Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Plate Boundaries that are Good Enough to Eat!

Some students used graham crackers, marshmallows, and icing to model convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries.  Sometimes playing with your food can be a good thing!

graham cracker plate boundaries 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Plate Boundaries Challenge

Take the plate boundaries challenge by clicking on the picture below.  Follow the directions on the left side of the screen to identify the location of major earthquakes and volcanoes around the world.  Can you find them all?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dunk Tank Ratios

Do you want a fun way to practice ratios and proportions?  Check out the following Dunk Tank game!  Just click "Dunk Tank" below and press "Launch".

"Dunk Tank" Ratios and Proportions Game

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Continental Drift Montessori Material

The theory of continental drift is clearly shown using this Montessori material.  It consists of a series of maps and continent puzzle pieces that show the progression of land movement over millions of years.  After completing the maps, some students chose to trace the continent pieces to create maps of their own.

The Continental Drift Montessori Material 

The Week of September 28, 2015

It's time to turn the calendar page again...I can't believe this week we will find ourselves in the month of October.  As we are transitioning into the autumn months here in the northern hemisphere, our friends in the southern hemisphere are just emerging from a long winter and looking forward to the warmth of spring!  The miracle of the seasons is associated with the 23.4 degree tilt of our planet on its axis.  Without that slight tilt we would not be able to enjoy the refreshing temperatures associated with fall and winter.

This week in math we will continue our studies of ratios.  Your lessons will include practice finding equivalent ratios (proportions) and unit rates.  As you investigate this topic, you may wish to use the following resource for some extra practice.  I will gladly check over your work if you choose to do some of the problems from this document as a followup to your lessons.

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening to complete, as well as your weekly journal in Google classroom.  By completing these assignments, you will better prepare yourself for a quiz on equivalent ratios and unit rates this Thursday.

You will have this week to further your work associated with plate tectonics.  Make sure you have completed at least three choices from your "Clean Your Plate" choice sheet by Friday.  This Friday you will also have a test on plate tectonics.  You can use your study guide to help you prepare.

Monday you will get some very important information to share with your family:  the final progress report of the term!  The progress report packet will include your current grades, a parent/teacher/student conference sign-up form, and a compact that must be signed and returned to school Tuesday.  Parent/teacher/student conferences will take place in October.  I look forward to speaking with your families about the awesome things going on here at Charles Ellis!  If you notice that you have missing work, please hand it in by the last day of the term (Friday, October 9th).

Enjoy your weekend!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ratio Rumble!

Take a preview of what we are doing next week in math by playing Ratio Rumble!  Who knew ratios could be so much fun?!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dynamic Earth Interactive has a great interactive website all about plate tectonics.  This site will surely help you as you research about our dynamic earth over the next two weeks.  Check it out by clicking on the picture below.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Week of September 21, 2015

Can you feel the change of seasons in the air?  Well, maybe not too much here in Savannah, but this Wednesday is the first day of Fall!  Let's celebrate another change in seasons together!

This week we will be working with ratios in math class.  You will quickly see that ratios look a lot like fractions...and they act a lot like them, too!  We can use your knowledge of fractions to help us understand equivalent ratios.  We will also get some practice graphing the ratios we create on coordinate planes.  This all may sound a bit intense, but I think you'll find that your previous lessons have set you up for success with this skill.  The following video from will show you how it's done.

You will have math homework to complete Monday and Tuesday evening.  You will also have a math quiz Thursday.  Your homework and classwork will help you prepare for this quiz.  I also have a journal for you to complete on Google Classroom.  Please respond to the journal before you leave Friday.

In science, we will dig into the study of plate tectonics!  Use this study guide to help your prepare for you vocabulary quiz (this Friday) and your test (next Friday).

Use the "Clean Your Plate" choice sheet to help guide you in your research of plate tectonics.  It is due Friday, October 2.

I've updated your classroom calendar to reflect this upcoming week's work.  Please use it and your planner to keep track of all your responsibilities.

Have a marvelous weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Dust Bowl

Today we will be talking about soil conservations techniques such as contour plowing and no-till farming.  Without protecting this important natural resource, we may be forced to relive one of the most environmentally devastating times in our nation's history:  The Dust Bowl.  There is a great film by Ken Burns called "The Dust Bowl" that tells the story of this terrifying time through photographs, first-hand accounts, and historic video footage.  PBS has a wonderful website that accompanies the film.  Explore it HERE

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Google Classroom Journal NO LONGER DUE FRIDAY

Because of technical issues, the Google Classroom journal assignment is no longer due Friday.  We will reschedule the assignment for the near future.  Sorry for the confusion.

A Red Cabbage pH Indicator Lab

Red Cabbage pH Indicator Lab

In our studies of soil, we learned how the pH level of the soil can greatly effect its fertility.  Today we used red cabbage to test the pH level of various liquids.  The red cabbage was boiled in water to create an indictor that changed the color of each liquid.  We could then estimate the pH by comparing the color to a key.  

The Sci Guys: Science at Home: Red Cabbage pH Indicator 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Fraction Skittles

Division of Fractions Using the Fraction Skittles

A group of students enjoyed using the fraction skittles to help them divide fractions today during work time.  Check out the video below to see how it's done!

Video: The Montessori Fraction Skittles (Division of Fractions)

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Week of September 15, 2015

I trust that you are enjoying your day off!  I'm enjoying my time here in the classroom planning another fun week for you!

Last week our math lessons included practice dividing decimals.  This week, we will work with dividing fractions.  There is an awesome Montessori material we can use to help us understand this skill that I am excited to show you:  The large, black fraction skittles.  You will have some classwork and homework (due Wednesday and Thursday) to give you practice dividing fractions.  You will NOT have a math quiz this week.  Here is a quick overview of the process:

Our science studies will continue to involve soil.  I have a fun lab that involves identification of pH levels that I will share with you.  Warning: It's a bit smelly!  Your "Rake the Leaves" choice sheet is due Friday. Please be sure to complete at least two choices on the sheet.   Use your Soil Study Guide to help you prepare for your soil test that will take place Friday.

We will start a weekly journal assignment this week.  Each week, you will have a journal prompt to complete in Google Classroom.  This response can be done anytime throughout the week as classwork or homework.  Please have it submitted by Friday.  I will respond to your work via the Google Classroom "comments" feature once it has been sent to me.

Finally, if you are in my homeroom, please remember that your Scholastic Book Orders are due Friday.  You can use the order form I gave you two weeks ago, or you can order online HERE

See you Tuesday morning,
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Explore Soil Composition with SoilTris

During our studies about soil, we learned that the composition of soil varies drastically from place to place.  These differences are associated with the types of rocks, minerals, and organic matter that weathers down to create the soil.  SoilTris is a fun game that challenges you to create the correct "recipe" for certain types of soil.  Give it a try below!

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Week of September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!  It is my hope that you get some much-deserved downtime this upcoming holiday weekend.  Make the most of your day off school Monday!

When we return Tuesday, we will be reviewing dividing whole numbers and decimals in our math lessons.  I know this is a skill that you have worked on in the past, but i'm seeing some division issues in your work on which we should focus.  We will NOT have a math quiz this week (since it is a short week), but we will have classwork and homework. Your homework will be due Wednesday and Thursday.  Here is some extra practice you can do about dividing decimals.  The answers are found on the bottom of the page.

Our science studies are going to focus on soil over the next two weeks.  I hope you come to realize that soil is much  more than just DIRT!  Through lessons, labs, and research you will be practically buried up to your neck in soil knowledge!  You will have a vocabulary test Friday and a final soil test next Friday.  Use the following list and study guide to help you prepare.

To help guide you during your work time researching soil, please complete at least TWO choices from the following choice sheet.  Your choices are due Friday, September 11.

Ms. Jessica will be back on Wednesday to take a look at your "Liquid Rock" essays.  Please have your final copy typed and submitted via Google Classroom by then.  I've added this assignment to your classroom calendar.

Progress Reports will be sent home Wednesday.  Please review them with your family.  They must be signed and returned by Thursday, September 10.  Please let Ms. Susan or myself know if you have any questions.

Enjoy your LONG weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Improve your Fact Fluency with Reflex Math

Are you looking for a fun way to improve the speed at which you can answer math facts?  Check out Reflex Math.  It's an entertaining program that guarantees that you will improve your fact fluency by doing nothing more than playing games!  See Mr. Trent for your log-in code.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Explore Mount Vesuvius

Our discussion of igneous rocks included talk about volcanoes.  Extrusive igneous rock is formed when magma emerges from the crust of the Earth and hardens into rock.  Nowhere is this more awe-enspiring then when it takes place from an erupting volcano!

The British Museum has a great interactive timeline detailing the eruption of one of the most famous Volcanoes of all time:  Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii, Italy.

Once you've explored the history of the volcano, make your way to to view a live stream of Vesuvius as it is seen from Naples!