Blog

Sorting Sentences

Today in Div. 2, we continued our inquiry into this question: “What are the ingredients of a well-formed sentence?”

The Process
(1.) We worked together in groups to brainstorm fun sentences (intentionally writing a range of very simple to complex sentences).
(2.) We shuffled and redistributed the piles of sample sentences.
(4.) Teams analyzed and discussed the merits of each sentence and evaluated them using a “Proficiency scale” rubric.
(5.) Students explained their choices and reflected on learning.

NOTE ABOUT THE PROFICIENCY SCALE: Please ask your child to explain the “apple tree metaphor” (seed, seedling, tree, fruiting apple tree). It important for us to honour our efforts in every stage of the learning continuum.

I’m excited about next week when the students will be invited to mark samples of MY OWN GRADE 4 WRITING that my mom saved for me for the last three decades. (The more practice students get thinking critically and assessing “like a teacher”, the more they learn to coach themselves.) 🌈

First Week of School!

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians of Division 2,

We are going to have a truly magical school year together! How did I get so lucky to have so many caring, creative and fun students all in one class? I want to thank all students for coming to school each day ready to learn, make new friends and share their positive helpful attitudes. I have really enjoyed getting to know the unique personalities in our class. Already we’ve had lots of laughs and discovered many common interests. Here are some highlights of our activities over the last week:

We are going to have a truly magical school year together! How did I get so lucky to have so many caring, creative and fun students all in one class? I want to thank all students for coming to school each day ready to learn, make new friends and share their positive helpful attitudes. I have really enjoyed getting to know the unique personalities in our class. Already we’ve had lots of laughs and discovered many common interests. Here are some highlights of our activities over the last week:

  • Brainstorming our own “Big Questions”
  • Creative brainstorming for fluent thinking (Minute Madness)
  • Logical thinking (logic puzzles and forming logical arguments)
  • Baseline Math Assessment
  • Learning about Place Value with Base Ten blocks and doing open-ended math-engineering challenges
  • Writing our first essay and setting up our Writing Journals
  • Learning about the mechanics of a sentence (capital letters to start, a complete idea and proper punctuation)
  • Schonell Spelling Assessment and setting up personal “Spelling Dictionaries”
  • Engineering Challenge with candy with Mrs. Cook)
  • Learning and practicing singing the new “Margaret Jenkins Song”
  • Painting puzzle pieces for a collaborative artwork
  • Music with Ms. Awalt and Ms. John
  • Dance/Drama with Ms. Knapp
  • Strings for grade 5 students with Ms. Rebstock
  • Physical Education outside (soccer, running races, and free play) and planning for “P.E. Leadership”
  • Using a tree metaphor to illuminate the meaning behind our assessment scale (Emerging-Developing-Proficient-Extending)
  • Discussing and practicing good personal hygiene and keeping our classroom space clean
  • Watching archival video of downtown Victoria from 1907
  • Planning to create a “Time Machine” in our classroom
  • Beginning a Social Studies unit on Canadian Government
  • Watching the “National Leadership Debate while painting
  • Savouring time on the field in the sunshine
  • Riding the “Silent Bike”
  • And more!

I invite you to keep checking this blog weekly to see more of the learning happening in our classroom! And a special thank you to parents and guardians for all you have done to help your children get back to school this year–from helping prepare school lunches, to coordinating school supplies and filling out all the forms, there are just so many seen and unseen ways that you support your children! We dearly appreciate you.

Sincerely, Ms. Poirier

P.S.

There have been some questions about what HOMEWORK will be like in our class this year. I discussed with the students that my philosophy on homework is that I believe it should be (1.) meaningful, (2.) extend from learning happening in our classroom, and (3.) not interfere with valuable family time at home. Therefore, I recommend that students establish a “homework” practice of READING for 20 minutes each night and make a goal to discuss their day of learning with a family member each day—perhaps prompted by questions like: What did you learn about today at school? What is something that challenged you today? What is something you are proud of today? What questions emerged for you today?

As we go deeper into our units of study, there may be project work students are inspired to bring home to continue working on. As well, if a student is absent and requests catch-up work, this can be supplied as well. Please connect with me to discuss your needs.

Welcome to Division 2!

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to Division 2 (grade 4/5) for the 2021-2022 school year! My name is Tiffany Poirier, and I am so happy to be your classroom teacher this year, and as well I am the new Vice Principal of EMJS. The lovely Mrs. Kathryn Cook will also be teaching in our class each Wednesday morning, and you will meet her next week.

At 8:53 am tomorrow, you will see me at our classroom’s outdoor line-up spot by the Fairfield Road entrance–near the entrance with the jellyfish art display in the windows. Look for an orange pylon labelled “Division 2”. You are welcome to bring your school supplies tomorrow if you have them already.

I am so excited to get to know you! We are going to have so much fun learning together this year. If you would like a sneak peek inside of our classroom located in Room 2, you can see photos and video on my most recent Twitter posts at @TiffanyPoirier  

You can also learn more about my background as an educator by visiting this website: InquiryNinja.com

Tomorrow we will have a fun, relaxed day of getting to know one another, making new friends, learning about our interests and passions, and brainstorming the topics and big questions that most capture our imaginations. Check out the photos and video below, and I’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

Ms. Tiffany Poirier

Around the Neighbourhood

Wow! I’ve been exploring the beautiful EMJS neighbourhood and feel blown away! I love learning outside, being active, and enjoying fresh air, and so I feel extra fortunate to join this vibrant school community with such lovely play spaces and proximity to gorgeous Gonzales Beach. Envisioning now so many fun days to come with students and colleagues…

Hi, I’m Tiffany Poirier, Vice Principal of EMJS!

Dear students, parents/guardians, educators and staff of École Margaret Jenkins School:

Welcome back to school, 2021-2022! I am so excited to join École Margaret Jenkins School as your new Vice Principal and grade 4/5 teacher. I feel very lucky to join this incredible learning community and to work alongside our caring teachers and support staff and our wonderful principal, Mr. Hansen. I can’t wait to get to know each of you–please always feel free to stop me and say “hello”!

About me, I am a mom of three boys (ages 10, 4, and 2.5) , and I am passionate about exploring big questions and creating things! I believe every child has infinite gifts for the world, and helping children discover their gifts fills me with happiness. I am a children’s author and professional speaker, and I love doing art, running, music, playing guitar and singing, animals, paddle boarding, hiking, learning about local native plant life, logic puzzles, leadership studies, the idea of time travel, vintage things, drinking tea and growing dahlias in my garden. To learn more about my interests and background, I invite you to explore the tabs on my website: https://inquiryninja.com/ You might also follow me on Twitter @TiffanyPoirier or on Instagram @Tiffany_Poirier or check out this video…

BLOG AUDIENCE: I will write this blog aimed largely at my students and their families. The purpose of the blog is to share insight into the learning happening in our classroom. Since this blog is PUBLIC, no identifying student information or identifying photos/videos of students will be shared on this blog unless there has been advance written permission from both a student and his/her parent/guardian.  (In other words, if you ever see a student and their work on this blog, it is because both the student and his/her parent have requested to share their work and have agreed to share it on this blog in writing.) 

WHAT WILL THIS BLOG FEATURE?  This blog will share my reflections as an educator and give a window into the types of learning activities and assignments we are exploring.  I will post pictures of the wonderful and interesting projects happening in our class (with no identifying student information).  I will also post links to relevant educational content like articles, videos, books, websites, and other resources that my grade 4/5 students and their families may enjoy as it relates to our learning.

Let’s have a wonderful start to our school year!

Sincerely,

Ms. Tiffany Poirier, Vice Principal & Grade 4/5 Teacher

Email: tpoirier@sd61.bc.ca