Mrs. Park and Mrs. Bailey's Homepage

The essence of Mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.Through trial and error, experimentation and curiosity, students will be encouraged to discover the structures and patterns of mathematics. They will contribute to mathematical discussions, take risks in performing mathematical tasks, answer others' questions and develop their own.

Children have a natural curiosity about their surroundings and a desire to explore, investigate and find answers to their questions. Our program will endeavour to encourage students' learning by nurturing their sense of wonderment, developing skill and confidence in investigating their surroundings and by building a foundation of experience and understanding. In Science class our students will take on the role of researchers. Specific tasks and activities will be designed to encourage a deep exploration into the areas of Waste and our World, Light and Shadows, Machines, Wheels and Levers and Plant Growth.


Thank you!

posted Jun 28, 2012, 2:39 PM by Deirdre Bailey

For a truly memorable year, for inspiring us every day and for the wonderful thoughts and thankyous we received today. We are truly overwhelmed with gratefulness for each and every one of you. We wish you the best over the summer holidays. The website will remain open for the next few months so please feel free to refresh your memories with any of the resources we have posted on useful links. We also wanted to mention John Mighton's JUMP Math resources (available at Chapters) once more as an awesome opportunity for summer math fun :-) and the website which has a number of open ended math problems that we have used in class this year. Cant' wait to hear all your stories in August!

Signing out, one last time,

Homestretch Reflections

posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:09 AM by Deirdre Bailey   [ updated Jun 23, 2012, 6:11 AM ]

And so begins our second last blog post of the year, to end the final Friday of classes in Grade 4 and our last full week of school. There are a few important notes in this post so please make sure to look through it in its entirety. It has been another busy week, filled with tomato plant science experiment presentations and reflections, as well as completion and posting of Barkley Academy videos. Students concluded that the strongest work should be posted on our website. Therefore, a new page has been created, Barkley Academy, which now hosts exemplars of student work in division. Stay tuned over the next few days as we also post final presentation exemplars to our plant experiment page.

The last two days have been spent writing final reflections on our third semesters in Math and Science. Over the course of the year, we have worked extensively with our students to help them take ownership of their learning and to be able to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. This process of metacognition has been incredibly valuable and it has been rewarding to observe how most students are now able to generate an accurate picture of their strengths and areas of struggle, as well as outline goals for moving into Grade 5. Sections of these reflections will be woven into their final report card comments.  Having student voice in the report card is a powerful way for them to personally identify with their growth as a learner. Overall it has been an exceptional year of development for both teachers and students.  Reflecting this week, as teachers and students, has been deeply meaningful.  

The video below provides a look back at this incredible year we have had as a community of learners in grade 4.


This will be the students’ final weekend with their laptops as these need to be returned at the end of the day on Monday. Laptops will be wiped over the summer so any work that students would like to hold on to should be transferred to a flash drive or other external source before Monday. We have been encouraging students to organize their work into two folders: Math/Science and Humanities so that they will be able to transfer their files more easily. A reminder that most of their movies have been saved in their movies file by default, don’t forget them! Any work in Math/Science that has been posted to their portfolios will remain on portfolios next fall. We have asked students to post Barkley Academy and their science presentations to these portfolios if they haven’t already. We can also give them a few extra minutes on Monday to do so. Students will continue to be able to access their  CSS emails over the summer via gmail.

The last message below is from Mr. Butterfield:

The Camp Sweet work bee will take place on Saturday, August 18th, 2012 beginning at 10 am.  We will be providing lunch to all participants and children are welcome as long as they are supervised.  It would be appreciated if dogs were left at home.  We will need 30-40 people in total to make short work of the job list and should be finished by about 2 pm.  The school lawn tractor will need to be transported by someone with a flat deck trailer who is also able to return it to the school that afternoon.  We could also use a smaller gas mower to cut the area around the cabin as well as weed whackers and wheelbarrows.  Please reply to Phil Butterfield at if you are able to help out.

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Final 2 Weeks

posted Jun 15, 2012, 1:13 PM by Amy Dawn Park   [ updated Jun 15, 2012, 2:13 PM by Deirdre Bailey ]

It is hard to believe that there are only two short weeks remaining in Grade 4! It has been an incredible year and an exciting journey that we have all been on!

Despite the excitement of a mid-week field trip and afternoon Fine Arts Showcase, as well as the looming summer holidays, students continue to be hard working and focused on completing several different tasks in Math and Science.  Here is a brief update written by Aislinn (4.4):

"This week, The grade 4’s have been working on their Barkley academy during math. Using Quicktime player, the students have been creating screen recordings using the Virtual Manipulatives website.  They have also using their time to finalize their scripts for the Barkley Academy and putting the screen and voice recordings into iMovie."

Most students have completed their movies, for those who have not, please help your child find the time to complete the work over the weekend.  A rubric will be going home next week for  your to go over with your child and help them to assess their work on this project.  Some examples of their movies are below:

Will L ‎

Ruby C

Maitry R

Ethan B

Cole O

Owen H


Aislinn goes on to say:
"Students have also been given the task to complete the final questions for the Chocolate Problem  (where they had to split 3 chocolates between as many kids as possible)."  
This problem has allowed students to make discoveries about dividing small numbers with larger numbers, decimals, equivalent fractions, and how to convert decimals into fractions.  Many interesting conversations have emerged, please take the time to ask your child about this problem. 

Finally, in terms of Science, Aislinn had this to say:
"It has also been a successful week in science. The students finished up their Prezi, iMovie, or Keynote presentations for their Plant Experiment."  We look forward to posting all of the finished products next week on our class website, as well as reviewing them in class.  This process has further deepened students understanding of scientific thinking and exploration.  Once posted, please review your child's presentation with them.

As always, we GREATLY appreciate your feedback or a simple acknowledgement that you've read the blog. 

Happy Father's Day to all our GREAT grade 4 dads!

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This Barkley Update Brought to You By Grade 4 Journalist Eddie O

posted Jun 7, 2012, 2:19 PM by Deirdre Bailey   [ updated Jun 10, 2012, 1:05 PM by Deirdre Bailey ]

This past week, grade 4 students have been working on a new project in math. Inspired by the math lessons from Khan Academy, Mrs.Bailey and Mrs.Park have made a new math lesson entitled, Barkley Academy. Students have been tasked with creating a problem, taking a screen recording, and making their own version of Barkley Academy, using skills learned in class. Through sweat and tears, Barkley has been able to get everyone finally writing, and finalizing scripts.

It has also been a fun week in science. Grade 4.1/4.3 went to check out their outdoor plants again on June 6, Day 2. Some of the students made observations about why they might have looked so dry and dehydrated, while others tried to find their own and see what changes had occurred. Students were eager to look at everything that had changed since last time we saw them. Also, finalized tomato plant science reports will be shared this coming Monday. Groups pushed hard to finish their lab reports, and get feedback so that final adjustments could be made. Science has been very interesting and explorational this week. The grade 4 students cannot wait for what's in store next week.  It's been a great week at CSS! 

Thanks so much to Eddie or taking on the blog update this week. Below we have included a sample of one of the exemplary science reports that students have been able to finish this week. A good conversation to have with the family over the weekend would be to discuss how division equations can be re-written as fractions. (From left--> right to top-->bottom) Have a wonderful weekend.

Barkley (Please sign below to acknowledge that you have read the blog)

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Barkley Academy

posted Jun 1, 2012, 1:37 PM by Amy Dawn Park   [ updated Jun 1, 2012, 3:34 PM by Deirdre Bailey ]

WOW! It's already the 1st of June!  It has been a great week in Grade 4 Math/Science.  Please take the time this weekend to review the following 3 videos with your child.  The first two videos are exemplars of what your children will be producing next week.  We have used the "Khan Academy" format to create our own "Barkley Academy" exemplar videos.  The short 1 minute clips your children will create over the next few weeks will serve as evidence of their understanding of division. After watching the videos please discuss with your child which method they prefer to use.  This is definitely something that can be practiced at home.  The link to the Manipulatives website is located on the Useful Link page.

The video below documents the planting of our Tomato Plants in the Community Garden which took place this week.  It was an incredible day filled with hands-on authentic learning.

As always, please let us know you have checked this week's blog by completing the form below...

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posted May 25, 2012, 2:54 PM by Deirdre Bailey   [ updated May 25, 2012, 2:55 PM ]

ConnectEd Canada was an incredible end to another wonderful week at the Calgary Science School. It has been exciting and overwhelming so we thought we'd try something different with this update. Grade 4s! Share your top three learning experiences from the past week with your parents and then post them in the blog feedback form below. We will share student results on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend:-)


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posted May 17, 2012, 4:00 PM by Deirdre Bailey   [ updated Jun 7, 2012, 9:08 AM ]

What an incredible 3 days away it has been for all groups of grade four students. A huge thanks again to all of our incredible parent volunteers who made this trip possible and to Mrs. Moir, as the only veteran of this trip for ironing out so many of the logistics. The trip was an intense 24 hours a day of learning for all of our students. We are sure that they came home with tons of stories and new understandings. Highlights included:

  • Ms. Morrison at the East Coulee School Museum
  • The old school playground at East Coulee
  • Riding (and pushing) the coal carts at the Atlas Mine
  •  Learning how to light an old miner's carbide lamp and touring the wash house at Atlas
  • Seeing a 8 foot long Bull Snake!
  • Our suspension bridge expedition and sunset climb in Drumheller
  • Watching beavers swim in the river below the suspension bridge
  • Dinosaurs
  • Fossil casting at the Tyrell museum
  • Gift shops (all 7 of them)
  • Seeing Frank slide for the first time
  • The Frank slide hike and sunset in the mountains, seeing a deer in the forest along the path
  • The 'Edge of Destruction' video at the Frank Interpretive Centre
  • The Bellevue Underground Mine
  • Playing 'Promises of Paradise' and trying to make money
  • Whiskey traders vs. Redcoats at the NWMP Museum in Ft. McLeod
  • Blackfoot games, including learning Blackfoot words
  • (and many more...)
Class photos from student and teacher cameras on both trips to follow....

Our one day of Math/Science at school this week was spent by both classes exploring simple machines through Lego Robotics kits. In groups, students constructed cranes, propellers, turnstiles, cars, moving bridges and amusement park swings and played with attaching them to battery packs and making modifications. They took photos of their creations and were able to use Keynote to label all of the simple machine components and many finished blog posts detailing their building process, how their machine works and its real life use. Here is a brief video of some of their completed work!

If you have not already, please also take a moment over the long weekend to review last week's blog post to catch up on where we are with our tomato farm and in math. It was a busy week but we only had a few acknowledgements on our blog feedback. Thanks for your continued support!


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Beautiful Blossoms and Busting Base-Tens. BOOM!

posted May 11, 2012, 3:04 PM by Amy Dawn Park   [ updated May 11, 2012, 3:39 PM by Deirdre Bailey ]

A beautiful day to end a great week week in Grade 4. Students were sad to wrap up their science experiments today.  They worked diligently on making detailed observations of their plants, as well as taking necessary measurements indicating how their plants have changed. If you have not yet had the opportunity, please take the time to look at your child’s Google Doc.  If there isn’t a column already in place for parent comments, then please feel free to add one.  Students, once we return from the SAHT will be finalizing their lab presentations by
adding charts, data analysis, and conclusions.  Already students have made profound discoveries as to what they have learned, as well as what they would change next time. As we allowed for a great deal of student choice and voice in this project, many students have discovered that they would do many things differently. For example, some groups felt that they could better organize their observations, while other felt this was an area of strength.  Many groups learned the importance of consistency in documentation, both qualitative and quantitative, in order to clearly and accurately demonstrate the changes that have occurred.  We believe that this learning process will help our students become even more successful scientists in the years to come.  

Most of our students have now finished the ‘Most Magical Number’ (see video) problem and made the connection that the first 10 prime numbers were all factors of 6, 469, 693, 230. Some students have even worked through the problem a number of times or mentioned that they worked through a sample at home to show their family. This type of practice is definitely encouraged.
All students showed patience and perseverance as they discovered that even the smallest mistake would send them off track and that keeping their work neat and organized was invaluable for being able to look back over their work and identify possible missteps. To further deepen our students' understanding of the concepts of multiplication and division (what they mean beyond the symbols), we have also begun working with online base ten manipulatives. We have been able to connect our division strategy (see video) with what happens visually as we break big numbers into smaller groups. Students have been using the language “BUST IT” to represent when we move a remainder to the adjacent place value position turning it from “1 hundred” into “10 tens” or from “2 tens” into “20 ones”. We have also been discussing how interpretations of the expression (8 ÷ 4) might differ between... 
  • If we put the number 8 into 4 groups, how many will be in each group? or 
  • If we put the number 8 into groups of 4 how many groups will we have? 
..but the answer will remain the same. As we move into the next few weeks in math, we will continue to work with connecting mathematical expressions and equations to visual representations and discussing how we communicate what is happening in plain English.

Please remember that we are heading out on the SAHT trip next week. 4.1/4.2 are leaving on Monday morning and 4.3/4.4 are leaving on Tuesday. Please arrive before 8:45 am the morning of departure. Overnight gear and snack box contributions can be dropped in the IAC. If the bus has already arrived, please feel free to communicate with the bus driver to assist with loading. For more detailed information about the trip, should you need it, please click here. Please also feel free to comment on our awesome blog title. We love alliterations. Happy sunshine this weekend! :-) - Barkley

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Documenting and dividing

posted May 4, 2012, 3:08 PM by Deirdre Bailey   [ updated May 4, 2012, 4:48 PM by Deirdre Bailey ]

Gardeners must dance with feedback, play with results, turn as they learn.
Learning to think as a gardener is inseparable from the acts of gardening.
Learning how to garden is learning how to slow down.  
Wise is the person whose heart and mind listen to what Nature says.    
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions

Through growing, observing, measuring, and experimenting with our tomato plants, students continue to deepen their understanding of the scientific process and how plants grow and change.  This hands-on experiment is allowing students to closely monitor the changes that are happening to their plants only daily basis.  Some students have noticed rapid changes, while others are noticing slight changes.  Each day the energy and enthusiasm radiating from our engaged students is nothing short of inspiring. They have been coming to class consistently eager to visit their plant, marvel at the changes and document the entire process. This weekend we encourage you to please take the time to look over your child’s Google Doc. We are certain that you will be impressed with the quality of work that they are producing. You can access their docs by clicking their group member's link on our Plant Experiment home page. You will need your child’s CSS login ID and password. Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, or add some your own observations in the comments column. 

In math we have had an exciting week as we continued to work through uncovering the “most magical number in the world”. Last week, students were introduced to the problem through this video...

As their confidence and enthusiasm for dividing large numbers has increased, many students were keen to stay in at recess or take their books home to continue working through the problem. The problem has enabled students to continue practicing strategies for dividing large numbers while working through addition, subtraction and multiplication in their heads. Along the way we have had a number of interesting conversations about numbers. For example, when we are dividing using the strategy of working with digits one-by-one based on place value, students have noticed that at each stage, the quotient will NEVER be greater than 9. For most students, the first step each time we divide by a new prime number has been to list the first to ninth multiple of that prime number so that as they work through the problem they can quickly refer to how many 13s, 17s or 19s fit into each dividend (knowing that it will never be greater than 9). Ask your children to show you how they got started with this problem over the weekend!

Lastly, in Learning Strategies, some of our students have expressed interest in getting started with ‘blogging’ about a variety of topics. Topic choice to date has been left completely up to the students. We have a few completed blogs now posted on our new ‘student’ class blog. Ever wondered what types of thoughts go through the heads of nine year olds? Click here.

As always, please sign below to acknowledge that you have read the blog and so that we are aware whether or not you have managed to find a moment to check in, individually with your children at home... Thanks again for your continued support.

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posted Apr 27, 2012, 3:11 PM by Amy Dawn Park   [ updated Apr 27, 2012, 3:22 PM ]

Time flies when learning is fun, and this was another week that was finished in a blink of an eye! Our grade 4 scientists came to school on Monday excited and eager to start their new experiment on plants.  Our "Tomato Farm" has been a hub of activity, as each group conducts their experiments, documents their observations in google docs, measures quantitative data, digitally documents qualitative changes and works on their final lab reports.  Students have already noted some remarkable changes in their plants, even after 3 days! It has been incredible watching students carefully observe their plants noticing even the slightest changes and even congratulating their specimens
on new growth. Some plants are thriving while other plants are dying.  We are excited to see the final results in 2 weeks.  If you have not had the opportunity to, we strongly encourage you to check out your child's google doc and leave a comment!
Our trip to the Science Centre on Friday was an amazing action packed day. The program we participated in, Machine Makers, challenged the students to design a simple machine that moved in a variety of ways. Students worked to connect gears, ramps, and wheels to accomplish outlined tasks. It was a great hands-on activity that left the kids excited to learn more! The rest of the day was spent exploring all of the wonders the Science Centre had to offer! Students built structures, made movies, composed music, deconstructed a DVD player, designed dresses, tested reactions times, watched explosions, built and raced simple machines, stopped avalanches, explored planets, and mostly had a lot of fun!  

Here are some quotes from the kids:

"I liked the Fire presentation because I thought it was cool that materials and gases burn differently.”

"I lit up a whole village through 3 power plants! I bet that's how real cities work!"
"I liked building stuff in the Open Studio.”
"My favorite part was all the nice volunteers.”
"Making simple machines was awesome!”
"Making damns in the fake river was fun to do!" 
"We tried to make a big fort out of long sticks and elastics.  We fit 5 kids inside!" 
  "Taking apart DVD player and computers because it was cool to see the chips and different parts.”
"Making a wall that prevented an avalanche because it was fun!”
"The big giant screens of Calgary; it made everything look little!" 
"The place where we could control how the river ran was great.  It was interesting to see how many different ways you could make the water go.”

A huge thank you to all of our volunteers who were able to attend! Without you, we would not have been able to do. 

Please continue to discuss division strategies with your children at home. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, we encourage you to do so. It is posted in the Photos and Videos section of our website. We would like to emphasize that our goal is always to focus on students’ understanding, whatever strategy they are using to divide large numbers. As we have explained to some students, traditional long division algorithms can become easily confusing when we are still working out how numbers fit together and their relationships. Please continue to emphasize that it is their understanding of the process, not the result (outcome/answer) that we are focused on at this point in their learning.

A big thank you from Barkley for another great week at CSS!

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