Out of the Overflow…

To get our year off to a good start, we have been talking a lot about being “bucket fillers” – finding ways to care for, encourage, notice, affirm, and acknowledge one another in simple, yet significant, ways. This is a mutually beneficial process, as giving and encouraging not only brings joy to the recipient, but it also brings joy to the giver.

In the classroom, we have made mini “buckets” (really, origami envelopes) for our desks into which notes of encouragement can be delivered. It’s been exciting to see students become aware of others and to find ways to acknowledge them through words of encouragement. To end our day today, it was requested that we take some time to fill up one another’s buckets. Joy overflowed!

Please take a moment to enjoy a reading of Have You Filled  a Bucket Today? by the author, Carol McCloud.

To learn more about being a bucket filler, visit:

Bucket Fillers

Tackling the Tiles with Tenacity

What is the problem with this set of digits? (Note: This is not the same number we used in class.)


This was the question posed to our inquisitive inquirers today.

After some discussion, it was determined that this set of digits:

  • was difficult to read.
  • has lots of numbers.
  • has no places.
  • has some repeated digits.
  • included no operations (+, -, x, ÷).


When a single comma was added, the following observations were made and questions posed:

  • There are not enough commas.
  • Is it greater than or less than a million?

Our brains were exercised further when the number was changed to look like…


At this point, we were able to determine that the number is:


We discussed the purpose of place and the meaning of value. And, returning to our observation about repeated digits, we compared how they are different.

Quick Quiz: In this number, how are the repeated  twos, fours, and eights different? Jot your thinking in the padlet below.

**Be sure to include your initials in the title.**

Made with Padlet

As scholars, we know it is important to use multiple sources, so this lead to a discussion about tools we can use in our classroom to better understand and work with numbers. Two tools are included below.

Place Value Chart

Place Value Chart (Currency Connection)

Willing to learn, scholars puzzled about place value problems with their peers using Marcy Cook’s Math Tile Task Cards.

Give the example below a try.

Showing diligence and determination, each math-magician read the clues, wrestled with the numbers, reflected on choices, and made revisions as new realizations were made. Rewarding!


(Phrase of the day (well, one of them): Growth Mindset)

Multiple Source: Marcy Cook Math

Tiling tasks used in class have been acquired from Marcy Cook Math. iPad apps are available through the Apple Store, if interested.


Converse. Capture. Construct. Consider.

Today, our learning community came together to find commonality. This quest for connection actually began yesterday as we worked to create a set of question cards to help spark conversation during lunch. The list included:

  • “What is your favorite animal?”
  • “What kind of books do you like to read?”
  • “How do you spend your breaks?”

Our work was tested during lunch today as groups of third, fourth, and fifth graders joined together over a midday meal to make unfamiliar faces familiar. After lunch, one of our scholars reported back with excitement that she had made a new friend in fifth grade, and it all started with ONE question. From there, the conversation flowed freely. Fabulous!

This afternoon, groups of scholars continued to engage in conversation in an effort to find things they had in common. Foods, family, feet, furry things, favorites, and foreign lands were discussed. Sometimes, rather creative connections were explored, as well. Each commonality was then captured on a card. Once enough cards were collected, groups were able to construct. The challenge was to create a 10 inch tower of cards that could stand for at least 5 seconds. Tough!

While I don’t think these qualities were captured on cards today, it was clear that patience, perseverance, and problem solving are common characteristics of our learning community.

As is true of the building of any construction, card or otherwise, it is important to establish a firm foundation. Likewise, as we embark on our fourth grade journey together and seek to build real and refining relationships with one another, a firm foundation key.

Consider… how is finding commonalities helpful to our classroom learning community?





Gallery Walk: Getting a Read of the Room

Our first day of the 2018-19 school year was full. After a brief introduction to the TASOK learner profile and a discussion of classroom and school expectations, we took some time to wander and wonder around the room. Willing to learn, these thoughtful and curious scholars (a.k.a. fifth grade thinkers) read and reflected on quotes around the room. As COMMUNICATORS, each one posted questions of INQUIRERS and thoughts of THINKERS. As the year progresses, different quotes might catch an eye or spark an idea or inspire an action. Committed to considering different points of view, our OPEN-MINDEDness will allow us to continue to stretch and grow.


Below is a list of a few upcoming events to be aware of.

August 13 – First Day of School, Assembly (2:30 p.m.)

August 22 – Mix It Up Picnic (11:15 a.m.) Bring a blanket.

August 26 – PTC Welcome Picnic

August 27 – ASAs begin

September 3 – Labor Day (No School)

September 4 – Open House & PYP Session (6:00 p.m.)

Homework for August 13-17

1. Explore Mrs. Rupp’s blog.

2. Complete the What is your favorite…? form below or use the same linked form on the “A Few Favorites” page (under “About” tab / menu).

3. Based on information gathered from the blog and your own experiences, respond to questions on the form below or on the same  Fun Facts form linked on the “Fun Facts” page (under “About” tab / menu).

4. Examine the word “scholar,” and reflect on the descriptors. Using the padlet below, jot down your thoughts about what A Scholar… is and would look like in our fourth grade classroom. (**Be sure to include your initials in the “Title,” so we can identify YOUR ideas).

Made with Padlet

**Check back later in the week for additional homework related to in class discussions and activities.

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