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


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

Earth Day Extraordinaire!

Earth Day was extraordinary! This morning, students came to school ready to rally round the ideas of reducing, reusing, recycling. With only 15 minutes to prepare, everyone sprang into action to finalize the last-minute details.


At 8:20 a.m., after students from third and fifth grade settled into our space, our first group got our attention with a powerful and provocative Google Slides presentation.

Once they had everyone’s attention, the team introduced their “treasure” hunt. Equipped with two baskets, groups rummaged ’round the room for rubbish, which they were required to sort into trash or recyclables. Each items was assigned a certain number of points, which added a strategic element to the search.

After adding up their points, teams dispersed to explore other activities which included a variety of games, videos, an outdoor scavenger hunt, up-cycled creative constructions, and an examination of live lettuce. The variety of activities providing an opportunity for everyone to explore and learn.


This afternoon, we took time to tie our Earth Day endeavor to our central idea. Reflection, a critical part of the process, allowed us to consider the following key components – concepts, clarity, cohesiveness, and creativity. Tomorrow, we will revisit our work and reflect again through the lens of STRUCTURE.





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

Energized about Earth Day

After reading and reflecting on another chapter of Homeless Bird and working with our thinking buddies on another angle endeavor, we were ready to finish out our “Friday” with reducing, reusing, and recycling in mind.

Earth Day is on Monday, April 22. Having agreed to participate in a collaborative learning experience with students in the third and fifth grades, the room was buzzing this afternoon as each group eagerly assembled its activity. There is a wide assortment of ideas to share with our peers, each needing to be STRUCTURED strategically in order to accommodate various sized groups, ages, and interests. It will interesting to see what other action comes from this initial inquiry.




Puzzling about Poetry, Paper Protractors, and Preserving the Planet

Today, we had a lot of questions about quatrains as we sought to compose a poem related to our text. The challenge involved identifying a topic, crafting phrases with a rhythm, and identifying the rhyme scheme. The sentiment and the STRUCTURE were important considerations. Topics included: the wedding, the market, school, writing, learning, embroidery / stitching, sadness, fruit, and more. Some students opted to write two separate poems, while others drafted one poem with two stanzas.


What is the rhyme scheme of this quatrain poem?

With each stitch worries fade,

While special memories are made.

Maa’s green sari and the tamarind tree,

Embroidered they will go with me.


During math time today, we continued our work with angles, but we definitely stepped it up a bit. Using a paper protractor, folded differently than yesterday, we worked with thinking buddies to identify ALL the mystery angles. If that was not challenge enough, we had to do it without the lights (an unexpected surprise) and with an audience of assistant teachers (not a surprise). In addition to wrestling with the mathematical concepts (shapes, angles, fractions, division), we had the opportunity to put the following math practices in place:

  • Overarching habits of mind of a productive math thinker
    • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
      • a.k.a. Struggle!
  • Reasoning and Explaining
    • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
      • a.k.a. Show evidence to justify thinking!

Everyone chose their thinking buddies wisely today and embraced the challenge together. It was exciting to see students use a wide variety of tools and strategies during this activity.

Being scholars, we were really able to highlight these two math practices in a powerful way.

We ended our day with the much-anticipated planning and preparation session for Earth Day. Students worked feverishly in groups this afternoon to prepare their activities for Monday’s event. A wide variety of ideas was explored.

What Earth Day issues affect India? How could I make a difference?

Earth Day – India

World Wildlife Foundation



Amazing Answers, Angles, and Activities

Today, after spending some time working with our reading groups we reviewed what it means to “reflect on the questions, and respond in complete, thoughtful sentences.” We also our Secret Agent Tip: TTQA (Turn The Question Around) to help STRUCTURE our sentences. Going back in the text and determining the importance of details to justify our thinking is critical.

For example, one of our questions today was:

What do Koly’s mother and grandmother enjoy doing? How does this activity affect Koly?

Which answer do you think is more complete and thoughtful? Why?

  1. Embroidering. Koly learns to do it too to make money and to pass the time.
  2. Koly’s mother and grandmother enjoy embroidering. This skill, passed on to them from many generations before them, enabled them to sew all their hopes and dreams into the cloth… and earn money for the family. For Koly, embroidering allowed her to sew all her worries into stitches and to capture in cloth all the things she loved and valued. Her embroidered quilt was a source of comfort.

As we work though our novel, one goal is to develop the STRUCTURE of our responses and reflections into something solid, sustaining sentences that show scholarly synthesis.

We also explored ideas about angles today by creating and using a valuable angle-measuring tool – a paper protractor. To make the paper protractor, we used what we already know about the attributes of squares, rectangles, and triangles to partition our paper and label. We also tied in our work with fractions and division to help justify our thinking.

Part of our work today involved using benchmark angles to identify angle types and estimate angles sizes.

Our goal is to become increasingly precise in measuring angles using a variety of tools and strategies.

If you want to extend and challenge your thinking, check out the following videos. I learned some things about the origins of the words, which was interesting.


To end our day, we took a few minutes to talk about Earth Day, which is coming up on Monday, April 22. We will be participating in a learning exchange with third and fifth grade students, and we will be responsible for creating a set of activities that engage our peers’ in learning and thinking about issues that affect our earth. One big question is, how will we STRUCTURE our time and tasks to make the biggest impact?


A Myriad of Multiple Sources

As we continue to dive deeply into the text, analyzing different aspects of the literature, wonder-filled words and writer’s craft are key.

One of our tasks will be to solve and create anagrams. Anagrams are words or phrases created by rearranging the letters in other words or phrases. They can be related or unrelated.

For example: The letters in L-I-S-T-E-N can be rearranged to spell S-I-L-E-N-T.

This anagram happens to be a set of related words because when you listen, you are silent.

Another example is the word A-N-A-G-R-A-M. These letters can be rearranged to make the phrase NAG A RAM. The letters in the word have been rearranged to make a phrase. This anagram is, obviously, not related.

To learn more and see additional examples, watch the following video.

Secret Agent Tips: How to Solve Anagrams Effectively

Like anagrams, palindromes provide another way to play with the STRUCTURE of words or phrases.

Scholarly Challenge: Find and post examples of anagrams and palindromes in the padlet below. As an extra scholarly challenge, try to create your own.

Made with Padlet

We will also be discussing “the best figure of speech hands down: hyperbole”. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but that’s the point. Hyperbole is meant to be an exaggeration.

Check out the video below to learn more about hyperbole and to take an opportunity to practice.

Don’t forget to add some of your own examples to our figurative language Padlet.

Since our central idea for our unit is related to STRUCTURE, poetry is a perfect genre to explore as writers. After reflecting on Koly and the events in Homeless Bird so far, we will communicate some of our thinking through the writing of quatrain poems. As you will learn in the following video, one of the elements of a quatrain poem is that it is about a specific subject, we will be able to highlight a big idea or theme from the first chapter.

Multiple Sources:

Finally, some of your work this week will require you to think about text STRUCTURES, specifically sequential or chronological text STRUCTURE.We can use this STRUCTURE to think about Koly’s wedding.

The following video is great because is ties into some ideas explored in our last unit on struggle and survival, explains sequential text STRUCTURE, and highlights brain-crossing strategies that help grow neurons! Whoa! (Oh… how might the growing of neurons relate to STRUCTURE? Hmmm…)

Sequential (a.k.a. Chronological)


Throughout our reading and analysis of Homeless Bird, we will be learning about these other text STRUCTURES, as well.

Compare and Contrast

Problem-Solution / Cause-Effect 

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?
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