Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Week of August 31, 2015

As of Saturday morning, it looks like Tropical Storm Erika doesn't pose too much of a threat to us here in Savannah.  We could be in for quite a bit of rain, but there's definitely no need to worry about tropical force winds.

In math, we will use our knowledge of greatest common factor to help us better understand the distributive property.  Check out this video from for a little introduction to the process.
The Distributive Property

Here is a sheet you can use to get a little more practice with the distribute property.  The answers are found at the bottom of the page.

You will have distributive property homework Monday and Tuesday evening to complete.  Your lessons, homework, and classwork will help you prepare for a quiz Thursday.  

In science, we will continue our studies of the rock cycle.  I'm glad to see that all the rock specimens we have on our Montessori shelves are being put to good use as you explore their characteristics.  Continue to challenge yourself to hold and observe as many rocks as you can each day this week.  Complete your Hard Rock Cafe choice sheet as you conduct your research.  You will have a test on the rock cycle this Friday.  The best way to study at home is to use the study guide I provided you last Monday.  I know a lot of you chose to make flashcards of your vocabulary words...they are a great resource for you to use, as well!  

As always, I've updated the classroom calendar with all these important due dates.  Please keep your planner updated, too.

Mr. Trent

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Rock Cycle ROCKS!

Are you looking for a fun way to explore the rock cycle?  Click below to take a look at how rocks change from one type to another.

The Sieve of Eratosthenes

The sieve of Eratosthenes is an an ancient way of identifying prime numbers.  Once you learn the pattern, you can find an infinite amount of prime numbers!

I will be having a lesson on the sieve Wednesday and Thursday that i'd like to invite you to attend.  Here is a video showing you how it's done and an interactive sieve for you to use on your own.  See how many prime numbers you can identify using Eratosthenes method!

The Sieve of Eratosthenes 

Interactive Sieve of Eratosthenes 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Factor Tress Can Help You Find GCF!

Now that you know how to make factor trees, you can use them to find the GCF of numbers!  Check out this video to see how it's done.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Week of August 24, 2015

It's hard to believe that we have arrived at the last week of August!  Let's work together to make this the best week ever!

In math, we will continue our investigation of Greatest Common Factor.  I will show you how to use prime factorization to find GCF.  This will come in hand when working with large numbers.  I'll also share with you a few division rules that will be a life-saver when trying to find factors of numbers.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening, and a quiz Thursday.  Check out this video all about prime factorization for an introduction to the skill.

Prime Factorization Video

Our science studies will take us on a trip around the rock cycle!  We will investigate how rocks are formed and change over time.  Over the next two weeks, please complete the following choice sheet to help guide your research.

You will have two assessments associated with the rock cycle.  First, this Friday will be a vocabulary quiz.  Next Friday, you will have a test on the rock cycle.  Use the vocabulary list and study guide below to help you prepare.

Your first progress report of the year will be sent home Monday.  Please review it with your family, sign it, and return it to your homeroom teacher Tuesday.  You can find more detailed information about the grades on the report by logging into the PowerSchool program.

Finally, this Friday is a free dress-down day for school pictures.  SMILE!

Have a good weekend,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Borax Mineral Crystals

As part of our mineral studies, we created some crystals using a borax solution.  I've attached a copy of the instructions below if you would like to make some more crystals at home.  Be sure to have an adult help you, because you will be using hot water.  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Greatest Common Factor Landscaping

The Ships of the Sea Museum North Garden

As part of our greatest common factor lesson, students redesigned the North Garden of the Ships of the Sea Museum!  We took on the role of a landscape architect and discovered many other ways that the 24 pear trees in the garden could be planted in a square or rectangle matrix.  When we were done, we realized that our work lead us to a list of all the factors of 24!  Perhaps a few of you would like to add "landscape architect" to your list of possible future careers!

Finding the factors of 24

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Week of August 17, 2015

You have one complete week of 6th grade checked off the list!  I'm glad to see that most students are comfortable with our classroom procedures.  I'm seeing some very interesting work happening, and i'm excited to see what new creations you come up with this week!

Our math lessons this week will be about finding the greatest common factor (GCF) of a set of numbers.  Be careful not to get GCF mixed up with LCM that we studied last week; this is the most common mistake students make when working with the two.  First, I will show you how to use our handy-dandy Montessori peg board to find the GCF of numbers.  Then, we will move onto some other strategies you can use.  You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening.  You will have a quiz on GCF Thursday.  As you work through the week, check out this sheet if you'd like some extra practice finding GCF.  The answers are found at the bottom of the page.


You can also visit this fun game called "Sketch's World" where you must help a pencil-drawn person escape some evil erasers...while answering some GCF problems along the way!  Click the picture below to play!

"Sketch's World" GCF Game

We will continue investigating minerals this week.  We will spend some time discussing mining of minerals just like the ones you've been using in class.  During our lesson we will get up to date on the horrible river pollution caused by an abandoned gold mine in Colorado that has been all over the news lately.    

Remember that you must complete three choices on your Tic Tac Toe sheet by Friday.  You will also have a test on minerals Friday.  You can use your notes and study guide to help you prepare.  

Enjoy your weekend,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Year of Dress Down Days!

Here is a list of all the "dress down" days you can enjoy this year.  I will also post this list on the "Calendar" tab of this site.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Week of August 10, 2015

Welcome to your first FULL week of school!  I'm trusting you to follow the procedures we talked about last week to ensure that everyone has the ability to learn in a peaceful and smoothly-running environment.  Let's get started!

Your math lessons this week will include finding the least common multiple of a set of numbers.  We will use the peg board material to help us understand the concept.  You will have homework to complete Monday and Tuesday night.  Your first math quiz of the year will take place Thursday! If you need some extra practice finding LCM, feel free to refer to this sheet (the answers are found at the bottom of the page):


In science, we will start our earth studies lessons by investigating minerals!  After a lesson on Monday, I will set you free to explore all you can about minerals for the next two weeks!  To help guide your studies, please complete the following choice sheet.  Your three choices will be due next Friday.

You will have two assessment grades associated with our work with minerals.  This Friday, you will have a vocabulary quiz on the following words:

mineral- a naturally formed, inorganic solid that has a definite crystalline structure
streak- the color of the powder of a mineral 
luster- the way in which a mineral reflects light
cleavage- the splitting of a mineral along smooth, flat surfaces
fracture- the manner in which a mineral breaks along either curved or irregular surfaces

Your second test grade will be about what you've learned during your minerals studies.  I will teach you some note taking skills to help you organize your thoughts.  I will also provide you with the following study guide:

You will also have the opportunity to do a lab where you will identify unknown minerals based upon their characteristics.  You will perform a number of tests that will give you the data necessary to name the mineral.  Check out this video to see how to identify an unknown mineral:

Identifying Minerals

I know this seems like A LOT to remember!  To help you keep it all organized, please keep the following in mind:

1.  The daily and weekly schedule is written on the board.
2.  Your planners have not arrived yet, but I will print off a planner sheet for you to use until they are delivered.  Please copy your daily "I can" statement and homework into your planner for each class.  Your planner is kept in your travel folder and will be taken home with you nightly.
3.  I keep the calendar updated on this blog.  It includes all important tests and assignment due dates.  You can find the classroom calendar by clicking on the "Calendar" button at the top of this page.
4.  All upcoming graded items are shown on PowerSchool (the online shared grade book).  If you have not created your account, please see Ms. Valencia or Ms. Kim in the office for your username and password.

Finally, please remember to sign and return all of the "Back to School" paperwork by this Friday.  Click HERE if you need another copy of the forms.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mr. Trent

Thursday, August 6, 2015

PowerSchool: Your Online Gradebook

This year, you will have 24/7 access to your child's grades through the PowerSchool Parent Access program.    You must show Ms. Valencia or Ms. Kim (our front office workers) a photo ID to get access to your account.   I would suggest just stopping by the office ASAP for your log-on information.

You can access the Parent Access of PowerSchool by clicking here:

I've also added a link to the program in the "Useful Sites" section on the right side of www.

Do you have a smartphone?  If so, there is also a PowerSchool app you can download!  There is an app for both parents and students.  More information can be found HERE.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Back to School" Paperwork

Your child will receive the following paperwork the first day of school.  It includes important information about policies and procedures.  It also contains permission forms that need to be reviewed and signed.  Please read and return any forms that require a signature by Friday, August 14.