May 21 2019

Touch this Bulletin Board

Students are often reminded not to touch the display boards as they move through the hallways, usually to help preserve the artwork of their peers,  but one of the ways children learn is through kinaesthetic feedback.

The board outside the Learning Commons  has been designed for touching. So far it has been a great success. I am hoping it will last another week or so before it starts to fall apart. I see students from Kindergarten to Grade 7 sharing the board and with a school population of 600 that is a lot of time in the hallway well spent.

* Just use the lower half of the board so it is easily reached.

The board was made with items I had on hand and included scratchy dishcloths, crinkled coloured film, cushion stuffing, wired art leaves, burlap, shiny page protectors, sparkling garland, faux fur, polystyrene plate, feathers and sandpaper.

May 13 2019

Leaning In: Collecting Postage Stamps

We have been exploring postage stamps, Grades K to 4 / 5. Students have been learning about classification, attention to detail, decifering languages, organizing a collection in an album as well as how to negotiate a fair trade.

Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 learned about all of the many designs of postage stamps from all over the world. Using a magnifying glass, they examined the fine details in a stamp to take home, and designed their own stamps to show their learning.

Students in Grades 2 and 3 are creating mini stamp albums, carefully examining the stamps and deciding how to categorize them: some by theme, colour or size or a combination of attributes. Students are learning how to arrange the various sized stamps on the grids and how to be creative in their designs on each page.


Grades 4 and 5 have been sorting their stamps by country of origin. This can be tricky and some ‘detective’ work is needed to figure out where the stamps are from. We will have one more week of stamp examination in classtime. In the coming weeks, students will be able collect more stamps from me in the LC as they sort and add to their albums on their own.

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April 28 2019

Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

This week primary classes enjoyed this wonderful book by Kate Jane Neal.  Words and Your Heart is a great book to spark discussion about the power words can have, both positive and negative. We shared the story and then worked in groups to build structures whilst at the same time ‘building each other up’ with kind words. After clean-up, we reflected on our collaborative work and how the powerful words made us feel.

April 28 2019

Cherry Blossom Origami

As the seasons change we have been updating our hallway tree. This week we added cherry blossoms. We made these from origami fortune tellers. This can be a great opportunity for a the handful of students who already know how to make these to take a leadership role in the classroom. Made from dollar store origami paper.

April 28 2019

Always Remember by Cece Meng

This week some students in Grade 2, 4 and 5 created turtles as a follow up to the wonderful story Always Remember by Cece Meng with illustrations by Jago. Students in Grade 4 and 5 painted the egg carton pieces. This allowed them to dry overnight for the Grade 2 students to add the details the next day. Inspiration for the project from EmmaOwl.


We combined our creations with a Shark Lady display from my colleague Michelle Donaldson 

April 21 2019

Adrienne Gear Recommended Books

I have recently updated our Martha Currie in-house collections of titles that support Adrienne Gear’s Reading and Writing Power Books. I have also added a resource list for  Powerful Understanding.

These are listed in the Library catalogue under the side navigation Resource Lists >Public Lists or use the direct links below. 

 Powerful Understanding – 115 titles

Reading Power Connect – 132 titles

Reading Power Infer – 67 titles

Reading Power Question – 82 titles

Reading Power Transform – 104 titles

Reading Power Visualize – 58 titles

Writing Power – 81 titles

April 13 2019

Celebrating Reading

We all had a grand time at the Book Fair this week. We were even able to reap more Scholastic Rewards than the fall Fair. 🎉🎉

More importantly the school was abuzz with reading, students in Grades 6 and 7 enjoyed leadership opportunities and everyone had lots of fun.

March 16 2019

Mighty Women Revisited

This term another class was interested in learning about and creating Mighty Women.  A third class will be beginning the activity after Spring Break.

The project begins with lots of discussion about diversity, imposed gender roles, inequality and the traits of a leader. We also spent time on body image and Barbies’ impossible physique.

Students began by discovering possible subjects to research. From these names, Mighty Women were assigned based on reading levels of available print materials and to ensure a diverse, global mix. Both online and print resources were used to complete research.

Students were asked to focus only on the most important facts so could only include what would fit on one library card.

Materials were organized into baskets. We switched to ziplocs when we began sewing to keep the pins and needles accounted for. Dolls were $1.25 – funded by the Book Fair – available at Dollar Tree.

After designing the costume, students used a step by step slide share on how to complete the sewing – available here. Fabric ends from Thrift store – funded by the Book Fair

The Slideshare allows each student to proceed at their own pace. For many students this was the first time they had done any sewing. No materials were to be brought in from home and no work could be taken to complete at home.

We used book stands from past book fairs to display the dolls. The stands were cut down the middle.

Students photographed their dolls and used Superimpose app to place them in appropriate settings. All of the work was uploaded to the student’s digital portfolio.

Amelia Earhart digital work in progress.