Career Ed: Paramedic Visit!

Hello, division 4!

Why do we have first responders? What is it like to have a career as a paramedic? What can you see inside of an ambulance? What do all of those interesting medical gadgets do?

Today our grade 4/5 students joined up with our kindergarten buddies to enjoy a very special presentation by our classmate Leo’s dad, Eric. Eric is a paramedic and he drove over an ambulance to help us bring our career education and health and safety learning to life.

The students enjoyed asking questions, sharing their own personal connections and knowledge, and learning more about this exciting and important work. We got to get up close to the gear and hear first hand perspective on what it’s like to use the specialized equipment to help people—and even save lives.

We enjoyed the ambulance light show, but we weren’t sure if we’d be lucky enough to hear a siren sample too—but when the students spontaneously started chanting in unison, we got the big finale we had been hoping for! There were some really happy kids today!

Now, the next time you see or hear an ambulance going by, you will know a little bit more about the kind of special support that is on the way!

There are many ways people contribute to society. Students, keep discussing this question: “What are some ways you might like to share your knowledge, time, and skills to benefit this world?”

We extend a huge THANK YOU to Eric and all of his colleagues for their community outreach and education…and for doing this brave, important work to keep us all safe in our community!

*Please note: the students who are identifiable in these photos have given personal and parental permission to be featured.

Ready for the Salish Sea? (Important Details!)

Hello, families of division 4!

We are so excited that this coming Tuesday, February 7th is our Salish Sea adventure! This week we had Tom, Meaghan, and Crystelle from “Eagle Wing Tours” visit us to get us ready and get us even more excited for our trip! They shared lots of background and connections between scientific discoveries and local Indigenous knowledge.

The “Wild 4 Whales” boat we will be on!

As well, here is a summary of what guests aboard the “Wild 4 Whales” boat should know and try to do to prepare for a safe, comfortable trip:

-Dress in many, many warm layers (as if you were going on a ski trip). For example, wear a base layer or “long underwear” type garment underneath your pants.


-Wear waterproof or water resistant rain jackets and rain pants if you can. Ski pants and ski jackets work well!

-Wear winter boots or rain boots—or any footwear that will keep your feet dry and warm.

-Wear warm headwear that is not likely to blow away (no ball caps). A toque and a scarf or neck warmer would be good. Your face will be cold from the water and wind!

Gloves are a good idea.

-Bring your backpack with extra dry layers and your snack/lunch and water bottle. We will have two designated snack times aboard the vessel.

Warm layers are a must! Cover your head and face—it will be windy, cold and wet!

***Students should NOT BRING PHONES, CAMERAS, TECHNOLOGY or other valuables that could be lost or damaged at sea. We will have professional photographers snapping photos the whole trip, and these will be shared with us. So it is unnecessary for students to have anything else. (Adult volunteers can be in charge of their own devices. However, my caution is that I almost lost my iPhone in the ocean on my Salish Sea trip that I did in September due to cold, slippery fingers, and it’s going to colder than that in February! I will bring my own phone again this time, but in a “wet bag” on a string around my neck.)

There is one bathroom aboard the boat.

There are enough life jackets available for everyone, but they will be stored unless needed (just on a ferry).

There is strict safety protocol and guests must show they can be listening closely to follow safety instructions.

If you are concerned about the possibility of sea sickness, of course it is a family decision whether or not to take preventative measures. The staff of Eagle Wing tours are experienced in supporting anyone who may feel unwell when on board the boat.

*Here is an article Eagle Wing tours published to give more specific information:

Travel Details:

This is a reminder that our class is divided into TWO GROUPS with two different travel times and plans!

Grade 4 students of Div. 4 will travel with Ms. Poirier and Ms. Tebo and her grade 4 class via bus to Fisherman’s Wharf leaving Oaklands at 9:00am; they will return to Oaklands at 12:30pm. We will have two parent volunteers: Ruan and Tom.

Grade 5 students of Div. 4 will travel to Fisherman’s Wharf with Tracy (EA) and Ms. Karen Mills-McNicol via bus leaving the school at 11:30am. There will be three parent volunteers joining (Melissa, Jenica, and Mathieu) who will be driving students back to school for 2:30pm.

We dearly appreciate parents for their time driving, paying for parking, and supervising! We couldn’t do it without you!

***Note for Melissa, Jenica and Mathieu: please meet us at Fisherman’s Wharf by the Eagle Wing Tours building for our expected bus arrival at 12:00pm. You would need to arrange parking until at least a few minutes after 2:00pm, which is the expected time the boat returns to the wharf. Again, thank you endlessly for your generous help!!

Thank you to all parents/guardians for how you have supported this trip! There were many forms to fill in, back and forth communications, and money to pay—and we couldn’t do this without you!

Division, Spelling & Salish Sea Art/Poetry

Hello, division 4 families!

Please see below for updates about our learning in Math, Spelling, and our Salish Sea inquiry.

In Math, we have been working on word problems and a new method of multi-digit division. This division method involves using easy multiples of the divisor. My former colleague, Mr. Pite, made this helpful instructional video that teaches students and families how to use this method, while explaining the difference between it and traditional long division. (I have added the video to our Math Tutorials page as well.)

For math homework this week, you could ask your children to solve these two questions for you by using the above method: What is 126 divided by 7? What is 311 divided by 4?

Once students have had more practice with this method, I will introduce the traditional method of long division.

If possible, please review the spelling and meaning of these words as homework over the next week. We will continue to work with these words in context in our writing in class.

In our multi-disciplinary Salish Sea inquiry, we have reached lovely milestone! The students have created beautiful poems and watercolour paintings. Please see the project description and student work samples below…

Big Math Review today

Hello, division 4 families!

In Math, are full steam ahead on our new division unit. However, today we took some time to do a big math review of addition, subtraction, expanded form, and multi-digit multiplication using both the traditional method and box method.

We reviewed because we want to keep sharp, but also there are students who are studying for a math “re-test”, and this review was a check point to see if students were feeling ready for that.

*Parents/Guardians: Please ask your children, “How did you feel about the math review today? What types of questions do you still need help with?” Students will bring home the review sheet today. If they are struggling, please ask them to watch the tutorial video below. If you have time, please look at your child’s answers and compare with the answer key posted below.

*If a student forgot to bring home the review sheet, they could copy out these questions above themselves.

Does your child need more practice with their multiplication facts? (Most of us do!) I recommend getting some “math bands” if you can. These are silicon bracelets with math facts. I have a set I bought for the class to use, and many of the students love them and wish they could take them home (but I’m having a hard time getting them returned to me, so I cannot let them go home…and it’s a fair bit of work to keep washing them). So here is a link to Amazon to purchase or you might find them at the School House Teaching store on Douglas St. downtown, which is where I bought my set two years ago. *What other strategies do you like to use to reinforce math facts? Reply below or send me an email!

Another great product is this multiplication chart in pop-it form—so it doubles as a fidget! I’m ordering one for my son right now! Here’s a link:

Orff music today again!

Hatchet, Division & Salish Sea Watercolour Paintings

Hello, division 4!

Today in math we continued reviewing the meaning of division by exploring repeated subtraction and playing with fact families. You might ask your child, “How would you use a number line to find an answer to a division question like 15 divided by 5?”

In Language Arts, we read another chapter of Hatchet and students added to their novel illustration pages and responded to some more comprehension and analysis questions for chapter 9.

As well, many students have finished their wonderful “Five Senses Salish Sea Poems” incorporating their learning about the local environment and new vocabulary words.

I also presented some techniques for creating natural, dramatic skies and for how layer islands in a watercolour seascape. The videos below show the tutorials I did in class. We will continue painting tomorrow—the students’ artworks are looking wonderful!

Giant Map & Division

Hello, division 4 families!

On Friday, we had a special Social Studies lesson to grow our knowledge of oceans and how to use maps. The giant map shown below was on loan from the Royal BC Museum. Students had the chance to explore it on their own and formulate their own questions. We had tape measures and ropes for students to practice making good estimates of distance. For example, the ropes were helpful in estimating the the length of meandering rivers and the perimeter of irregularly shaped islands and coastlines. Students practiced their research skills using the Chromebooks to find trustworthy sources of information to help them answer their own questions. Ask your children what they noticed and wondered about our big map!

Here are the spelling/vocabulary challenge words we are exploring. Students are incorporating the words into their current poetry assignment about the Salish Sea

We have started our new math unit in division now. We started with review of grade 2/3/4 concepts today, and students used math manipulatives to create their own division questions. As well; I peppered in division enrichment questions for those who were ready for a challenge. We discussed and demonstrated the difference between division as equal sharing and division as equal grouping. For more explanation of this, you can see the video below and/or click this link:

Division: Equal Sharing & Equal Grouping
Math Enrichment: Answers will vary depending on how many hours you think it is reasonable to walk per day and per week.

Salish Sea Trip: Payment & Details

Hello, division 4 families!

Our Salish Sea trip is coming up, and we are so excited! THANK YOU for returning the permission forms! We are now ready to have parents/guardians submit the $36 payment for each child using the school’s “Cashonline” system. Please visit this link to complete payment:

No child will be denied the opportunity to participate based on finances. Please email our principal Ms. Eggert with any concerns about the cost of the trip, and your family will be supported and your privacy will be respected.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to all parents/guardians who expressed interest in being volunteers. We had many more parents eager to join our trip than we have spaces to offer; so we had to do a random draw. The following parents/guardians are invited to join as supervisors. (And we may learn we have room for MORE parent/guardian supervisors , but I won’t know for another week until the teacher team meets to do a recount of our numbers after all permission forms come in.)

The parents/guardians confirmed to join us so far include… 

Grade 4 Trip in the Morning of Tuesday, February 7th

  • Onni’s dad (Ruan)*
  • Miles’ dad (Tom)*

Grade 5 Trip in the Afternoon of Tuesday, February 7:

  • Levi’s mom (Melissa)**
  • Leo’s mom (Jenica)**
  • Remi’s dad (Mathieu)**
  • Miya’s grandmother (Robyn)*

*All six of the parent/guardian supervisors listed above are requested to also pay $36 online for their own fareand/or send in cash to the office. Please contact the school office at 250-595-2444 if you have questions about this.

**Note to just Melissa, Jenica and Mathieu: We need you as the afternoon trip supervisors, both to join us on the boat AND to drive students home after the trip—thank you so much for this extra helpful contribution! More specific details to come, but here’s an overview for you three: being driving supervisors requires (a.) meeting us at the dock at approximately 11:45am with your vehicle, (b.) paying for parking for the 3-4 hour duration, (c.) joining on the boat, (d.) driving students back to the school for 2:30pm, and (e.) completing the required documentation, which some of you have already done, including (i.) providing a Driver’s Abstract, (ii.) the “Oaklands Volunteer Driver Information and Authorization Form”, and (iii.) the Criminal Record Check available for free online (using our school code of XSPYUADCCW) here:  — Melissa, Jenica, and Mathieu, if you are not sure if you have completed all forms, please check with the office. I have requested that parents be reimbursed for the “pay parking” at Fisherman’s Wharf, but this expense was not accounted for in the trip’s budget, and the school is asking parent volunteers to pay for their own parking if possible–even when they acting as student drivers. (I’m so sorry!) Between all the extra forms, driving, and paying for parking, I know this is a hassle, and we so dearly appreciate your extra contribution! Your kindness makes this trip possible for us! Please contact our principal if you have any questions about parking payment and your family will be supported and your confidentiality respected.

I extend my huge thanks to all families for all the ways you are supporting this special learning adventure! We know the memories will last a lifetime! 


Tiffany Poirier

Salish Sea Inquiry & Orff Music

In Music class learning Orff Instruments

Hello, division 4 families!

We are so fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Our students have been enjoying our cross-curricular studies of the oceans —and specifically the Salish Sea—through related Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Art lessons and activities. We have been reading, discussing, and note-taking from lots of beautiful books and watching documentaries and YouTube videos. Two highlights included watching clips from the “Island of the Sea Wolves” series (available on Netflix) and reading aloud the wonderful book, “If You Take Away and Otter”. Students have begun transforming their research notes and insights into information paragraphs and powerful poems as well.

A key historical connection we are learning about is how the aggressive over-hunting of sea otters during the fur trade in Canada had wide-reaching ecological impacts. A question you could ask your child is, “Why do kelp forests matter and how did the Canadian fur trade impact them?” (Hint: Less sea otters, meant their key food source population exploded [sea urchins]. What impact did having a huge sea urchin population have on the kelp forests?)

We have also been learning about the history of the Coast Salish peoples and their interactions and traditions involving the Salish Sea.

Math Update!

Hello, Div. 4 families!

Link to Ms. Poirier’s Math Tutorials:

Please visit (and bookmark) this link.

This above link is the location where I will continue to add all of the MATH TUTORIAL VIDEOS that I make (and find) to help students to learn and practice math at home. I will continue adding videos to that link above to help you find them in the future—so you don’t have to hunt through past blog posts to find them.

Today I sent home with students a package of their recent math quizzes, along with a letter from me indicating their performance in math so far this term. Please sign and return the letter (keep the quizzes for studying) so that I know the package came home to you.

Here are a few (but not all) of the recent videos…

Please help your child to visit (and bookmark) this link:

Bernoulli’s Principle & Purple Park

Hello, division 4 families!

Today in Science we explored more about forces and Bernoulli’s Principle. We will have a quiz on the Forces of Flight next Monday. Next Tuesday, we will have a multi-digit multiplication quiz (box method and traditional method).

What did you observe in our experiment today? Explain what is happening and why?

We continued on with our Hatchet novel study, enjoyed Orff instruments in music class. Then we had a wonderful walking field trip with our Buddy class to “Purple Park”. It was great to see grade 4/5 students practicing their leadership skills while mentoring the kindergarten students.

Then we wrapped up the day learning more about our upcoming Salish Sea field trip happening on Tuesday, February 7th. Information and permission forms will be coming home tomorrow. The grade 4 students will join Ms. Tebo’s class on the bus and boat trip to Fisherman’s wharf to ride an Eagle Wing boat ride in the morning. Then our grade 5s will join Ms. Mills’ class and Tracy (our EA) on an afternoon trip. (We had to spread out our class since there can only be about 40 people per boat.).

We will be asking for 4 parent/guardian volunteers to join on the two boat—please fill out the form I send home tomorrow if you’d like to come. If we have more volunteers than we have spaces, then we will randomly choose volunteers by lottery. We will also need some parent/guardian drivers help bring grade 5 students home after the afternoon trip. More information coming soon.

If you’re wondering what this trip will be like, here is a video I took of my son and I doing an Eagle Wing tour in August of 2021. This is the same kind of boat and wildlife possible for viewing. It will be a wonderful, cold trip in February, so we will all need to bundle up in many layers.

Ms. Poirier’s Salish Sea trip in 2021 with Eagle Wing.