Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Have a Wonderful Holiday Break!

Enjoy your holiday break!  Classes will resume Wednesday, January 4th!

Symmetrical Snowflakes Fall in Our Classroom

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Week of December 19, 2016

Holiday break is almost here!  We have some fun things planned for our short two days together, and I can't wait to share them with you!

Monday we will take a field trip to the National Mighty 8th Museum.  This field trip is a tradition in 6th grade.  Each year I look forward to visiting this awesome museum, and I hope you are excited to see it, too.

Tuesday will be our much anticipated book exchange!  Remember to bring in the book you chose for you secret partner.  We will gather together and exchange them as part of some holiday activities I have planned for you.  

Tuesday is also the last day of the term.  It's important that you hand in any required term 2 assignments that you have not already submitted.  Any work from the term that is not handed in by the time you leave for break Tuesday afternoon will earn a zero in the gradebook.  Also, don't forget about the awesome opportunity to earn a BONUS 100% test grade in math and science by completing the optional "I Can" Booklet.    It is also due Tuesday.

Have a great weekend! I'll see you bright and early Monday morning!
Mr. Trent

Monday, December 12, 2016

End of Term 2

The last day of term 2 is Tuesday, December 20th.  Please be sure to hand in any un-submitted term 2 required assignments by that day.  Anything not handed in by next Tuesday will earn a zero percent in the gradebook.  Progress reports will be given to you this Thursday.  The report will note any missing assignments, so you can ensure that you are completely caught up with your work.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Week of December 12, 2016

Heads up:  This week is a bit of a departure from your "normal" schedule!  Please review the following information carefully, keep your planner up-to-date each day, and refer to the classroom calendar for clarification.

Monday and Tuesday you will take the second administration of the MAP assessment.  We will use the results to plan math lessons for the second half of the school year.  It is important that you are working towards a score of 219 (the end-of-the-year benchmark).  

The reminder of the week we will have some "mini-lessons" in math.  We will be taking a look at the following:

While you will have homework and TenMarks assignments, you will NOT have a quiz this week.  Your homework will be given TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY evening, and will be due the following day.

We will wrap up our studies on Earth's water with a culminating activity that will allow you to be creative with art or words!  The River of Words program invites students in Georgia to create a poem or piece of art that is inspired by water.  This is an excellent way to reflect upon your water research and share what you learned in a novel way!  Be sure to check out the "River of Words" shelf for examples of what students have done over the past three years.  Perhaps YOUR creation will be published in 2017!  You will work on your creation during work time this week.  Your submission is due Friday.  Click the picture below to see galleries of previously published work.

Term 2 is coming to an end on December 20th. I've created another "I Can" booklet that you can use to review all of the "I  Can" statements we've had over the past nine weeks.  As you finish up your River of Words submission, feel free to complete the booklet.  While not a required activity, if you complete and check it by December 20th, I will give you an automatic 100% test grade in both math and science!

Finally, please be sure to submit your signed permission form and $5 to attend the field trip to the Mighty 8th Air-force Museum.  The form and payment are due Wednesday, December 14.  We will visit the museum Monday, December 19.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Mr. Trent

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MAP Testing

The second administration of the MAP test will take begin next Monday, Dec. 12.  We will use the results of this test to help make decisions concerning upcoming lessons and to identify math strengths and needs.  Please come to school well rested and having had a healthy breakfast.  I'm excited for this opportunity to "show what you know"!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Field Trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum

Forms for our upcoming field trip to the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum have been sent home today.  The trip will take place Monday, December 19th.  Please return the form and $5 by Wednesday, December 14th.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Book Exchange

Each 6th grader is invited to share a special gift by participating in this year’s holiday book exchange! On Wednesday, December 7th we will be partnered with a secret pal in our homeroom class. Each student will then give a new (or like new book) to their pal during a gift exchange on Tuesday, December 20. We are sending home  permission form to participate. Please sign and return it by Wednesday, Dec. 7th.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Week of December 5, 2016

"I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December."

-   Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing

This first full week of December, our math studies will focus on graphing inequalities.  Inequalities are solved the same way as equations, but instead of an equals sign, you will have an inequality sign. Here is a list of the signs you will use:

Once you know what the symbols mean, you can solve inequalities.  Here is a resource you can use to practice this skill.  The answers are found at the bottom of the page.

We will have a lot of practice together in class to master this skill.  In addition, you will have homework Monday and Tuesday night, a Google Classroom journal, and a TenMarks assignment.  All of this work will prepare you for a quiz Thursday.

Our science work will continue to focus on tides.  Use your work time this week to wrap up your research on the subject.  Your "Tide of Thanks" choice sheet is due Friday.  Your final test on Tides will also take place Friday.  You can use your study guide to help you prepare for this test.

Keep in mind that the end of the term is quickly approaching.  All 2nd term required assignments must be handed in by December 20th.  Your classroom calendar is the best place to keep up with important due dates.  Check it daily, please. 

This week is the book fair!  Also, if you wish to order something from our classroom Scholastic Book Order magazine, please do so by Thursday, Dec. 8th.

Have an awesome weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Our Classroom Oceanogro-TREE

Our classroom Oceanogro-TREE is covered with shells, a starfish topper, and a paper chain featuring facts we've discovered about Earth's water doing our research!

Our Classroom Oceanogro-Tree

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be sent home Wednesday, December 30.  Please review, sign, and return them ASAP to your homeroom teacher.  Please note that the end of the term is quickly approaching.  All second term work must be submitted by Tuesday, December 20th to earn a grade.  I do not take off points for late assignments, but you will earn a zero on anything that is not handed in by the time you leave for holiday break.  

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Week of November 28, 2016

Greetings from sunny Miami, Florida!  I'm making the most of my Thanksgiving break by spending as much time as possible on the beach!  I hope you are enjoying your time off, too!

There is a lot in store as we start the first few days of December!  I've updated the classroom calendar to reflect all upcoming assignments and tests.  You can get to it by clicking on the "calendar" tab above, or by simply logging onto your Google account (it is synced to your Google Calendar).  

Our math lessons this week will focus on solving algebraic equations.  We will be "using inverse operations to isolate the variables".  While this may sound a bit confusing, with practice you will catch on.  Here is a quick-reference chart you can use when working problems:

Solving Equations Quick-Reference Chart (Click to enlarge)

As usual, you will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening to complete.  Your lessons, TenMarks requirement (due Friday), and Google Classroom journal (due Friday) will help you prepare for a quiz on solving equations Thursday.  

If you'd like some more practice solving equations, check out the following sheets.  The answers to the problems can also be found in the document.  

Last week's super moon brought with it some high tides to the Savannah area.  High tides were also seen in many other places, too!  Here in Miami Beach, the high tide stranded an octopus in a parking garage that flooded!

Our science studies over the next two weeks will focus on tides!  We will research what causes them to happen, the different types of tides, and how tides range in height at different times and places.  Use the following vocab. words and study guide to help you prepare for your test this Friday (vocabulary) and next Friday (final).  

To help guide your research, please complete the following choice sheet by next Friday.  While doing so, continue to reflect on those things in your life for which you are Thankful!

Take advantage of the rest of your holiday break!  I'll see you again Monday morning!  
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A World Toilet Day Parade!

Your World Toilet Day floats turned out amazing!  I'm so proud of you for spreading the word about the need for proper sanitation for all of Earth's people!

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Week of November 21, 2016

There's so much to be thankful for in our classroom this week!  I'm happy to spend each day learning about our amazing world with you!  Let's make the most of our last two days together before our Thanksgiving break!

Most of us have the luxury of celebrating World Toilet Day by having an actual toilet to use, but for 2.5 billion people in the world, toilets are yet to be a part of their lives.  World Toilet Day is marked each year on November 19th and aims to raise awareness about the fact that 1 in 3 people in our world do not have access to a basic toilet and to encourage policies that increase sanitation especially for the world’s poorest people.

We will celebrate World Toilet Day and spread the word about the need for sanitation for all by creating World Toilet Day floats for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  Please bring in a shoebox and any other supplies you wish to use from home for your creation.  Your finished float is due before you leave for holiday break.  Use the following rubric as you create your float.

I've posted an announcement in your Google Classroom program containing some sources you can use to research sanitation around the world.  Feel free to use the following, as well:

On another note, we will have our annual evacuation drill Tuesday morning.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shoebox Needed

Please bring in a shoebox by Monday, November 21.  We will be using them for a fun art project next week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dress-Down Day Friday

Friday is a dress-down day! Bring in $1.00 to patients. All money will be donated to "Pennies for Patients."

Since 1994, millions of dollars have been raised in pennies and other spare change by more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country. The funds, collected during a three-week period, benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Math Tutorial Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 16th is the first day of math tutorial.  Tutorial is invite-only, so please take advantage of this opportunity if you've recieved the paperwork to do so.  We will begin at 3:00 and end at 4:00.  Please arrange for pick-up from Ellis by 4:05.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Week of November 14, 2016

This week is shaping up to be a good one!  Our math studies will shift from ratios/proportions to some algebra work.  Our science work will involve research into where water is found on our planet.

Don't be afraid when you hear the word "algebra"!  We will start our discussions about algebra by taking a look at reading and writing expressions.  Expressions are nothing more than number sentences that contain numbers, computation symbols, and variables.  You will see that expressions DO NOT contain an equals sign.  Check out the following resource for more information about reading and writing expressions:

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday evening, as well as a quiz Thursday.  Please complete your weekly TenMarks assignment by Friday.  You will NOT have a journal this week.

Are you up for a challenge to help you practice writing expressions?  See if you can be a "hundredaire" in this game!

We've been talking a lot about ocean over the past few weeks, but that's not where all of the water on Earth is located!  This week, you will discover the many other places where water can be found on our beautiful planet.  Use the following vocabulary list to study for your quiz this Friday.  

The following choice sheet will guide you in your research this week.  Please note that TWO choices are due this Friday (November 18).  This is a departure from your routine of having two weeks to complete a choice sheet, but next week is truncated because of Thanksgiving break.  There will be no other test on Earth's water disruption other than your vocabulary quiz. 

I've updated the class calendar to reflect all work due this week.  Please also pay close attention when we fill in our planners each day to write down all important due dates.

I'll see you Monday morning,
Mr. Trent

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Progress Reports Issued

Progress reports will be sent home today. Please review, sign, and return them to your homeroom teacher as soon as possible.  Feel free to write any questions onto the reports that you may have.

Monday, November 7, 2016

An EGG-citing Density Demonstration

We used the power of salinity to suspend an egg in the middle of a glass container!  The more dense salt water remained at the bottom of the container.  The less dense pure water stayed on top.  The egg (being more dense than the pure water and less dense than the salt water) floated between the two!  Deep ocean currents form when salt water sinks to the bottom of the ocean, causing streams of water to occur well below the surface.

Egg Density Demonstration

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Week of November 7, 2016

It's a short week at Ellis...we will not have school Friday so we can celebrate Veterans' Day!  Don't worry, we will fit a full week into the four days we are together.

Your math studies this week will involve working with percents.  Having knowledge of percents is important because they are seen many places in your everyday life.  You will come across them at the sale racks of clothing at the mall, on food nutrition labels, and even on your report card.  By the end of our time working with percents, you should be able to answer the following questions:

- What is 20% written as a fraction?
- What is 15% of 30?
- 45 is 10% of what number?
- 10 is what % of 30?

Understanding percents will be easier if you keep in mind what you learned about proportions.  We will use the "part(is):whole(of)" proportion to unlock the secrets of percents.

You will have homework Monday and Tuesday.  Your TenMarks assignment will also give you an opportunity to think about percents.  Please complete it by Thursday.  You will NOT have a math quiz or journal this week.

Here is a resource you can use as a reference as you practice this skill:

Please continue your research concerning currents and waves during work time this week.  Your choice work is due Thursday.  Your test on currents and waves will also take place Thursday.  Use your study guide to prepare.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Deep Ocean Currents in Our Classroom

Using a shoebox-sized model of an ocean, we recreated what happens when temperature changes effect the density of water.  As warm water rises and cold water sinks, deep ocean currents are created.  Differences in salinity can also cause the same phenomenon.

Deep Ocean Currents Model

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November Scholastic Book Orders

Attention Mr. Trent's Homeroom:  The November Scholastic Book Club flyer has been delivered to  your mailbox.  Please place any orders online by Thursday, November 10.  You can visit the order site by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Surface Currents in Motion

A computer-generated representation of the oceans' surface currents is quite a work of art!  Can you pick out some major surface currents found around the world?
NASA animators turned the numbers generated by a computer model into this illustration of ocean surface currents around the world from June 2005 through December 2007.  (Click to see it in motion)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Trick

Here is a copy of the trick I shared with you today.  

Be sure to start on an odd numbered space.  You will ask your partner to move 5 times, 4, times, 3 times, 2 times, and then 1 time.  In between each  move, show them what cards to remove.  The last card will always be the pumpkin!

Have fun!  Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Make Some Horrendous Soup!

Practice your metric measurement conversion skills by making some horrendous soup!  Click HERE to get cookin'!

The Week of October 31, 2016

It's SCARY how fast October has gone by!  I wonder what good things November will bring?

In math this week we will continue our investigation with ratios.  We will discover how we can use ratios to find missing measurements.  This is called indirect measurement.  With this skill, we will be able to discover the unknown height of buildings just by measuring the shadow it casts on a sunny day!

Check out this video to help you understand the process a little more:

Indirect Measurement 

You will have indirect measurement homework Monday and Tuesday night.  You will also have a TenMarks and Google Classroom journaling exercise due Friday.  This all will help you prepare for a quiz on indirect measurement Friday.   HERE is an online quiz you can take to check your understanding.

This lesson will prepare you for a field trip to Ellis Square we will take this year.  Once there, you will be challenged to find the height of the Cay Building without even leaving the ground!

In science, we will be researching ocean currents and waves.  Our studies will include the different types of currents and wave, and what causes each.  Here is a complete copy of the notes that will guide you through the lesson.

You will have a vocabulary quiz Friday on the following words.

To help guide your research, please complete three choices from this menu.  Your work is due next Thursday (Remember that we do not have school November 11 because of Veterans' Day).


You will have a test on currents and waves next Friday, also.  All of these due dates have been updated on classroom calendar.

I have something special planned for you to celebrate the season Monday!  I hope you are ready for a spooky good time!

Enjoy your weekend!

Mr. Trent

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Term 1 Report Cards Issued

Term 1 report cards will be sent home today. Please review them with your family.  We can discuss any questions you may have at our parent/teacher conference.  You do NOT need to sign and return them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hands on Measurement

This week we got a chance to get some hands-on practice with the different units of customary and metric measurements.  A number of stations were set up around the room with tasks associated with weight, length, and capacity.  Students worked through the stations using various measurement tools including measuring cups and spoons, scales, and rulers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ellis Athletics Dress-UP Fundraiser

Join the fun this Friday by dressing up in your favorite sports teams jersey or shirt!  Be sure to bring in $1.00 to participate.  All money raised will benefit the Ellis athletic program.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Week of October 24, 2016

This week is shaping up to be a good one!  I have a number of fun lessons planned, and i'm excited to see where your research takes you!

Our math studies will continue to focus on ratios and proportions.  I'm going to show you how to use them to help you convert measurements.  We will work with both metric and customary measures.  Our lessons will include a lab where you will get hands-on experience with weight, length, and volume measures.  Use the following tables of measurement as you conduct your conversions.

You will have math homework to complete Monday and Tuesday evening.  You will also be required to complete a TenMarks assignment and a Google Classroom journal by Friday. You will have a quiz on measurement conversions Thursday.

Your science studies will allow you the opportunity to continue your research in ocean topography.  Please use your "Go Fish" choice sheet to help guide your research.  Your choices will be due Friday. On Friday you will also have a test on ocean topography.  Use your notes we took in class (that are found on the back of your vocabulary list) to prepare for this test.

Parent/teacher conferences have been reschedule because of Hurricane Matthew for this and next week.  I'm looking forward to meeting with your families!  Report cards will be sent home Wednesday.  You do NOT need to sign and return them because we will talk about them at our conference.  Please contact me via email ASAP if you forget your conference time or if you need to reschedule.

Finally, please note the following announcement from the GEP program:

The Ellis GEP students will be helping to serve the homeless community in Savannah by collecting supplies for the Emmaus House. Each day, the Emmaus House serves breakfast and lunch to people who are unable to provide for themselves. We would like to begin by providing supplies needed for serving food. If you are able, please begin sending in some of the following items and we will sort and deliver them Oct 25.

Plastic utensils
Paper plates
Paper bowls
Disposable coffee cups
Large aluminum trays/pans

There is a collection box located in the front foyer of Ellis.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Mr. Trent

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Calendar Update

In consideration of the school closures that were incurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System seeks to make up lost instructional time by utilizing five days from the fall semester of the current school year calendar.  

The calendar was reviewed for the best available options to ensure the most immediate recovery of lost instruction in advance of winter assessments.  Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be a regular school day for students and staff.  Students are required to report at their designated bell time on this day.

Additional weather make-up dates include:

Monday, November 21, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The dates are being provided to allow as much advance notice for our students, staff, and families.  For each make-up day, all schools will operate on their regular schedules and students should report at their designated bell time.  

We look forward to seeing all of our students for the first weather make-up day on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  

Adjustments to the SY 2016-17 Calendar will be finalized with Board action during the regularly scheduled November 9, 2016, School Board meeting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

UPDATED Term 1 Required Assignments Due Date

Because of Hurricane Matthew, all term 1 required assignments must be handed in by Wednesday, October 19.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Week of October 17, 2016

Wow, what an exciting week!  I hope you and your family are safely recovering from Hurricane Matthew.  The power of nature is rarely seen more than during a hurricane; and I hope the good people of Savannah never have to experience something as destructive as Matthew anytime soon.  I am looking forward to seeing you when we return to school, and hearing your hurricane stories.

The time we had off during the hurricane has affected our schedule a number of ways:

1.  All parent/teacher conferences will need to be rescheduled.  Please be on the look out for another parent/teacher conference signup form.  Return it to me as soon as possible.  I will staple your updated conference time into your planner.

2.  Because we missed the last day of the term, I will allow any work from the first term to be handed in Monday, October 17th for full credit (UPDATE:  ALL WORK IS DUE WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19).  Please log into the PowerSchool program to see if you are missing any work.

3.  The date report cards will be issued later than originally planned.  I will update our classroom calendar to reflect this change as new information come available.

4.  This week is the first week of term 2.  All work handed in starting Tuesday will be entered as second term grades.

The first math lesson of the second term will be about using proportions.  You've already had some experience with proportions when we spoke about unit rates. I will show you a number of way proportions can help you solve problems you may encounter during your everyday life.  You will have homework to complete Monday and Tuesday evening, a Google Classroom Journal due Friday, and some proportion practice at www.tenmarks.com due Friday.  All of this work will help you prepare for a quiz on Thursday.  Check out the following game to help you understand proportions!

Our second term science lessons will focus on water!   First, we will dive deep below the surface of the ocean and take a look at undersea topography!  Our lessons will include a number of vocabulary words you will be quizzed on Friday, October 21.  You will have a final test on ocean topography Friday, October 28.  Use the following study guide and vocab. sheet to help you prepare.  We will fill in the "Ocean Floor" notes during Monday's lesson.  NOTE:  The dates on the follow sheet is incorrect because it was printed before the hurricane days.

As you research the ocean floor, use the following "GO FISH" choice sheet to help keep you on track.  It will be due Friday, October 28.

I look forward to seeing you when we return to school Monday.

Mr. Trent

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hurricane Matthew UPDATE

SCCPSS Will Move to a Staggered Opening for School Operations - Students, Teachers to Return on Monday, Oct. 17

School Officials continue to assess district conditions and prepare all facilities, transportation, technology, and food services for safe re-entry and operations.

To allow a complete assessment and stabilization of all schools and administrative offices, there will be no school for teachers and students for the week of Oct. 10, 2016.  Classes will resume on Monday, October 17, 2016.  

On Monday (10/10)Tuesday (10/11), and Wednesday (10/12), only school district critical workforce and essential staff are to report as directed by his or her Supervisor.

Principals, Assistant Principals, and the Custodial Team will report beginning on Thursday (10/13) - Duty time as directed by your supervisor. Central Administrative staff will also return Thursday, October 13 to assist with stabilizing district operations.

Students, teachers and all other district personnel will return Monday, October 17, 2016.

SCCPSS will implement a staggered return to full operation - Should any changes to the operation schedule occur, please monitor SCCPSS.com, local media, Chatham Emergency Management (CEMA website),as well as the district Facebook page and twitter for updates.