Breakout and Blogging

After Ms. Kraft teased us with a “box buzz” on Thursday,…

… we were ready for today!


Due to MAP testing, we have gone three weeks without a visit, so we were ready to roam over to the library. Unlike our last sessions, though, today did not involve a read aloud nor a lesson on citations nor D.E.A.R. time. Today was time to put into practice ALL our problem solving, struggle, and structure skills as we battled… The Box for our first “Breakout.”

Upon entering the library, the two teams settled in on the carpet and were immediately tasked with selecting a team leader. Mohammad and Marylou were identified to lead the learners through the process of reading, rereading, ruminating, running, and revealing the keys and codes for the set of locks. While the first clue tested the teams tenacity, students quickly readjusted, as needed, and confidently and collaboratively continued to crack the code. One team managed to Breakout today, while the other will continue to battle the box tomorrow.


In debriefing with the Breakout team, they highlighted some important aspects of team dynamics, what made their team efficient and effective, and the importance of savoring one another’s skills. Very reflective!

Breakout EDU


Blog Bucket-Filler

This year, the blog has been prioritized as a place to stay informed about events and weekly expectations, highlight happenings in our classroom, share our reflections, extend our thinking with a variety of resources, and scaffold learning. Last week, Kathleen Morris of Edublogs, reached out regarding our blog and requested to feature it in this week’s edition of “13  Examples of Great Class Blogs.” How exciting! Check us out at #6 this week… and be sure to explore the other blogs listed.

*Note: As I was checking out last week’s list of GREAT blogs, I saw a fun feature on Ann Michaelsen’s “Connected Teaching and Learning” blog and decided to add it to our sidebar. Can you find this new feature?


Action and Agency Abound

Again this morning, the room was bustling with bucket-filling as students bearing boxes filled with outgrown clothes eagerly unloaded.


While the competitive nature of the clothing drive definitely is a factor, kindness and caring are the driving forces.

Quote of the Day: “I’m not giving my clothes so we can win, I’m giving to help.” – Kahara H.

In addition to the excitement inside our class, there was a lot of excitement outside our classroom, as our neighbors next door were busy preparing their presentations of their Fifth Grade PYP Exhibition, which will be on May 27.




One group ventured inside to share with us their project about composting. After providing some information about the purpose and process of composting, the team of three asked for volunteers who will support the sustainability of their project. Prior to asking for volunteers, the team identified a list of qualities they were looking for in the soon-to-be-fifth-grade volunteers, including:

  • faithful
  • responsible
  • hard-working
  • reliable
  • teachable
  • returning

In true scholarly fashion, a large number of students stepped forward. Now we wait to see who will be selected to help sustain composting at TASOK.

Multiple Sources

Shocks at all the Socks (and shoes and shirts and skirts…) in the Box

In less than 24 hours, something quite serious has spread throughout our classroom. Student after student has contracted an incredibly contagious condition… caring! After being exposed to an expressed need by only a few fifth grade students, fourth grade scholars have come down an extreme case of excitement. With feverish fervor, they have combed through their closets and scoured their shelves, searching for some garments to share. Early this morning, students bounded from their beds, and, bearing bags and boxes, braved the traffic to bestow their belongings to someone who needed them more. As other students started to arrive, they approached the already amazing amount of attire with awe.


When the fifth grade students came to take the temperature of the task, they were shocked and speechless… off-the-charts.


The germs of generosity are alive and well in fourth grade. May they continue to spread in support of Stand Proud!

Stand Proud!

As part of their Fifth Grade PYP Exhibition related to the central idea of sustainability, two groups of students have opted to organize projects in response to their trip to Stand Proud, an organization that helps survivors of polio and youth with other disabilities.

Pool Party

One group is organizing a fundraising pool party to help Stand Proud purchase water filters.

After surveying possible attendees (students in grades 3-5), the student organizers decided on this Wednesday, May 15 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The cost of the event is $7.00 (Note: A discounted price of $5.00 is available for those who bring food donations to share).

Students must have a signed permission slip in order to attend.

Note: The event will have adult supervision.

Shoe and Clothing Drive

Another group of students is organizing a shoe and clothing drive, also to support Stand Proud.

The clothing drive will run from Tuesday, May 14 through Monday, May 20. The student organizers are inviting students and other members of the TASOK community to donate old shoes and clothes that are still in good condition.

Note: Students have specified that clothing donations must be thoroughly washed.


Multiple Sources

To learn more about polio, check out the following links:


As you reflect on this post, the fifth graders’ projects, and polio… what kinds of connections can you make to our unit on STRUCTURE?

What role does STRUCTURE play in organizing these events?

What types of STRUCTURE cause or are affected by polio?

What STRUCTURES have been established worldwide to help prevent polio?

Homework for May 13-17 (Week 34)

  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
      • Three-Dimensional Figures (AA.1 – AA.5) **Multiple Source**
      • Units of Measurement (N.1 – N.19)
      • Multiplying Fractions (S.1 – S.14)
      • Word Problems
    • Language
      • Sentences, Fragments, & Run-ons (CC.1 – CC.10) *STRUCTURE*
      • Synonyms and Antonyms (V.1 – V.6)
      • Sentence Variety (P.1)
    • **A Scholar has a goal: This week, we answered 2,990 questions and over 27 hours on IXL. 
    • 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 34 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 Math Test on Monday.
      • Get a good sleep.
      • Eat a healthy breakfast.
      • Relax!
    4. Fifth Grade will be hosting a pool party on Wednesday, May 15 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
      • Cost: $7.00 ($5.00 is you bring a food donation to share)
      • Purpose: To raise money to support Stand Proud
      • Supervision will be provided
    5. Fifth Grade is sponsoring a shoes and clothing drive to support Stand Proud
      • May 14-20
      • Donate shoes and clothing, thoroughly clean and in good condition
    6. There will be NO SCHOOL on Friday, May 17, in recognition of Liberation Day.


Coming Soon

  • May 13 – MAP Testing (Math)
  • May 14-20 – Shoe and Clothing Drive
  • May 15 – Pool Party
  • May 17 – No School (Liberation Day)
  • May 27 – Student-Led Conferences
  • May 31 – ASAs End


Learner Profile Trait of the Month – REFLECTIVE

Measuring Our Mastery of Measurement

Today, we explored one final aspect of measurement – capacity, which includes a very common set of units, particularly for those who enjoy cooking and baking. Unlike the metric system, which is based on multiples of 10 and can be converted in conjunction with one’s understanding of the prefixes, the customary system often does not have an easy way to remember. In our workbook, though, we were introduced to a very valuable visual, the STRUCTURE of which allowed us to explore equivalents and create conversion tables.

As extension of this exploration and a culmination of our year-long journey with the metric and customary measurement systems, students were challenged to create their own visual for a specific aspect and system of measurement, complete a conversion table, and represent equivalents on a number line. Working in teams, students used multiple sources including their grid books, workbooks, and online resources, if needed, to make a multiple source we could reference in the room.

Teams of thinkers really worked well, discussing essential elements, sharing creative ideas, celebrating various skill sets, and delegating roles and responsibilities. STRUCTURE was incredibly integrated, both intentionally and instinctively by these incredible inquirers!


Return for the resource reveal!

Multiple Sources

Digital Citizenship

After working with our preschool buddies, we ventured over to the middle school to learn about digital citizenship and citations.

The sixth grade students had prepared a lesson featuring some important information about citations. As students who are to show integrity and be principled, this is important information to become knowledgeable about. It is information we will need apply to our work as scholars this year and in the years to come.

After a brief introduction, students worked in groups facilitated by the sixth grade students to create correctly-formatted citations and sort sources into those that are reliable and unreliable.

In addition to learning the content, we also learned a lot about preparing presentations, sharing information, and facilitating groups. Challenging!

Multiple Sources

The following is a GREAT overview of citing sources.

As we learn more about citations, STRUCTURE will play a key role.


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


Developing Data Detectives

Today, as we prepared to look at a variety of data representations, we warmed up with a visual activity from Math 4 Love. (*Great multiple source.*)

Working with their tables groups, students took time to make observations, identify relationships, consider the role of STRUCTURE, and connect to our learning.

Scholarly conversations were instantaneous. Without invitation, students instinctively were drawn to the board for a closer look, where they shared their ideas and inferences with other math-magicians.

Mr. Collins was witness to our enthusiasm and eagle-eyed observations. He was almost as excited as we were.

We then took our detective skills to the next level by examining data representations related to our countries of focus. Like our initial activity, we looked through the lens of STRUCTURE and its role in understanding the information.

  • What can you learn from each of the representations below?
  • Why do the STRUCTURE differ?
  • Could the data be represented with a different STRUCTURE? If so, how? Why?


Line Graph

Bar Graph

Stem-and-Leaf Plot

Double Bar Graph


Pie Chart / Circle Graph



Rainy Day Recess Revelation

This week, we relished the return of the rains. With them came a few rainy day recesses. As the rain came down, the students spread out, sprinkling the room with an array of activities. As I roamed around, I realized… every single game or activity students were involved in had some kind of STRUCTURE.

Take a peek at the pictures below. What forms of STRUCTURE do you see, and what are their functions?


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