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.

Box Method Multiplication, Hatchet, Forces of Flight & Coding

Happy Wednesday!

Today we learned another method for doing multi-digit multiplication: “The Box Method”.

HOMEWORK: I have asked students to teach a family member how to do 41 x 35 using the box method this evening.

If the student is struggling, please watch this video together, which shows how to use the Box Method to find the correct answer.

Alternatively, you may prefer to watch this video tutorial…

You can use the Box Method for 2-digit by 3-digit multiplication or 3-digit by 3-digit multiplication…just adjusts the box dimensions accordingly.

In Language Arts today, we began our novel study on Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. Exploring this great classic novel we will embrace chances to foster peer dialogue and teach critical thinking and analysis skills and new vocabulary. Even students who have read Hatchet before will experience the novel like never before; as well, we have a grade 8 level Hatchet Challenge resource that students can explore for enrichment.

In term three, students will do their own in-depth literature studies—but before I dare assign this larger project, I will teach every single step in the process to ensure everyone can achieve independent success. With structure, modelling, and lots of examples, students can learn to do amazing things!

In the afternoon in Science, we asked the question: How do planes fly? We learned the plane needs four forces working together to fly. These are the four forces of flight: lift (upward force) thrust (forward push), gravity and drag (air resistance, which is friction caused by air rubbing against a plane). We learned about Bernoulli’s principle that states that as the speed of a gas increases, the pressure it exerts decreases. We also watched several YouTube videos about the four forces of flight.

Then division 4 enjoyed the opportunity to do coding in the library.

Ozobot in action!

Goal-Setting, Salish Sea & Flight

Welcome back, division 4 families!

I hope you enjoyed a restful holiday and are ready for 2023 to be an awesome year! Today we got a fresh start by cleaning our bins and school supplies. It’s so nice to be organized! (Please remember to bring back your school supplies if you didn’t get a chance to yet.)

Next, as a part of Career Education curriculum, we dove into an appropriate “new year” topic: goal-setting. I shared some examples of short term and long term goals and presented the SMART goal framework. In small groups, students brainstormed examples of goals they might like to set for this year. Then students prioritized and listed their top five goals for 2023.

Next, students watched a video (below) that I created to explain the importance of breaking large goals into smaller action steps.

Ms Poirier’s “ACTION STEPS” video.

Later we turned to discussion about our upcoming Salish Sea inquiry (S.S/Science/Art interdisciplinary learning) and the upcoming related field trip with Eagle Wing Tours on Tuesday, February 7th. We brainstormed our prior knowledge about the Salish Sea region and generated our questions about it.

After our afternoon library visit, I introduced the flight unit we will explore in Science this term. As students watched various Salish Sea documentary video clips, they had the challenge to design a Salish Sea-themed paper airplane. The goals of this activity were to (1.) transform and represent their learning about the Salish Sea in words and symbols on their plane, and (2.) create a basic paper airplane to act as a “control” in a series of upcoming test flights with new airplane designs. (A connection is that our novel study this term is “Hatchet”, which opens with a significant flight scene.)

There were many different and interesting plane designs and shapes. Students then brought the planes out for a few test flights. They were asked to observe the approximate duration, distance, path and style of the flight. Later this week we will learn specifics about the principles of aerodynamics and the science of flight and then create more paper airplanes informed by this learning. Then we will test the old versus new planes side by side to see how much we have learned.

Cultural Celebrations!

Hello, division 4 families!

Over the last two days we have been learning in Social Studies about some of the rich traditions of cultural celebrations that happen around the world and locally.

We had two classmates give a wonderful presentation on their experience with the popular Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, (Arabic: “Festival of Breaking Fast”), which marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Today we had Sam (an Oaklands Educator) teach a lesson on Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah), the Jewish eight-day, which is a wintertime “Festival of Lights” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, traditional foods, games, and gifts.

Thank you, Sam!

The students learned about the meaning and practices of the holiday, and played dreidel games and then made their own paper dreidels.

Next week we will be learning about the celebrations of Christmas, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa—which means “First Fruits” and is based on ancient African harvest festivals and celebrating family life and unity.

*What other holidays are significant for your family and culture? Let me know if you have some cultural knowledge you would kindly offer our class towards helping students become knowledgeable, culturally aware citizens of our wonderful multicultural world.