Working on Word Choice

Our second day of I Love to Read and Write Week was equally busy. More teaching teams were on the schedule, some teaching the first lesson, others moving on to the second lesson about word choice.

Day 2 – Word Choice

This puzzle’s pieced together

With meaning, shape, and sound in mind.

Each word is chosen carefully,

Search. The perfect one you’ll find.

The second lesson invited students to examine the words brainstormed inspired by the image in day 1 and choose 1 on which they wanted to elaborate. Using the Frayer Model structure, students worked together to show thinking about ONE of the words we used to describe the picture. On their big puzzle posters, students used the space for day 2, which was divided/split into sections. Each space was labeled with the following:


  • Related words (These include prefixes, suffixes)
  • Synonyms / antonyms (These are word that mean the same or opposite.)
  • Rhyming Words (These are words that have the same ending sound)
  • Describing Words (These are words or phrases that can be used to show not tell)

Using a sample Frayer Model, teaching and support team members guided learners through the process of expanding their word choice. Depending on the word chosen, this proved somewhat challenging for some groups.


Grade 3



Day 1: Brainstorming Structure

Day 2: Frayer Model Structure

As was true yesterday, we had another buddy reading session, today in Grade 3. And, we also practiced our assembly again in the CAC. At the end of the day, as we worked on volume and expression, we got a glimpse of a portion of the Prezi that would be shared with the audience.


I LOVE to Read and Write… and Teach

Today was a BIG and BUSY day. Today, our teaching teams were put to the test. Today, after weeks of research, planning, preparation, and practice, students stepped to the front of the classroom to teach other students about poetry.

Due to some sickness last week, we had to do a bit of last-minute shuffling this morning. Some scheduled to be supporting teams got shifted into the teaching team roles and did so without missing a beat. Teaching teams flexibly moved into support roles and gladly guided small groups. Students confidently and capably stepped into needed roles and took responsibility for facilitating the lessons together.

Each day this week, the scholars of fourth grade will guide lessons by presenting students with a stanza of a poem. Each stanza highlights the main teaching point of the day and serves as a lyrical lesson plan.

Today’s lesson began with this:

Day 1 – Illustration and Imagery Inspiration

A poem’s like a puzzle

Made up of many parts

With words and lines and stanzas

Its assembled from the heart.

K1, Grade 1, and Grade 2 students were our first learners. Each set of students was presented with giant posters and paper pieces with which to make a puzzle. Working in teams, with the help of members of scholarly support and teaching teams, all were successful in assembling the images, which were purposefully selected to connect with their lines of inquiry. Students then were guided in a brainstorming activity in order to create a collection of words that described the image. These words are important, as they will be used in subsequent lessons.

As students worked, members of the teaching team listened in to conversations and recorded the sounds of puzzle making. These will be compared and connected to the sounds of poetry writing.

Grade 2


Grade 1


Teaching was not our only responsibility today… we were also scheduled to buddy read with K1 and Grade 1 students this afternoon. Students were able to share the books they had selected and practiced reading during library the last two weeks. Holding the book, reading fluently with expression, and engaging in thoughtful reading conversations were all key features of this time together. Buddy reading is always a special time that makes us all LOVE reading!

At the end of the day, we had our first experience on stage in the CAC. We worked on staging, volume / projection, and sequencing. Since some of our script is dependent on other activities we have planned this week, we were only able to practice the first portion, which is a summary of our unit in poetic form.

Phew… day one was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Can’t wait for day 2!

Bursts, Big Tree, Building, and Bar Graphs

Today was busy from the beginning. We started by revising “I am” poems to write in our risk-taking bursts. It was powerful to revisit our big ideas related to risk-taking and resilience.

We then had a special time with our buddies. For those of us working with Mr. Matthew’s preschool 1 class, we took time to read a book by Nathalie Slosse entitled Big Tree Gets Sick. As we read, we were able to make connections to our buddies unit of tools, but we also saw connections to our unit on structure and our solar oven project. After reading the book, we took time to think about one of our preschool buddies, Lucas, who also happens to be a sibling of one of our scholars, Liam. Lucas has been very sick, and we wanted to send him something to let him know we are wishing him well and hoping for healing. Each member of the class wrote a note on a heart-shaped leaf to add to a “big tree” of encouragement.


Feel better soon, Lucas!

This afternoon, we took time to continue building our solar ovens and document the experiment process.

Some groups are getting quite close to completion. The question is, which cooker will harness the solar energy the best… and why?

Multiple Sources


Things continue to bustle next door as fifth graders complete their final preparations for their PYP Exhibition. Today, some mattresses arrived!

Donations for the shoes and clothing drive were gathered yesterday. After calculating the items, the coordinators revealed the data today and have set a new goal for their drive. They have extended the deadline until Friday, May 24 to help meet their new goal of 1,000 articles of clothing.

Despite the big pile of clothes collected in our classroom, we are currently running a bit behind in the challenge. At the moment, we are in third place. While our priority is to show caring and kindness, a cupcake party does sound like something worth working for.



Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Redux.

Once again today was buddy day. This week, PS2 joined us for our extended Earth Day activity.

After our read aloud, students started tracing hands, coloring globes, and sharing ideas related to reducing, reusing, recycling. It was great to see so many students, unprompted, place their excess paper in the recycling tub during clean up time.

In Fifth Grade, students are currently working on their PYP Exhibition projects. I would encourage you to ask them what kinds of things they are doing to reduce, reuse, and recycle and how does those actions connect with their central idea about sustainability.

Multiple Sources


Homework for May 6-10 (Week 33)

  1. Read for at least 30 minutes each night. Complete the online reading log OR one on paper. (Copies are available in class).
  2. Explore some lessons on and / or Khan Academy in the following areas:
    • Math
      • *Division (E.21 – E.26) continue
      • Data & Graphs (J.1 – J.12) **Multiple Source** continue
      • Multiplying Fractions (S.7 – S.14) continue
    • Language
      • Organizing Writing (L.1-L.3) *STRUCTURE*
      • Sentence Variety (P.1)
      • Editing and Revising (Q.1 )
      • Verb Tense (HH.9 – HH.17)
    • **A Scholar has a goal: This week, we answered 2,257 questions and almost 20 hours on IXL. Wow!
    • Log on and “Launch” into some learning with Everyday Math. (Note: Log on information is in your planner.) **Alert: Any lessons in Unit 6 can be reviewed.**
  3. Reflect back on Week 32 and complete the “Reflection: Learning Habits” form.
  4. Note: Homework is due on Fridays.**Check back later in the week for additional homework related to in-class discussions and activities.


    1. We will not have Library at our regularly scheduled time this week due to MAP testing.
    2. P.E. is scheduled weekly on Mondays and Fridays.
      • Come dressed to exercise – sneakers, hat, sunscreen.
    3. We will be doing the MAP Reading Test on Monday.
      • Get a good sleep.
      • Eat a healthy breakfast.
      • Relax!
    4. Wednesday will be a bit busy with buddies before recess and a digital citizenship lesson with 6th grade after recess.

Coming Soon

  • May 6 – MAP Testing (Reading)
  • May 13 – MAP Testing (Math)
  • May 17 – No School (Liberation Day)
  • May 27 – Student-Led Conferences
  • May 29 – Elementary Assembly (8:15 a.m.)
  • May 31 – ASAs End


Learner Profile Trait of the Month – REFLECTIVE

Not for Me, Please…

In an effort to extend our Earth Day explorations, we welcomed our Preschool 1 buddies to participate in the action. We began our time together with a read aloud of Not for Me Please, I Choose to Act Green by Maria Godsey. As we were reading, students were able to join in the repeated refrain, “Not for me, please!”

Due to some absences, we were doubled up  – each fourth grader working with two preschool buddies. The activity involved coloring a globe, tracing and cutting out hand prints, and reflecting on and recording real ways each person can “act green.”

Some suggestions included:

  • using reusable containers for snacks.
  • eating healthier snacks that don’t have packaging.
  • recycling or reusing paper.
  • shutting off water when brushing teeth.
  • composting leftover food.
  • using reusable straws.

Patient and proactive, we managed double duty with great dexterity. Our little buddies were delighted.


Multiple Source

To learn more about Luke (the main character of Not for Me, Please) and “acting green” check out the following website:

Luke’s Story

Cool Tool Museum

Today, we had the opportunity to visit our buddies’ “Cool Tool Museum.” Mr. Matthew, our docent for the day, welcomed us warmly and provided a bit of background on the process of developing the display. Our buddies tinkered with tools, sorted sundry samples, planned on paper, created with clay, analyzed the “art” of an architect, meandered to the national museum in the making, and prepared for presentation. Our buddies gave us a grand tour and shared about their work. Afterwards, we sat down and shared some tool-related texts.

As we continue to explore our central idea of structure, we sought to make connections. We are grateful to our buddies for expanding our ideas of structure to include the structural design of the tools themselves and the structure of their display.


Homework for Apr. 22-26 (Week 31)

  1. Read for at least 30 minutes each night. Complete the online reading log OR one on paper. (Copies are available in class).
  2. Explore some lessons on and / or Khan Academy in the following areas:
    • Math
      • *Division (E.11 – E.20)
      • Angles (Z.1 – Z.5) **Multiple Source**
      • Multiplying Fractions (S.1 – S.6)
      • Word Problems (Q. 11, R.7, 12, 15)
    • Language
      • Inference (G.1-G.2)
      • Prefixes and Suffixes (R.1 – R.12) *STRUCTURE*
      • Sentences, Fragments, & Run-ons (CC.1 – CC.10) *STRUCTURE*
    • **A Scholar has a goal: This week, we answered 2,600 questions and almost 27 hours on IXL. What a great start for our final quarter.
    • Log on and “Launch” into some learning with Everyday Math. (Note: Log on information is in your planner.) **Alert: Any lessons in Unit 5 can be reviewed.**
  3. Reflect back on Week 30 and complete the “Reflection: Learning Habits” form.
  4. Note: Homework is due on Fridays.**Check back later in the week for additional homework related to in-class discussions and activities.


    1. Library is scheduled weekly on Mondays from 9:30 – 10:10 a.m.
      • Be sure to bring your book bag!
    2. P.E. is scheduled weekly on Mondays and Fridays.
      • Come dressed to exercise – sneakers, hat, sunscreen.
    3. Our new administration team will be visiting this week. Be sure to greet them and welcome them warmly to TASOK.
    4. Earth Day is Monday, April 22. We will be celebrating with students in the third and fifth grades.
    5. We will be spending time with our buddies on Wednesday.
    6. The Celebration of the Arts rehearsal is on Thursday afternoon.
    7. The Celebration of the Arts is on Friday, April 26 at 8:15 a.m

Coming Soon

  • April 26 – Celebration of the Arts
  • April 29 – MAP Testing (Language)
  • May 6 – MAP Testing (Reading)
  • May 13 – MAP Testing (Math)


Learner Profile Trait of the Month – BALANCED

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!

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