Marketing Mix

While there were a number of highlights from this past week, one was definitely seeing so many scholarly faces during our reading groups via Google Hangouts. I was so impressed with students’ promptness, preparedness, and principled participation in the discussion. While each discussion was unique, all resulted in  a closer examination of text and graphic features and a deeper understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur. We will continue with our reading groups this week. I am looking forward to seeing everyone again… this week  on Tuesday.

Another highlight was the investment students put into expressing themselves creatively through the planning and designing of their own businesses. Certainly, creating a business is no small feat, and students were introduced to a number of new vocabulary words and concepts. While challenging, inquirers navigated a number of resources including the read aloud, shared Epic! texts, and the embedded resources in the Mobile Business Design Plan to lay the foundation for what could become an eventual entrepreneurial endeavor. As students crafted mission statements and designed logos, critical and creative thinking were obvious approaches to learning that grew. 

This coming week, we will continue to develop our business plan with a focus on persuasion. Students are encouraged to explore various marketing strategies, develop a mobile business prototype, and present their pitch.

As you continue to inquire into marketing, checkout some of these multiple sources:

This first source is one recommended by our very own Konrad. In consulting multiple sources, including his grandfather, he came across the following website, which features the 5 P’s of marketing.

Making of a Mobile Mogul…

This week, we will launch into our two-week mobile business design project. We will be thinking about:

  • personal passions
  • mission and vision statements
  • mottos
  • logos
  • products / services
  • start-up costs
  • marketing strategies
  • advertising
  • floorplans
  • prototypes
  • energy
  • pitches

Coming up with a business is a complex thing. In fact, each element has its own complexity. Have you ever thought, for example, how complex a pencil is?

Indeed, when considering creating one’s own business, there is a LOT to think about.

Here’s an infographic by our read aloud authors:

Multiple Sources:

For some inspiration, check out this success story:

FEE: How This Teen Entrepreneur Created a Million-Dollar Candy Empire




Well… the day is almost here. April 6. TASOK is going global. Rather than riding the bus, tackling the traffic, or walking the trails, we will be strolling to our sofas, settling ourselves at the kitchen table, and building a bureau in our bedrooms to ready ourselves for reading online resources, tuning in to video lessons, and engaging in scholarly digital discussions. While it will certainly be a shift, I know we are set for success.

As I think about the initiation of the continuous learning plan, which will officially begin on Monday, April 6, I can’t help but think that you, Scholar, have been in training all year long for a time like this. Reflecting back on our year so far, we have inquired into the following central ideas:

  • Individuals approach problems in order to reach solutions. 
  • Movement is a change agent. 
  • People respond to circumstances differently with different results.
  • Structures impact individuals, communities, and societies.
  • Industries are impacted by creativity. 

In one way or another, each of these can be contextualized in our current circumstances. Now is the time for action. How will we put our learning into practice?

As we discovered in our first unit, problems can be opportunities, and that is how I hope we can approach this learning adventure together. Surely, there will be struggle; however, we will not only survive but thrive. Structures we put in place will sustain. And, as many schools around the world have already discovered, creativity will be a key to our success

Prior to break, we spent some time in class ensuring we were familiar with the online platforms and forums we will be using to stay connected and to curate evidence of learning. 

Embedded in these, there are links to a number of other resources that I think you will both find valuable and enjoy. This week, you will get to use:

Note: I’m not sure they will all work the first time, but… we’re going to give it a try and problem solve as we need to. Please be patient with yourself as we try to smooth out the bumps in a road that will be both rough and rewarding. 

As we prepare for learning, our desire is to maintain as much consistency as possible. Each week will include some routine-building tasks and learning experiences including:

  • Daily reading
    • Independent reading, read alouds, read with family members
  • Weekly word work
    • Vocabulary tied to units of inquiry
  • Offline explorations
    • Learning engagements to be completed without devices
  • Online research and reinforcement
    • Inquiry-related investigations and skill practice
  • Seesaw
    • Documentation of and reflection on learning

Scholars, you are encouraged to self-manage as much as possible. This week, we will be working together to develop a daily schedule and introduce accountability tools that you will be able to follow and manage. Portions of the daily plan will include time of unstructured play, the value of which we experienced on Global Play Day. In addition, our single-subject teachers will be providing ideas and information weekly to help us all maintain balance. (Note: Single-subject slides are included at the end of the presentation, but you can jump to them from the schedule at the beginning of the presentation).

As we prepare to embark on a new learning journey, I want to thank you for joining me. I look forward to learning with and from them. Remember:

  • establish a learning space and schedule for yourself.
  • set up scholarly routines and maintain BALANCE.
  • take time to explore before diving in.
    • Imagine your are doing a picture walk BEFORE you read the book.
  • log in to YOUR Google Classroom for access.
    • Note: I will not grant file access to anyone outside our domain.

Student Agency: Choice Boards

As we shift from school-site to self-managed, stay-at-home learning, you have a great opportunity to develop student agency. How are you going to exercise your voice, choice, and ownership to grow as a learner?

I really love these posters created by Cindy Blackburn @MsCindyPYP.

Below are a few choice boards you might be interested in exploring to supplement the learning shared in Google Classroom. How can you use some of these options to express yourself as an inquirer, thinker, learner… scholar?



Above and Beyond for April 6-10 (Week 28)

  1. Read for at least 30 minutes each night.
    • Check out the new reading choice board for scholarly, agentic readers.
    • Reflect on your reading:
      • on Seesaw.
      • by completing the online reading log OR one on paper (Copies are available in class).
      • by having a thoughtful conversation with another reader.
  2. Option: Use the Pobble 365 prompt to inspire your writing.
        • Use lined paper OR the Google Doc in your Google Classroom.
  3. Reflect back on your Week 27, and complete the “Reflection: Learner Profile & Approaches to Learning” form.
  4. Explore the recommendations on

**A Scholar has a goal: During Spring Break we:

    • answered 3,934 IXL questions.
    • spent 27 hours 39 minutes on IXL.
    • made progress in 128 IXL skills.

Note: A few topics in science and social studies related to our unit of inquiry (engineering design process and economics / supply & demand) have been suggested for you to explore.

Challenge: IXL has issued a Learning Showdown! The classrooms that answer the most questions on IXL through April 30 will be rewarded with a prize. Interested?


We’re on Twitter!

Follow TASOK @TASOKinshasa


Follow Fourth Grade @Scholarsare

Hashtag #TASOK

New Hashtag #VirtuallyTASOK


Learner Profile Trait of the Month – BALANCED

**Check back later in the week for additional resources related to our virtual learning explorations

Expressing Ourselves – Multiple Means and Methods

After French this morning, we spent some time reading Homeless Bird. One group was able to finish the book and proposed a number of ideas for expressing their thoughts and feelings in response to the book, including writing a letter to the author and writing an alternate ending. Students will also be working on a visual plot diagram to document the main events in the story, changes in the character, symbols included by the author, and themes developed.

Once again today, we went to the CAC to refine our performances for tomorrow’s Arts Festival. Getting on and off stage like professionals takes practice.

After recess, we had an opportunity to venture over to MS4 to see Grade 10 students share their design projects. Their challenge was to create a functional pieces of furniture, which were designed and crafted with community needs in mind.

While we expected it to be a great learning experience, we didn’t realize just how much it would tie into and support our current inquiry into how we express ourselves and our central ideas: Industries are impacted by creativity.

When we returned to the classroom, we debriefed our experience and had a great discussion about the term “industries.” Several students used multiples sources to help define the word and gain better understanding of what industries are and how creativity impacts them. We realized even the furniture industry is impacted by creativity.

Multiple Sources


This afternoon, we continued work on our poster consolidating our understanding of the relationship between fractions, angles, and division.

Comparing, Contrasting and… Collecting.

This week, we have had the opportunity to get into others students’ classroom to observe, using a See. Think. Wonder. visible thinking routine. As part of our research in preparation for I Love to Read and Write Week, we want to see what kinds of structures other classrooms have in place. Since teachers have allowed us into their learning spaces, we thought it might be a good idea to express our gratitude through the writing of a letter. Before doing that, though, we needed to know how letters are structured and how they compare to other forms of writing like essays and poems. As part of our inquiry into letter writing, teaching teams used used multiple sources and a triple Venn diagram structure to identify similarities and differences between the three genres of writing.

Some teaching teams expanded their inquiry to include other genres of writing like emails and stories, which required them to alter their Venn structure.

After a wonderful session during which thinking and research skills were stretched, it was icing on the cake to see self and social management skills applied during clean up! Thank you, gentlemen, for taking action and working together.

In library this afternoon, Ms. Kraft helped us think about read aloud book selection for the upcoming I Love to Read and Write Week. She shared with us a variety of books and highlighted some of the features that made them engaging and appropriate for various levels of readers.

We then had time to select some books and practice reading them outloud in our teaching teams. Holding and reading books aloud is easier said than done.

Finally, to end our day, we revisited our simile of how a poem is like a puzzle and explored the second stanza.

This puzzle’s pieced together

With meaning, shape, and sound in mind.

Each word is chosen carefully,

Search. The perfect one you’ll find.

With a focus on word choice, we examined the words brainstormed yesterday and narrowed our list down to one word we wanted to explore more deeply. Using a Frayer model structure, we considered and collected:

    1. related words (affixes).
    2. synonyms (and antonyms).
    3. adjectives.
    4. rhyming (or similar sounds)

This resource will be valuable as we set out to compose our poem in the days ahead. Again, this will be a lesson that we share to other readers and writers during I Love to Read and Write Week.

Pressing on in Pajamas

On this, the last day of January, we were able to finish off the month with some fun. Thanks to STUCO for planning this special spirit day!

Despite being in our pajamas, our day was anything but sleepy. Drawing on our own poetry-writing experience, we used our Writer’s Express book as a resource for researching special aspect of poetry and considering a plan for presentation. We worked together to plug in the pieces to our schedule. Sequencing of the lessons was a critical component of the structure that needed careful consideration.

As we continued our pursuit of parts, we were presented with a set of perplexing problems… how to find the whole when given a part as a fraction.

How would you solve the question: If 2 fifths pieces are 1/3 of the whole, then what is the whole?   Tricky!

To end our day, we were treated to an assembly hosted by Grade 2. They shared with us their learning about endangered animals and invited the audience to get involved. They were very knowledgeable.

From Paragraph to Poem

After reading a portion of Varsha Bajaj‘s book T is for Taj Mahal yesterday, we began our day, using this text as a mentor, to inquire further about structure The book, through a combination of prose and verse, highlight important people, places, and elements of India and its culture. After reviewing ideas on the W portion of their KWHLAQ charts, each student identified a topic of interest and used a variety of informational / nonfiction texts to gather facts. Using the facts gathered, researchers began to freewrite in paragraph form.

Once paragraphs were written, students reread their work and considered reSTRUCTuring by adding line breaks to create a poem. While somewhat challenging to rethink reading with poetic pauses, students worked through the process of transforming a paragraph into a poem. The final step involved revising with poetic elements like rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and figurative language in mind. This final step often requires rewriting, multiple attempts at lines and stanzas until the sound is satisfying.

This afternoon, during art with Ms. Rydah, we continued our work on our hands. Ms. Paula came by to admire the art.


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