Thursday, 26 September 2013

Social Studies Homework

-Map of Canada test - provinces and territories (Th)

Gr. 4: 5 points in W chart (T)
Gr. 5: Read Chpt 3 (T)

Gr 4's: be prepared for a timed test late next week on the 2 times tables (from 2 x 0 up to 2 x 12)

Complete the Winn-Dixie list of 10 for someone you know well (F)

Reminder: our deadline for the October Scholastic Book order is tomorrow (Friday). Please ensure all payments are cheques only, made out to Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

This and that

I wish you could have been in the classroom today. I had such a rich day full of intriguing ideas, enthusiasm, deep understandings, and insightful discussions.

Then after school, teachers were able to meet in Primary and Intermediate teams where, although the topics were different, the learning and planning and sharing continued with the same galvanizing, inspirational pace.

Before I forget: Homework

1)  Body checking assignment (Th)
2)  Scholastic book order (optional) (F)

As for the body checking assignment, last week I gave the students an article which detailed the reasons why Hockey Canada has banned all body-checking from the Bantam level down (ie: younger than teen-aged years). We had a discussion then, and revisited the discussion today, hearing especially from some of the members of our class who actually play hockey. Students were given a handout that asks for their opinion, and asks them to justify their opinion.

As for the Scholastic book order, one of our parents has volunteered to collate and send in the order on our behalf, so I will remind you that if you wish to take part, please, please, please No Cash! Cheques only (made out to Scholastic Canada Ltd.) please and thank you!

Teachers at Brooksbank met today after the kids were dismissed to plan our steps this year as we begin to learn how to change how we teach and how kids learn through (amongst other things) "Project Based Learning" or PBL. That led naturally to assessment of kids, and it happens we have two really knowledgeable leaders in this field in our Principal and Vice-Principal. There are exciting changes in the years ahead from the Ministry of Education's proposed changes to curriculum and assessment. In the meantime we are committed to improving our instruction, and District has responded by granting us 11 days of T.O.C. coverage to help release us so we can collaborate, observe, evaluate, discuss, reflect, and learn to become better teachers. That 11 days has to be shared amongst the entire staff, so it is not a lot, but it is definitely enabling time! We teachers have our homework to get done too!

Monday, 23 September 2013


Gr. 4s: Parent signs last Friday's quiz; complete p. 39 # 1, 3, 7 (T)

Gr. 5s: Math quiz pp. 6-16 (Th)

Learn continents and oceans for Quiz (Th).

Friday, 20 September 2013

Friday homework

Gr. 5s have no homework.

Gr. 4s had 2 items (which they may have got completed in class... they were given time to complete):

1)     Math: p. 37 # 11 a & b only (M)

2)     Science: Write the definitions of the 5 highlighted-in-yellow words from p. 5 to 7 in the science text; complete a sketch of the Water Cycle with colour and labels (M).

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Math Homework

Ms. Beleski was in meetings today, so her students do not have math homework.

Ms. Reichert teaches the Gr. 5s and she has assigned Math p. 12 # 3-6 (F)

Mr. Clarke teaches the remaining Gr. 4s and there will be a quiz tomorrow on standard form, expanded form, and drawing whole numbers with Base 10 blocks (F).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Busy days!

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the pace of September with school and extra-curricular activities all starting up? We all need to take a breath, and find time in the day to enjoy the process.

Today, not only did we not get to homework, we didn't even get to writing in our planners that there was no homework, nor did I get a chance to sign the planners. Instead, I spent a good part of the day teaching our kids how to be iPad Hosts for the school. We will be relying on the students in our class to assist teachers and younger students as we integrate iPads into classroom instruction and learning. Our students will be student-leaders, and will rotate through positions of responsibility.

Here's me trying to keep up:

Warp Speed by Usonian, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Usonian 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Vote for Amy!

One of our classmates, Amy B. has entered a talent contest, and you can help get her into the finals. Go to scroll down, and have a listen to her fabulous voice and passion, then vote!

Voting ends September 26, with the finals held live at Lynn Valley Village on October 5, 2014. You can vote once per day, so let's support one of our own!
No new homework for students in Div 4 tonight. Which means, no homework apart from reading! I suggest students at the Gr 4/5 age should be reading 20-30 minutes per day, and more on weekends. It doesn't matter whether they read to you (great while a meal is being prepared), or whether you read aloud to them, or a bit of both, or they read silently to themselves. Just as long as they are excited about the book they are reading. There are so many really excellent books out there (with more being published every year of the very highest calibre)... just ask any librarian and they can help suggest titles your child would like.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Great reading books!

Looking for a good book for your Grade 4/5 child? You've come to the right place!

These books and series come highly recommended from the kids in Division 4. Like any art, preferences are personal, but if several kids like a particular book, it is probably worth a try!

Some of these books are oldies, some are new, and as you will see, the reading level varies all over the map!

Here's what our kids are reading and loving right now:

Sept 2013 Reading Gems.doc

Friday, 13 September 2013

Weekend homework

All students are being encouraged to have one or two novels at their desk. The school library won't be available to students until at least next week, so they'll need to bring a novel or chapter book from home please.

I encouraged all students to take their water bottle home so it can be run through the dishwasher, and returned to school fresh on Monday.

Similarly I have encouraged all students to take their PE strip home over the weekend so it can be laundered, and returned to school on Monday.

Gr. 4s have no math homework
Gr. 5s: p. 8 Questions # 1, 3, 4 (due Monday)

Reminder: Parents of Gr. 4s, please have the Bighouse form (see below) signed and returned to me by Monday 16 September 2013.

Parents, we are still waiting for a few forms and student-planner orders to come in. If you haven't already done so, please send these items in with your child at your earliest convenience.

Lastly, we put a plea out last night at the Meet the Teacher night for a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) class representative. If you could attend the PAC meetings once a month, and send out the occasional email to parents of Division 4, please do contact me. Your gift of time, creativity and energy would be very much appreciated!

Have a great weekend!

-Paul Clarke

The Bighouse for Grade 4s!

Many but not all parents of Grade 4s may know that we are going up to the North Vancouver School District's "Bighouse" for an overnight immersive experience on Coast Salish culture and community as it was pre-European contact. We go up on Wednesday, October 23, returning to Brooksbank by 3:00 pm the next day (Thursday, October 24).

I say many parents already know about this because they were able to attend the Meet the Teacher night here at Brooksbank last night. They were able to pick up a letter giving important details.

If you haven't got that letter, you can download and print it, and return it to me on Monday 16 September.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


We have all been enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures this week.

On sunny days like this in the fall during DPA we often go outside for a community walk or a game. There are enough rainy days in the winter when we are forced to be inside, that we like to take advantage of the great weather at this time of the year.

Both grades of 4 and 5 would have received math homework today, and it is due tomorrow.

Grade 4 students need to draw the Base 10 shapes for the number 1234. [F]

Grade 5 students need to prepare a title page for the unit on Patterns & Equations [F]

Tonight is Meet the Teacher night at Brooksbank. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. If your schedules allows I look forward to seeing you this evening.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Gentlemen and Ladies, Start Your Engines

We've completed our first week, the students are settling in nicely, routines and schedules are firming up, and I am delighted with our class.

Next week we'll begin the first units in math, and science and social studies. Daily P.E. will start as well.

There are so many after-school activities and weekend activities that start up with the school year that this becomes a very busy time for many parents. I'm one of them too! So I really appreciate the time and effort you are devoting to helping start the year off on the right foot.

Speaking of time and effort, a reminder to try your best to complete the blizzard of paperwork and forms your child brought home this week. The deadline for forms is Friday 13 September, but we'd very much like them filled out and returned to school as soon as possible. Thank you so much.

I hope you can make it out to the evening "Meet the Teacher" this Thursday 12 September from 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm. I look forward to meeting as many of you as are available that night. It's a great time for me to connect with you, to pass along information, to solicit help, and for you to ask questions. Please mark the date in your calendars and join us if you are able. We'll cover homework expectations, Project Based Learning (PBL), schedules, routines, school-wide initiatives, iPads,  digital citizenship, and for our Grade 4 families, our overnight trip to the Bighouse in October.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for your support. I've had a great week!

Brain food to the rescue!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Great start to the year!

We're off to a great start.

Nearly all students brought in yesterday's homework this morning. If your child did not, please help ensure that that happens for tomorrow morning.

School supplies:
Most of the children have nearly everything they need in the way of school supplies by now, but if there are a few items that remain outstanding, please have those acquired by Monday, September 9, 2013.

School forms:
There is such a blizzard of school forms to be filled out, for which you can thank the lawyers. Please try and get them all in to me as soon as you can manage it. Thanks!

P.E. strip:
I ask that students be prepared with gym strip, so they can change out of school clothes and into their gym strip for PE. I don't mind what they change into so long as they don't come back to class wearing the same sweaty clothes that they did PE  in. Typically kids would have another T-shirt and a pair of shorts, although track pants, soccer pants, tights are all perfectly acceptable. I suggest they take their PE strip home on Fridays for laundering, and bring it back on Mondays.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Welcome to the parents and students of Mr. Clarke's class. I'm glad you found this space. Bookmark it for easy access in the future for homework, pictures, and a feel for what is going on in our classroom. It is my honour to be able to teach your child. I know we'll have a great year together, and I am so looking forward to it.

 Please drop by and say hi.

 Email me!

Homework: Today your child has homework in the form of coming here to this website and answering two questions on paper:

Qu. 1:  How many "Page Views" has this site seen? (You may need to scroll down just a bit to see the page view counter in the right panel of this page)

Qu 2:  What letters (on the school sign in the picture below) are being blocked by Mr. Clarke's head?

Students brought home a Homework page, on which they should write the answers to the above questions, and you should sign as a parent, please.

Parents, now that you have found my web site, you might want to bookmark or favourite this page so you can return easily and often.

If you would like automatic email notification whenever I post homework here, you might consider using

This free service will ask you for the address here. It is

When you sign up, you'll automatically get email notification within 15 minutes or less of when I post here. The notification has ads, unfortunately, but at least it is fairly immediate (and free).

The gadget on this page to the right, "Follow by email" works fine, except it only sends a summary notification once per day, usually in the middle of the night.