Thursday, March 28, 2013

AASU Fieldtrip

Thanks, Armstrong Atlantic State University for getting us up and moving today!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring Break...

As we creep closer to Spring Break, please keep the following items in mind:

1.  Thursday is the last day of term 3. All work is due that day.  Any work that has not been handed in will receive the lowest grade possible in the gradebook.  This weeks assignments include:  "Seeing Stars" choice sheet, Compass Learning assignment, and a test in math and science.

2.  Conferences will take place the week after Spring Break.  If you can't remember your day/time or if you need to reschedule, please contact me ASAP.

3.  This Thursday is the AASU Field-day Field-trip.  Please wear appropriate gym attire (sneakers, shorts/track pants, Ellis or gray shirt) and bring a bagged lunch that does not require a microwave to prepare.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Week of March 25, 2013

Don't get Spring fever, yet!  We still have four action-packed days at Ellis until you can relax and enjoy some time off.

In math, we will be finishing up our work with mean, median, and mode by creating box and whisker plots.  I really think you will enjoy this representation of data...they are a lot of fun to make!  Check  out this video and info. sheet below to find out how to do it.

We will have your last math quiz of the term (on box and whisker plots) on Wednesday.  While you will NOT have a journal to complete this week, you will need to complete your Compass Learning math assignment by Thursday.

In science, we will be finishing up our work with stars.  Monday, we will have a lesson on the three types of galaxies:  spiral, elliptical, and irregular.  We will add the following information to your note during our lesson.

Spiral Galaxies
When someone says the word galaxy, most people probablythink of a spiral galaxy. Spiral galaxies, such as the one shownin have a bulge at the center and spiral arms. Thespiral arms are made up of gas, dust, and new stars that haveformed in these denser regions of gas and dust. It is hard to tell what type of galaxy we live in because thegas, dust, and stars keep astronomers from having a good viewof our galaxy. Observing other galaxies and making measurements inside our galaxy, the Milky Way, has led astronomersto think that our solar system is in a spiral galaxy. The sameelements, forces, and energy relationships that occur in theMilky Way appear to exist in other types of galaxies.

Elliptical Galaxies
About one-third of all galaxies are simply massive blobs ofstars. Many look like spheres, and others are more stretchedout. These galaxies are called elliptical galaxies. Elliptical galax-ies usually have very bright centers and very little dust andgas. Elliptical galaxies contain mostly old stars. Because thereis so little free-flowing gas in an elliptical galaxy, few newstars form. Some elliptical galaxies, such as M87, are huge and are called giant elliptical galaxies. Otherelliptical galaxies are much smaller and are called dwarf ellipti-cal galaxies.

Irregular Galaxies
When Hubble first classified galaxies, he had a group of left-overs. He named the leftovers “irregulars.” Irregular galaxiesare galaxies that don’t fit into any other class. As their namesuggests, their shape is irregular. Many of these galaxies, suchas the Large Magellanic Cloud are closecompanions of large spiral galaxies. The large spiral galaxiesmay be distorting the shape of these irregular galaxies. 

Here is a copy of the lab/sort that will be found on the science shelf.  Feel free to investigate it sometime this week.

To get ready for your test on Thursday, please review your stars booklet you received last Monday.  Please let me know if you need another copy, as I cannot upload it to the blog because of copyright issues with the text.  Your "Seeing Stars" choice sheet is due Thursday, as well.

Keep in mind that you will not have much worktime on Thursday because of our phys. ed. fieldtrip to Armstrong Atlantic State University.  Don't forget to wear school-appropriate gym wear (with an Ellis or grey t-shirt).  You will also need a packed lunch, if you are not getting school lunch.

Remember that Friday is the first day of Spring Break, so there will be no school.  I hope you have some enjoyable things planned for your downtime.  I'm spending my holiday in Budapest, Hungary!  I'll post pictures for you to check out on the blog.  Classes will resume April 8.

See you Monday,
Mr. Trent

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Star's Lifecycle

This week, students studied the lifecycle of stars. Here some classmates create a larger-than-life poster of birth to death of a star.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get Ready for the CRCT!

The end of the year is quickly coming our way!  The CRCT is at the beginning of May.  Now is the time to be reviewing all we have studied this year to get ready for this important test.  You may have noticed a new link entitled CRCT Prep. on the right side of the blog page.  Click it to be taken to a list of resources you and your child can use to prepare for the test.

This Thursday at 6:30 will be a PTA-sponsored CRCT informational meeting.  Ms. Carol and myself will discuss the CRCT and answer any questions you may have about it.  We hope to see you there!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Progress Reports

Progress reports are being sent home Tuesday.  Please review, sign, and return them by Wednesday.  If you have any questions or concerns, please write them on the cover page and we will respond ASAP.

All work is due the last day of the term (next Thursday).  Any unfinished work will earn the lowest grade possible.  As always, you can access your child's grades at any time by logging onto PowerSchool Parent Access.

In addition to the progress report, please choose the best days and times for the upcoming term 3 parent/teacher conferences.  Ms. Carol and myself will send home a note stating your assigned date and time.  Remember, all families are required to attend four parent/teacher conferences each year in partial fulfillment of the Ellis Academy contract.  I look forward to meeting with everyone once again!

Tutorial Cancelled

Morning tutorial will be cancelled on Tuesday, March 19.  We will have tutorial on Thursday, March 21.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Week of March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Here's and Irish blessing to start your week:

May you always have...
Walls for the winds 
A roof for the rain 
Tea beside the fire 
Laughter to cheer you 
Those you love near you 
And all your heart might desire.

In math this week, get ready for more work with data collection and interpretation!  We will be learning how to find the Mean Absolute Deviation (MAD) of a set of numbers.  We can use MAD to discover how spread apart the numbers in your data set are.  The process is a bit tricky, but with practice you will do just fine!  Here is a great Learnzillion video to show you how to do it, and a selection from a textbook for some more info.

Be ready for some homework on Monday and Tuesday night.  On Thursday we will have a test on Mean Absolute Deviation.  Your journal topic will also have a MAD focus (it is due Thursday).  Finally, your Compass Learning assignment is due Friday.  That's a lot of math!

In science, we are continuing our travels through the universe by focusing on stars and galaxies!  I'm including my teacher Montessori lesson sheet on the life cycle of stars because it includes so much good information about the topic.  We will talk all about the lifecycle during our lesson on Monday.

Your vocabulary words and your study guide will be given to you on Monday.  It is in booklet form.  Study the words (pg 370 & 376) for a test this Friday, and the rest of the booklet for at test next THURSDAY.  Unfortunately, I cannot post this booklet online because of copyright issues.  If you need another copy, please let me know ASAP.

Since we will be having our fieldtrip next friday, please complete the following choice sheet by next Thursday.

This Friday is a free dress down day.  We will also be having our spring pictures taken, so be sure to wear a smile, too!

Finally, AASU field trip permission slips are due FRIDAY.  If you haven't done so already, you can turn them in with your progress reports that will be due Wednesday.

Erin go Bragh,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day

We made pizza pies today to celebrate Pi Day! Using 3.14 as Pi, we calculated out pizza's area and circumference.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gathering Data

Today we gathered data by completing physical challenges. The data was used to help us practice finding mean, median, mode, and range. We also created some sports cards to show off our athletic (and mathematic) abilities.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Week of March 11, 2013

Have you and your family taken the time to change all of the clocks in your house for Daylight Saving's time?  While you did lose an hour of sleep, take comfort in the fact that Daylight Savings signals that spring is right around the corner!

Get ready for a fun week of math lessons all about mean, median, mode, and range!  Here's a great Brainpop video that reviews the topic:

To work with mean, median, and mode we will need to gather a lot of data.  We will start by taking a look at some of the greatest New York Yankees home run hitters.  We will calculate the mean, median, mode, and range of the players' batting records.  

Once we get the hang of it, you will get a chance to create your own sports card where you will record your statistics gathered from completing a number of physical challenges.  Will you be inducted into the  coin-flipping hall of fame or become one of the fastest students at jumping jacks in the history of Ellis?!?  We'll find out this week!

In addition to this work, you will have some other classwork and homework to complete.  All of this practice will prepare you to take a quiz on mean, median, mode, and range on Thursday.  Please keep in mind that you must also complete your Compass Learning assignment by Friday.  

This week is also an exciting mathematical celebration:  Pi Day is on Thursday!  To get into the 3.14 spirit, we will be making personal pizza pies.  While we are waiting for them to bake, we will calculate their area and circumferences.  We will do this, of course, with the help of Pi.

In science, we will continue our work with Earth, Sun, and Moon relationships.  Please remember that the "Lunar Lunchbox" choice sheet is due Friday.  In addition, use your study guide to help you prepare for the Earth, Sun, and Moon test Friday.  Your journal will also have you thinking critically about what we are studying in science:  you will be creating a Venn diagram comparing/contrasting lunar and solar eclipses.  Speaking of eclipses, here is a copy of the lab that will be available for you to try on the science shelf:

We also have a number of "Kiss a Pig" American Diabetes Association fundraisers happening this week.  St. Patrick's Day gear will be for sale before school in the lobby.  In addition, Coach Leslie is hosting a 6th grade dance this Friday from 11:35-12:15.  It will only cost $1.00 to go to the dance, and all money will be donated to "Kiss a Pig".  

Finally, I want to give you a heads-up that I will not be at school this Wednesday.  I will be attending a meeting where I will be learning some great math lessons to share with you.  Please show Charles Ellis grace and courtesy to your substitute. 

Have a wonderful week,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Armstrong Health and Physical Education Adventure

We will be taking a fieldtrip to Armstrong Atlantic State University on March 28 for a mini-fieldday!  Please review the form that was sent home today, sign it, and return it ASAP.  You will need to wear shorts of an appropriate length or loose fitting warm ups and a Charles Ellis shirt (if you have one).  If you do not have a Charles Ellis shirt, then you must wear a plain white or gray t-shirt.  All students must wear tennis shoes.  Also, please bring a bagged lunch that does not require the use of a microwave.

The Moon's Phases

Today we are talking about the phases of the moon.  Check out this great song that's all about moon phases, as well as eclipses and tides!

The above diagram shows you that 1/2 of the Earth and Moon are always lit by the sun.  Moon phases are simply the view of the lit side of the moon from the Earth (remember, moon phases have nothing to do with shadows....that's eclipses).

The phases are:
1.  New Moon
2.  Waxing Crescent
3.  First Quarter
4.  Waxing Gibbous
5.  Full Moon
6.  Waning Crescent
7.  Last Quarter
8.  Waning Crescent

You can use an Oreo Cookie to demonstrate what each of the moon phases looks like. will show you how!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Week of March 4, 2013

It's here:  St. Patrick's Day month!  May the luck of the Irish be upon you as you travel through your days at Ellis!

We are continuing with our geometric focus this week in math by investigating volume.  From conversations with many of you, I can tell most of you have had some experience with volume already.  This is great!  We are really going to challenge your basic conceptions about what volume is, and try to solve some pretty intense volume-inspired challenges.  I'm looking forward to working though these challenges with you!

Check out the LearnZillion page below for some great videos and practice on volume.

In addition, here is a great resource you can refer to for help.  Please keep in mind that we will only be focusing on rectangular and triangular prisms in class this year.  But, you are more than welcome to try to find the volume of more complex solids, if you wish.  

As always, you will have math homework and classwork to complete.  Be expecting a quiz on volume on Thursday.  You also have two new Compass Learning assignment in your folder to complete by Friday.  Finally, your journal (due Thursday) will have a volume theme to it.

This week in science we will be taking a look at the special relationships shared by the Earth, Sun, and Moon.  This will include concepts like seasons, phase of the moon, and eclipses.  I will share the following Prezi with you on Monday:

Here is a copy of the pages you can use to prepare for your science vocabulary test on Friday and your chapter test next Friday (We will fill in the missing words on the study guide during our lesson on Monday).  Please keep in mind that you will need to memorize the vocabulary words AND the phases of the moon for you test this Friday!

To guide you along in your studies, please complete four choices from the following "Lunar Lunchbox" menu.  These choices will be due Friday, March 15.

Sometime during the week, Ms. Classie is going to ask you to complete a survey.  It is going to ask you many questions about your days at Ellis.  Please take this survey very seriously and answer each question honestly.  The results of this survey will be used to make our school an even better place to be!

It's time to send home progress reports this week.  Ms. Carol and myself will give them to you Monday.  Please take them home, review them with your family, sign them, and return them to us Tuesday.  If you are missing assignments, please complete them ASAP and hand them in.  I do not take off for late work, but not completing your work in a timely manner will negatively affect your performance in class and on tests.  In addition, frequent late assignments often show a need for improvement in your time management and organization skills.  Please see me if you need some suggestions on how to better improve upon this.

Finally, this week's grace and courtesy focus is COURAGE.  A student who shows courage:

--Seeks help and clarification only when necessary
--Participates in class activities and uses grace and courtesy
--Predicts consequences and takes responsibility for actions.

Have a wonderful week,
Mr. Trent