:

In addition to our field trip, there are a number of other things going on this week:

Tuesday, Dec. 4- "Eat Our for Ellis" at Barberitos and Sweet Frogs @ 5:00
Thursday, Dec. 6 - "MESS Holiday Party" @ 6:00, 202 Washington Ave.
Friday, Dec. 7- "Out of Uniform Day" $1.00 to benefit Toys for Tots

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and i'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning,
Mr. Trent