Curious about Quotations and Quadrilaterals

Today, we engaged in two mini-inquiry activities. For the first, we were invited to investigate two texts in which the authors utilized dialogue. Using the Visible Thinking: See. Think. Wonder. Routine, we made notes and noticings related to punctuation, position, and purpose.

Dialogue is a great way to add voice to your writing. As we continue to draft and revise our mysteries, it would be worth considering incorporating some dialogue between characters.

Multiple Sources


Our second inquiry required table group triads to inquire into three- and four-sided figures. Once again, our observational skills were called to action. As mathematical problem solvers, we were challenged to use math language to describe our findings. This got us flipping through the pages of a mathematical multiple source in our class and scrolling through  Math is Fun, a wonderful online resource. Groups used multiple sources to learn about the shapes and chose one on which to become an expert. After posting to a padlet, groups collaborated to create a multiple source for others to use.

Made with Padlet

Padlet Painting: Pablo Picasso’s Brick Factory at Tortosa

Multiple Sources about Pablo Picasso

Reflection: How does geometry play a role in Picasso’s art?

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 continue to inquire about problem solvers.

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!

Home Learning for September 9-13 (Week 4)

  1. Read for at least 30 minutes each night. Complete the online reading log OR one on paper. (Copies are available in class).
  2. Reflect back on Week 3, and complete the “Reflection: Learner Profile & Approaches to Learning” form (A paper version is coming soon).


  1. Library is scheduled weekly on Thursdays.
  2. P.E. is scheduled weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays.
    1. Come dressed to exercise – sneakers, hat, sunscreen.
    2. Bring a water bottle
  3. Check your lunch card balance weekly.

Coming Soon

Below is a list of a few upcoming events of which to be aware.

  • September 8 – PTC Welcome Picnic – 2:00-5:00 p.m.

  • September 9 – ASAs begin

  • September 10 – MAP Testing (Language)
  • September 13 – MAP Testing (Reading)
  • September 18 – MAP Testing (Math)
  • September 27 – Elementary (ES) Assembly (CAC)


We’re on Twitter!

Follow TASOK @TASOKinshasa


Follow Fourth Grade @Scholarsare

Hashtag #TASOK


Learner Profile Trait of the Month – INQUIRER

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


Homework for Nov. 26-30 (Week 15)

  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:
    • *Fractions*
    • *Decimals*
    • Logical Reasoning
    • **A Scholar has a goal: This past week, we answered 2,176 questions during just over 19 hours on IXL!**
  3. Log on and “Launch” into some learning with Everyday Math. (Note: Log on information is in your planner.)
  4. Make sure you are practicing your songs for the musical.
  5. Reflect back on Week 14, and complete the “Reflection: Learning Habits” form.

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.
    • Bring your book bag and books.
  2. P.E. is scheduled weekly on Mondays and Fridays. Come dressed to exercise – sneakers, hat, sunscreen.
    • ALERT: The swim unit continues this week, so bring your swim suit and a towel!
  3. Trimester 2 ASAs began last Monday. See the updated list for YOUR activity day and location.
  4. We will be able to share some time with our buddies on Wednesday, November 28.
  5. Join us for a festive PTC Movie Event on Wednesday, November 28 from 1:45 – 4:00 p.m.
  6. The elementary Celebration of the Arts will be held on Friday, November 30 at 8:15 a.m.


PYP Parent Workshop

TASOK is pleased to announce an exciting learning opportunity!  We will be hosting our first IB PYP (Primary Years Programme) Workshop for TASOK elementary parents offered by PYP Coordinator Leslee Rupp.  You are cordially invited to attend this parent workshop on Monday, December 3rd from 8:15 a.m. to approximately 9:45 a.m. in the TASOK CAC.  This workshop will focus on curricular changes in the elementary school, components of the PYP, and our candidacy as a PYP school.  If you are interested, please email Dustin Collins at with the number of chairs you are requesting.  For more information about the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), please visit We hope to see you next Monday!


Dustin Collins

Elementary and Middle School Principal

What do you detect?

During the past few days, scholarly SLEUTHS have been WITNESSES to some changes to our word wall. DETECTING that some valuable vocabulary might be visible, inquiring INVESTIGATORS collected CLUES and recorded EVIDENCE of their understanding. While the CASE of the missing definitions has not yet been closed, we SUSPECT it will be soon.









Since words were the SUBJECT of intense INVESTIGATION today, we sought to enLIGHTen ourselves with some synonyms, adjectives, and vivid verbs. This curious CAPER was caused by our look at yet another image from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. As we noticed the spots of light on the top of the water, we were prompted to reexamine the other images. Light! Light! Light! Every image had a some sort of sparkle or twinkle or shimmer or glow. Of course, as we prepared to write, we thought about the literary analysis triangle and the all-important “cherry on top”… WORDS. How will LIGHT play a role in our compositions? How will our words impact our understanding of the LIGHT? Yet another MYSTERY to SOLVE.


A Strange Day in July

He threw with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back.


Did you know… there are over 200 words to describe light?

How many can YOU think of?

Add your ideas to the padlet.

**Stay tuned for a list.**

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