Monday, October 11, 2021

The Week of October 11, 2021

 Room 20 Families,


Welcome to the first week of the second term!  I look forward to the changing of terms because it is a great opportunity to reset and start afresh!  We will begin our short week together by introducing our next topic of research in our Cultural Studies:  the Renaissance.  Your child's vocabulary list will include words associate with this period in history.  Please assist them in studying these words so they can complete a matching activity on Friday.  Your child will not have a spelling list to study this week because it is a short week.  Required assignments will include Saxon math skills maintenance, Flocabulary.com vocabulary practice, I-Ready work, a NewsELA.com comprehension activity,  and follow-up work from daily small-group lessons.  These works (and choice works) will be due Friday.

Parent, Student, Teacher conferences will take place this and next week.  I'm looking forward to meeting with your family via Zoom to discuss your child's progress over the past term and answer any questions you may have.  If you have not chosen a day or time for your conference, please do so using the link that was sent to you via Remind.

Two other items of note:
  1.  The PTA is having a Holiday fundraiser!  Consider purchasing some fresh greens to decorate your house while supporting the Ellis PTA.  Visit sherwoodfundraiser.com/CEMAPTA to make a purchase.
  2. Makeup picture day is October 26.  Your child can be out of uniform for the picture, but they must bring a uniform along to school to change into after the picture is taken.
Enjoy your week,
Trent

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Week of September 27, 2021

School pictures have arrived and have been sent home with your child today.  Keep those photos you wish to purchase and send the payment back to school at your earliest convenience (you can also pay online at the site noted on the payment envelope).  Please return any unwanted pictures back to school.  


The last week of September brings with it much fun and learning in our room!  Our cultural focus will be on physical and chemical changes.  Our class will explore physical and chemical changes that took place back in the middle ages and today!  Our weekly vocabulary list will include words associated with these lessons.  Please assist your child in learning the definition to prepare for a vocabulary activity on Friday.  Your child will also receive another word study list to practice.  They will be required to spell and sort the words by memory next Friday.  Other lessons next week will include developmentally appropriate math, geometry, and language arts instruction and follow-up works.  

Thursday, October 7th marks the last day of term 1.  All term 1 required works are due by this day.  Be on the lookout next week for an email to sign up for our first parent/teacher conference of the year.  I look forward to meeting with everyone to celebrate your child's strengths and brainstorm how we can help best them be all they can be!   

Have a wonderful weekend,
Trent

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Week of September 20, 2021

 Good afternoon, Room 20 families!


Next week we will continue our cultural studies studies on the medieval period with a focus on the properties of sound.  This will give us an opportunity to explore medieval music and instruments!  Next week's vocabulary list will also highlight properties of sound.  All students will need to be able to define these words for an activity on Friday.  I will also provide them with a developmentally appropriate list of spelling words.  This list should also be reviewed often so they can be prepared for a spelling activity on Friday.  Follow-up works will also be assigned for our math, Language, and cultural lessons.  All required works are listed on your child's workplan and are due by Friday.  If there are any works that your child does not complete by Friday, I will transfer them over to the next workplan for them to complete.

We've been spending some time exploring the writing process and how to properly structure paragraphs and, for some, multi-paragraph essays.  We will check our progress on this skill next week by completing a writing task that will require the children to read a text and answer a writing prompt.  I look forward to reading the responses and using them to plan upcoming language arts lessons.

Friday, September 24th is a dress-down day fundraiser for https://www.savannahambucs.com/.  Feel free to send in at least $1.00 to participate.

Have a nice weekend,
Trent

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Week of September 13, 2021

 Happy Monday, room 20 families!


This week is shaping up to be a great one!  We will continue our cultural studies focus on the medieval time period.  We will use this opportunity to integrate physical science as we explore properties of light.  Be on the lookout for some student-designed stained-glass windows that will surely be magnificent enough to grace the walls of any medieval cathedral!  Our vocabulary list will also highlight properties of light.  Consider assisting your child in learning these words so they can complete a vocabulary activity on Friday.  I will also provide them with a developmentally appropriate list of spelling words.  This list should also be reviewed often so they can be prepared for a spelling activity on Friday.  Follow-up works will also be assigned for our math, Language, and cultural lessons this week.  Please note that all required works are listed on your child's workplan.

Most students will be completing the first administration of the MAP assessment this week.  For more information about this assessment, please visit https://www.nwea.org/the-map-suite/family-toolkit/.

Have a nice weekend,
Trent

Friday, September 3, 2021

The Week of September 6, 2021

 Room 20 families,


After another unexpected week of virtual lessons, the promise of a return to the lesson table in room 20 brings joy to my heart!  A highlight of my days at home was spending time with the children via Zoom.  I feel blessed to live in a time when we can come together virtually even if we are not able to be in the same room.  A special thank-you to Ms. Mary and Mr. Anthony for helping in the classroom while I was unable to be there.

The upcoming week of school brings with it many opportunities for fun and learning!  We will continue with our studies of the Medieval period with a focus on how simple machines were used.  I am excited to share some models that will give the students a chance to experience for themselves the power of simple machines!  This week's vocabulary list will include words about simple machines, as well.  Students should study these words daily so they will be prepared for an activity that will require them to match each word with its definition on Friday.  Lessons in math, writing, reading, and grammar will occur throughout the week and follow-up work will be assigned.  Please note that because it is only a 4-day week, students will NOT have a spelling list or activity Friday.  

I will send home a progress report on Tuesday.  Please review, sign, and return this report to me on Wednesday.  Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns (trent.kissinger@sccpss.com or message me on Remind).

I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend,
Trent

Friday, August 27, 2021

The Week of August 30, 2021

 Greetings, Room 22 families! 


After a week of everyone e-learning, I am happy to start making the transition back into the classroom!  Those students who are continuing with e-learning, please log onto Zoom each day at 9:00 am for a class meeting with me.  Your work will be posted to ItsLearning for you to complete.  Those students who are back at Ellis will no longer need to log onto ItsLearning, as you will complete your works in the classroom.

We will begin our week together by starting our investigation into the Middle Ages!  We will use the Fundamental Needs of Humans chart to guide our explorations of this period in history.  This week, we will also have a special focus on how people in the Middle Ages used simple machines.  The vocabulary words for the week will be about the Middle Ages.  Everyone should be working with these words daily to prepare for a vocabulary activity on Friday. We will continue with another word study list for the week that will be assessed on Friday. As usual, small group lessons during the week will focus on grammar, math, reading, and writing.  Follow-up works from these lessons are written on your child's "Required Assignments" page on their workplan.    

For those families returning to Ellis next week, your child's weekly progress report will be sent home Monday. It will look a little different because of the e-learning format of the previous week, but it will still provide you with important information about their work.  I ask that you review the packet, sign, and return it Tuesday.  Please do not removed any pages from the packet, as I use the works to plan upcoming lessons.  For those working at home, please log into the ItsLearning parent portal to see your child's progress. 

On Friday, September 3rd we will have Fall pictures.  Surprise! This is a free dress-down day!

As always, appreciate your partnership and support,
Trent

Monday, August 23, 2021

Special Message Concerning Room 20

As you are aware, our classroom has been placed into quarantine for at least the next few days.  While we are not able to enjoy our lessons in-person, we can continue on-line using ItsLearning!  

I've uploaded a number of items for your child to complete while at home.  They include:
  1.  Studying spelling words -  Please study the word list to be able to spell them by memory on Friday.
  2. Study vocabulary words - Please study the definitions to be able to match each word with its definition by memory on Friday.  
  3.  Saxon - Solve the math problems that are on the Saxon assignment.  Please upload a picture of your answers OR you may type your answers and submit them.  This is due Friday, August 23, 2021. 
  4. NewsELA Current Event - Read the article in your assignments as www.newsela.com called "Ancient Dwellings".  Take the quiz associated with the article and submit your score.   This is due Friday, August 23, 2021
  5. I-Ready Math and Reading Practice - Log onto I-Ready (be sure to log on through Class Link (https://launchpad.classlink.com/sccpss).  Complete one math and one reading activity.  Submit the titles of the activities you completed and the scores you earned.  These activities are due Tuesday, August 24th.  

We will have a whole-class Zoom meeting tomorrow (August 24that 9:00 am using the following link on your child's ItsLearning calendar.

I understand that there will be some technology issues as we transition into our e-learning.   Please feel free to contact me via email or Remind if you need any help getting connected. 

I appreciate you,
Mr. Trent

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Week of August 23, 2021

 Good afternoon, Room 22 families!


Next week will begin with an exploration of another Montessori Great Lesson: The Coming of Humans.This grand story encompasses the entire history of human life on Earth! The vocabulary words for the week will come from this lesson. The students should be working with these words daily to prepare for a vocabulary activity on Friday. In addition, we will continue with another word study list for the week that will be assessed on Friday. As usual, small group lessons during the week will focus on grammar, math, reading, and writing.  Follow-up works from these lessons are written on your child's "Required Assignments" page on their workplan.    

Most students in our room have finished the I-Ready diagnostic.  This allows them to begin lessons on the program that are tailored to their specific learning needs.  They will have a required amount of time they will work on this program each week, but they are also invited to do extra time (at school or at home).    

Your child's weekly progress report will be sent home Monday. It will contain your child's first workplan and a collection of their works from the week.  I ask that you review the packet, sign, and return it Tuesday.  Please do not removed any pages from the packet, as I use the works to plan upcoming lessons.  

Finally, I would like to invite you to an upper elementary parent information meeting being held this Wednesday, August 25th.  We will have a separate meeting for each gradelevel, so we can answer any specific questions you may have about the upcoming year.  The 4th grade meeting will be at 5:00, 5th will be at 5:30, and 6th at 6:00.  Links to the Zoom meeting will be sent to you soon.     

As always, I am available via Remind or email if you have any questions or concerns.

Have a nice weekend,
Trent

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Week of August 16, 2021

 This past week marked the first full week of Montessori work periods in our classroom!  It was a joy to see students making engaging work choices, enthusiastically participating in lessons, and moving about the classroom with ease.  If this week of school is any indication of what is to come, it is going to be a GREAT year!


Next week, we will continue with our Montessori work periods.  During which, the students will explore another Montessori Great Lesson: The Coming of Life!  The vocabulary words for the week will come from this lesson.  The students should be working with these words daily to prepare for a vocabulary activity on Friday.  In addition, we will continue with another word study list for the week that will be assessed on Friday.  Small group lessons during the week will focus on grammar, arithmetic, writing, and geometry.  

Now that computers have been distributed, we will be working together to set up the various online programs we will be using this year.  This includes taking the I-Ready diagnostic in reading and math. This diagnostic will provide a benchmark we can use to show growth throughout the year and set up a program of online lessons your child can do that are geared to their specific needs.      

Be on the lookout for another progress report being sent home Monday.  It will contain your child's first workplan and a collection of their works from the week.  Consider going through these works with your child to discuss and celebrate what they accomplished.  Kindly sign and return this report to school Tuesday.

As always, I am available via Remind or email if you have any questions or concerns.

Happy weekend,
Trent

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Week of August 9, 2021

 Room 22 families,


What a wonderful first week of school!  I've enjoyed welcoming another upper elementary classroom to Charles Ellis Montessori!  We spent this past week getting to know each other and learning about the workings of the classroom.  

This upcoming week, we will have our first Montessori work period and small-group lessons!  We will begin with a cultural lesson Monday afternoon about the coming of the universe.  The rest of the week will consist of lessons in each subject area based upon individual student needs.  When not in lessons, the children will be working on follow-up and choice works.

On Monday, your child will be given a developmentally appropriate word study list.  They should be prepared to spell and sort these words by memory on Friday.  In addition, they will receive a vocabulary list containing words associated with our cultural lesson.  They should work through the week to study these words for an activity on Friday that will require them to match the words with the definitions.  We will be working with both the spelling and vocabulary words during the school day, but your child may also benefit from practicing these words at home.

Every Monday, I will send home a progress report that will contain information about the works your child focused upon the prior week of school.  These progress reports should be signed Monday evening and returned to school Tuesday.  I will keep these progress reports on file and return all of them to you for your records at our first parent teacher conference at the end of the first term.  

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.  I am available via email (trent.kissinger@sccpss.com) and the remind app.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Trent

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Virtual Open House


It was so nice to see to many enthusiastic children and families at yesterday's open house!  If you were not able to attend, no worries...I've recorded a virtual open house message for you!  It contains a lot of information that is important as we prepare for the beginning of school.  Please watch the brief video above and let me know if you have any questions by emailing trent.kissinger@sccpss or sending a message via the Remind App (class code:  @trentellis).

 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Welcome Back, Bobcats!

Dear Ellis Bobcat family,


Hi, I am Mr. Trent.  I am excited to share that I will be your child’s homeroom teacher this year at Charles Ellis Montessori Academy! I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces in our 4th, 5th, and 6th upper elementary classroom. The 2021-2022 school year will be one of growth, excitement, and adventures for your child.  


This will be my 15th year in the Ellis family and my 19th in the education field.  I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  I spent 4 years teaching in the Shenandoah Valley while pursuing my Master of Education Degree in reading education at the University of Virginia.  After my move to Savannah, I earned my Specialist Degree in instructional leadership from NOVA Southeastern University.   I hold a certification in Elementary Montessori I and II through the American Montessori Society.  I am so excited for this upcoming school year to continue to put into practice all the wonderful methodology I’ve learned over the years! 


I love to travel in my free time.  When I’m not traveling, I enjoy spending time with my friends and walking my Shiba Inu, Loki.  I like reading historical fiction books and watching spooky (but not too scary) movies.   


I believe that communication between school and home is very important.  I have a blog found at www.mrtrent.com that is updated weekly with news and information about what’s happening in the classroom.  

 

As you are aware as a Montessori parent, the environment sets the stage for your child’s development.  In our 9 to 12 year old group, we want each classroom to be a peaceful, accepting place for each child to reach their greatest potential.  In order to have a peaceful environment, please review the SCCPSS Handbook (found at www.sccpss.com) with your child at home.  More information about procedures specific to our classroom will be shared when we return to campus. 


If you have any questions or concerns before the school year begins, please feel free to contact me via email.  I will try my best to return your message as soon as possible.  


I will close with this quote from Maria Montessori to ponder as we start our year together:


“The Environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”


I look forward to another amazing year at Ellis!  


Mr. Trent                                                             


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2021-2022 Supply List - Mr. Trent’s Homeroom 


Dear Upper Elementary Families,


As we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, please gather the following items and bring them to the first day of school.  Don’t worry if you can’t find an item or two, we always have enough to share.


* a pair of headphones

* a clear or mesh book bag

* a two-inch 3-ring binder

* pencils (we recommend Mirado or Ticonderoga brands)

* one package of colored pencils (Basic colors)

* one pair of child scissors (Fiskars preferred)

* an enclosed pencil sharpener

* a pencil bag (one that can be clipped into a binder is best)

* two packs of small index cards lined (3 x 5)

* one package of lined notebook paper (wide-ruled)

* one sketchbook for art class


  • The following items would be helpful for the entire class: glue sticks, construction paper, copy paper, paper towels, lined paper, Clorox wipes, vinegar, dry erase markers, tracing paper, watercolor paper, Sharpies, pump hand sanitizer, ziplock bags, and ​tissues​.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Happy Summer!

Room 22 families,

As we end the school year and begin the summer of 2021, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the amazing accomplishments your family has achieved.  We started the school year as we ended the previous: in a completely virtual environment.  Your tech-support skills were put to the test as you helped your child understand how to use a brand-new educational platform, ItsLearning.  You became a home-schooling parent tasked with aiding your child with lessons and follow-up works.  You had to make countless difficult decisions as we transitioned into a hybrid schedule midway through the year.  Your family routines and schedules were constantly in flux.  At times you were frustrated and worried.  All of this was done while trying to attend to personal matters of work, relationships, and the realities of “adulting”.  If parenting is hard, parenting during a pandemic is punishing.  

But you persisted!  Your guidance has more than just led your child to the end of the year.  It has taught them valuable life-lessons in perseverance, time-management, task-completion, and countless metacognition skills.  You’ve also modeled to them what it means to be a loving caregiver; a lesson they will look back upon for guidance when they one day become a caregiver themself.  


Today, I congratulated the students for completing another year of school.  I also wish to congratulate YOU for making it possible for them to be a success!


I look forward to all the promises of a new school year, but first let’s enjoy a well-deserved summer break!


In appreciation,

Trent

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Week of May 17, 2021

 Hello, Room 22 families!


We’ve made it to the last week of school!  Truthfully, I can’t decide if this has been the longest or shortest school year I’ve ever had!  Nevertheless, I’m so happy that we’ve shared this experience together.  


Because Ms. Lisa will be collecting devices, I’ve had to make a few changes to our lesson schedule this week.  We will be having whole-group Zoom lessons at 10:00 am everyday this upcoming week.  Your child’s ItsLearning calendar has been updated to reflect this change and includes the meeting Zoom link.  Please let me know if your child no longer has access to a computer at home...I’m sure we can work something out to allow your child to participate in the end-of-the-year fun!      

 

As previously stated, Ms. Lisa will be collecting SCCPSS devices over the next two weeks.  Please note when your child’s device will be returned to the school:

 

May 17th-18th- Cohort A

May 19-21st- Cohort B

May 24-28th- Cohort C (Use this link to schedule a day/time for return: https://bit.ly/EllisMCBooking)


  • All Chromebooks/HotSpots will be collected (unless your student is attending summer school).

  • Don't forget to return the charger!

  • Please remove any stickers/sticky notes that you may have added to the device. 

  • If your student has saved any pictures/files on the device that you would like to keep, move those to their student Google Drive. Click here for a quick video tutorial

  • Make sure the device is fully charged when it is returned so that we can ensure that it is in working order.

  • If there is damage to the device, please contact Ms. Lisa now so that we can arrange payment for the repair, if applicable.​


Please email Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com) if you have any questions.

 

The parent/teacher conference signup is quickly filling up!  Please sign up for our end-of-year conferences using the following link: https://signup.com/go/KOxqxQj

 

Have a great weekend,

Trent

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Week of May 10, 2021

 Hello, room 22 families!


I am happy to share that we are officially done with GMAS testing for the year!  Thank you so much for all of your help keeping your child on track as testing altered our schedule.  We will continue with our Zoom lessons every day this upcoming week!  All lessons and Zoom links are located on your child’s ItsLearning platform.  


Required work assignments for everyone this week will include:


  1. Saxon Skills Maintenance 

  2. ReadWorks Comprehension

  3. Study spelling list for a Quiz Friday, May 14

 

We will be taking the end-of-year I-Ready diagnostic during our Zoom meetings on Tuesday and Thursday.  These diagnostics will be used to show growth in both math and reading.  For those taking the diagnostic at home, I ask that you not assist your child with answering any of the questions.  I will share the results with you at our end-of-the-year conference.  

 

To give me enough time to prepare for our end-of-year conferences, all required works from term 4 are due Friday, May 14th.  Unfinished works are identified with the “Not Taken” tag in your child’s ItsLearning gradebook.  

 

Coach Lesley has organized a field day celebration that will take place for those on campus this upcoming Wednesday (Cohort A) and Friday (Cohort B)!  Cohort C can join the fun on Friday using this link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1TaSH17XEZ_rtVtwBDAzqTNFAkk3FOCErDwEnCr6hKxs/present?slide=id.p.

 

Ms. Lisa will be collecting SCCPSS devices in the near future.  Please note when your child’s device will be returned to the school:

 

May 17th-18th- Cohort A

May 19-21st- Cohort B

May 24-28th- Cohort C (Use this link to schedule a day/time for return: https://bit.ly/EllisMCBooking)

 

Please email Ms. Lisa (lisa.odonnell@sccpss.com) if you have any questions.

 

Finally, please sign up for our end-of-year conferences using the following link: https://signup.com/go/KOxqxQj

 

I look forward to meeting with your family to personally thank you for your partnership in your child’s education this year!  

 

Have a pleasant weekend,

Trent

 

  


Friday, April 30, 2021

The Week of May 3, 2021

 Room 22 families,


Good news: we’ve come to the last week of GMAS testing!  I will describe the schedule below and also send daily reminders throughout the week so we can continue to be on the same page. 


Required work assignments for everyone this week will include:


  1. Saxon Skills Maintenance 

  2. ReadWorks Comprehension

  3. Study spelling list for a Quiz Friday, May 7


On testing days, students who are not testing will have asynchronous work posted on ItsLearning to complete.


Testing Schedule for the week of May 3



Monday, May 3

Cohort A:  English/Language Arts Section 1

Cohort B:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort C:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete.


Tuesday, May 4

Cohort A:  English/Language Arts Section 2 & 3

Cohort B:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort C:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 


Wednesday, May 5

Cohort A:  Math Section 2 

Cohort B:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort C:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 


Thursday, May 6

Cohort A:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort B (4th):  5th Science 

Cohort B (4th & 6th):  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort C:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete.


Friday, May 7

Cohort A:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled Zoom lessons. 

Cohort B:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled Zoom lessons. 

Cohort C:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled Zoom lessons.  


Enjoy your weekend,

Mr. Trent


Friday, April 23, 2021

The Week of April 26, 2021

 Room 22 families,


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue GMAS testing this upcoming week.  I will describe the daily schedule below and also send daily reminders throughout the week so we can all be on the same page. 


Required work assignments for everyone this week will include:


  1. Saxon Skills Maintenance 

  2. ReadWorks Comprehension

  3. Study spelling list for a Quiz Friday, April 30


On testing days, students who are not testing will have asynchronous work posted on ItsLearning to complete.


Testing Schedule for the week of April 26



Monday, April 26

Cohort A (5th):  Science 

Cohort A (4th & 6th):  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort B:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete.   

Cohort C (5th):  Science

Cohort C (4th & 5th): No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 


Tuesday, April 27

Cohort A:  Math Section 1

Cohort B:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort C:  Math Section 1 


Wednesday, April 28 

Cohort A:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete. 

Cohort B:  Math Section 1

Cohort C:  Math Section 2 


Thursday, April 29

Cohort A:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled Zoom lessons. 

Cohort B:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled lessons. 

Cohort C:  No testing!  Please attend regularly scheduled Zoom lessons.


Friday, April 30 

Cohort A:  No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete.   

Cohort B  Math Section 2 

Cohort C: No Zoom lesson. Work posted to Itslearning to complete.   



Finally, we are officially at the half-way point in the last term of the school year!  Today, I will be emailing you a progress report that will list your child’s works.  6th graders will also receive a copy of their PowerSchool gradebook noting their current average for each subject.  Remember, these reports are available for you to view at any time via the ItsLearning platform (all grade levels) and the PowerSchool Parent Access program (6th grade only).  


Please do not hesitate to ask (via Remind or email) if you have any questions.


Have a nice weekend,

Trent