Spring Break Challenge: Structure Search

During the next two weeks, keep your eyes open for examples of STRUCTURE.

As open-minded inquirers, look forward examples of various forms of STRUCTURE:

  • physical
  • social
  • emotional
  • organizational
  • procedural
  • artistic / aesthetic
  • text

When you see something interesting, take a picture and send it in. If you find links to interesting websites, you can also submit those.

One example of structure I came across this past week is an illustrated example of the periodic table. This table has a very specific STRUCTURE to help organize the elements and understand their individual properties and their relationship to one another.

Periodic Table of Elements

In preparation for our new country of focus, India, I also found this example of STRUCTURE. This is a screen shot of a portion of New Dehli, as found through Google Earth.

Multiple Source

City Structure Models

Of course, one of the most famous STRUCTURES in India is the Taj Mahal.

Multiple Sources

As an inquirer, I became curious about the social STRUCTURE of India. What can you find out from these resources?


As you search for STRUCTURE, think about these questions:

  • Form: What kinds of structures exist in the world around us?
  • Function: How do structures affect individuals and societies over time?
  • Change: How do structural changes have both positive and negative effects at the same time?
  • Connection How can structures free us and hold us back?
  • Responsibility: How do I operate within structures to sustain or shift them?

Eric Carle Extravaganza!

Tonight was the night all our anxious artists came together to reveal and revel in the wonderful work created with our beloved buddies.

In the hours ahead of the event, a plethora of preparations had to be done. We are beyond grateful to the atelier team for their assistance in helping prepare the venue so perfectly.

Tiny tables were topped with tissue-papered creatures. In the background was the brown paper that absorbed excess paint and protected Ms. Yoko’s tables during our project. What could have been trash instead became a treasured table topper.

Ms. Yoko readied the ribbon to be cut.

Easels elegantly embraced our artwork, each purposefully placed for our parents to peruse.


As the appointed hour neared, scrumptious snacks, prepared by our parents, poured in creating a feast any hungry caterpillar would be thrilled to find. Thank you to Mrs. Katalayi and Mrs. Ouedraogo for coordinating our snacks. And, thank YOU to all who contributed the tasty treats.

Were you as hungry as this caterpillar??

Below are two versions of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” One is read by the author, Eric Carle. The other is an animated version. Compare and contrast the two tellings.

Ties and tiaras, dress slacks and dresses were donned for the grand opening of the Eric Carle-Inspired Collaborative Creations Exhibition. Artists and admirers alike gathered with glee.

Mr. Matthew got the evening off to a stunning start with a marvelous movie that masterfully meshed together the pictures of our process. The smiles and sentiments shared by artists in the audience (especially the boys in the back row) were evidence that everyone enjoyed this creative exchange. 

Mr. Matthew, Mrs. van der Merwe, Ms. Yoko, Mr. Gloire, Ms. Mimie, Ms. Nancy, and Ms. Abigail gathered as Mr. Collins pronounced the exhibit officially open with the cutting of the ribbon.


With the “doors” official open, the families flooded in.


The festivities continued with food and fellowship around the tiny tables.


We are so grateful to our preschool buddies and their teachers, Mr. Matthew and Mrs. van der Merwe, for allowing us to be part of this most magnificent memory-making meeting of the minds!

The Making of the Masterpieces

Two weeks ago, during our regular art time, we worked to prepare our tissue paper library in preparation for… the making of our masterpieces!

On Thursday, with supplies set and senses stimulated, fourth grade scholars and students from Preschool 1 met in Ms. Yoko’s art studio for our first collaborative creation session. Having had a bit of a warm-up on Wednesday during our regular buddy time together, all artists were ready to transform imaginations into illustrations.

Guided by a collaboration checklist and clarifying questions, big buddies gathered information from the little buddies in order to accurately assemble the art. Questioning and clarifying were keys to success… and a pinch of patience helped, too.

Joy, pride, caring, and selflessness were evidenced throughout the entire process.



On Friday, we doubled our numbers as a second set of scholars settled in with Preschool 2. Once again, the sight of sketches, the sounds of scissors, and sweet smiles filled the room.




Must-See Museum of Masterpieces

As we approach the end of our month of caring and enter into our month of risk-taking, we will be engaged in number of learning adventures that will allow us to highlight these and other learner profile traits we have been growing throughout the year.

This year, we have had the privilege of learning and growing with our beloved buddies from Preschool 1 and 2. In addition to our regular times together, they have asked us to be part of a creative collaboration inspired by the work of Eric Carle, famed children’s book author and illustrator (Additional resources will be posted on the blog). We are thrilled to play a part in what will most certainly be a memorable and meaningful meshing of minds and muscles.

In preparation for this project, Mr. Matthew and Mrs. V shared with us a video of Eric Carle documenting the process and purpose behind his artwork. We also, under the direction of Ms. Yoko, created a prolific palette of paper using Eric Carle’s technique. Tissue paper teeming with  tones, textures, and timbres will soon be transformed into terrific tableaus, which is our task this coming week.

Initiated and inspired by the ideas and imaginations of our buddies, we will serve with scissors and support selflessly as each scene takes shape. Through purposeful questioning, considerate clarifying, and patient positioning and pasting, we will listen as our buddies lead us to the making of museum-worthy masterpieces.

It is to this must-see museum of masterpieces we would like to extend to you an invitation. (Note: Fabulous formal invitations will be distributed, but we wanted you to have advance notice of this special event).

Date:           Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Time:           5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Venue:          TASOK’s CAC

Attire:         Formal

Notes:          Light refreshments will be served


Scholarly Multiple Sources

Challenge #1: Accepted

Scholars, I trust you are enjoying your October break.

During our travels today, Mr. Rupp and I were surrounded by geometry. Everywhere we went, we couldn’t help but click our cameras, capturing lines and angles and shapes. Whether it was walking down the sidewalk, wandering in or near a mall, or peering out from the observation deck of one of the world’s “talls” (the Burj Khalifa), parallel and perpendicular lines, rays and rhombuses, angles and arrays greeted us at every turn. Check out a few photos of figures we saw today. What geometric shapes can you see in each image? Why are they important?


On our tour of the Burj Khalifa today, I was amazed at how much math and problem solving went in to the building of this monumental masterpiece. To learn more, check out the structure’s website.

The Burj Khalifa

A Week Dappled with Dots

Each year, on (or around) September 15, the world celebrates… dots. Well, not just any old dots, The Dot.

This year… we, the scholars of fourth grade, celebrated, too.

We began by reading The Dot. Watch and listen to a reading of the book by the author, Peter Reynolds.

This prompted a brief, but thoughtful discussion of the text. We tracked Vashti’s feelings as she went from thinking she couldn’t draw (sad, discouraged, sore hearted) to anger in response to being prompted to, “Just make a mark.” After her teacher framed her mark, a simple dot, Vashti demonstrated that she had a growth mindset by stating, “I can make a better dot that THAT!”

As she experimented with various sizes, shapes, and colors, Vashti became more creative, joyful, and confident. In the end, she was able to pass on her learnings and encouragement to someone who started out in the same sore-hearted place. How exciting to see Vashti be transformed into a problem solver and a bucket filler.

One interesting observation that was made during our discussion was related to the dot-shaped background that sort of served as a spotlight in the book. As readers, we were curious about Peter Reynold’s (who is also the illustrator) use of this technique to draw our attention to the character. We were also wondering if the color of these spotlight dots had special significance.

If you choose to reread the book or watch Mr. Reynold’s reading of it, use your detective eyes to notice the size of the dots. At the beginning, Vashti makes a tiny speck on her paper. Gradually, her dots grow and grow until they fill large spaces. Why do you think the author-illustrator did that? Does the size of the dots symbolize something? Was this intentional? Don’t you wish we could ask the author? Perhaps we can…

To wrap up our discussion, we talked about the multiple meanings of the phrase “make your mark.” Of course, making a physical mark on a page is one option, but… is there a deeper meaning? Is there a meaning we can apply to our own lives. Indeed, there is… when someone asks, “How are you going to make your mark?” they are really asking,…

“How are you going to change something?”

This will be an important question this week as we anticipate student council elections.

To learn more about International Dot Day and how other people celebrated, check out the official webpage:

International Dot Day

Listen to a presentation of Dot Day 2016 featuring author Peter Reynolds and the teacher who started Dot Day.

Discovery Education: International Dot Day 2016

Check out some other ways International Dot Day was celebrated as highlighted on:

The Edublogger

(Do any of these activities look familiar?)

Finally, be dazzled by Peter Reynolds as he dapples with dozens of dots. Be inspired!

Homework for May 14 – 18

  1. Spelling: (Schwa <ery>)  (Due Thursday)
  2. Read for at least 30 minutes each night. Complete online reading log or on paper.
  3. Explore some lessons on IXL.com and / or Khan Academy in the following areas:
    • *Fractions*
    • *Decimals*
    • Geometry
    • Multiplication
    • Division
    • *Multi-step Problems*
  4. Explore some lessons on NoRedInk in the following areas:
    • Conjunctions (FANBOYS / SWABIs)
    • *Essays*
    • Capitalization
    • Commas
    • Adjectives
    • Appositives
    • Actives & Passive Voice
    • Apostrophes
    • Quotation Marks


  1. Invite your parents to complete the online feedback form related to student-led conferences.
  2. DRA Testing – Monday, May 14
  3. No School – Thursday, May 17 – Liberation Day
  4. Elementary Celebration of the Arts – NEXT Tuesday, May 22, 8:30 a.m.
  5. Thank you to those who generously donated to the Kimbondo Needs Drive.

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

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