December 21 2018

Focused discussions on Each Kindness

This month all of the classes, K – 4/5 spent one period in the Learning Commons focusing on Jacqueine Woodson’s wonderful book Each Kindness. Beautiful illustrations by E.B. Lewis. Students were engrossed in the story and keen to discuss so many threads the plot introduced including poverty, peer dynamics, cliques and the unintended consequences of inaction. What seemed to have so much impact with the students was that, unlike so many stories they read, there was no happy and satisfying resolution to Each Kindness. They hoped for a sequel or asked me to check that there wasn’t one more page in the book.

Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis

The message of the book is to never miss a chance to be kind. Why waste it? Although another opportunity might come, that chance for kindness will be ‘more and more forever gone.’ Students commented that the book, ‘made you think, even after you finished the story.’ Yes!

We shared our activity and Jacqueline Woodson liked our tweet!


December 2 2018

Exploring Structures and Story Mapping

This week several classes created structures following a reading of Shelter by Celine Claire. The story is a great one to share for Maker Educations as it focuses on core competencies such as working together, sharing and listening to each other’s ideas. Some classes created a story map with their structures.

We used Keva Planks to build. These are great for students to build with in a limited time frame.

November 23 2018

Abstract Art and Freedom of Expression

This week, many classes in the Learning Commons learned about Paul-Émile Borduas (1905 – 1960) He is an important painter from Quebec. Students created their own abstract art. We shared different books to help us imagine what our emotions would look like if we drew them.

Some colours made us think of different emotions. We read ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox’ by Indigenous author Danielle Daniel, ‘ The Noisy Paintbox’ – a biography of Kandinsky and Dr. Seuss’ My Many Coloured Days.

We used Doodle Buddy and the smudge feature to show our learning. Students K – 4/5  exported their work independently. Handy tips: Paint a solid colour layer first and use the widest brush option. Use a QR code on the hallway bulletin board to share learning.

Check out the video of our creations.


Abstract Art with Doodle Buddy from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

November 20 2018

Selfie Digital Citizenship

In the Learning Commons, some students have been learning about Selfies. We have been discussing Digitial Citizenship and T.H.I.N.K. – Before you post, Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?

We talked about appropraite and inappropriate times to take Selfies. As a follow-up we made our own selfies using our own selfie in Doodle Buddy App and tracing and then removing the background. Students were pleasantly surprised to see how much their art work looked like them.

November 16 2018

Feathers for Lunch – Check out these Cool Cats!

This week in the Learning Commons some students in grade 3 created fantastic cats based on the wonderful illustrations in Lois Ehlert’s Feathers For Lunch. 

We used small paper plates and googily eyes with a feather stuck to the cat’s mouth. The ears were pre-cut triangles and the activity was easily completed within the library class time.

Scroll: A subsequent group tried a Face Swap with the cat faces. They turned out a bit creepy but it was fun to try. :  )

November 6 2018

Using png files in Pic Collage – Bug on My Arm

Students in Div. 9 read There’s a Bug on My Arm That won’t Let Go by David Mackintosh.

We used the iPad camera and imported an image as a background into Pic Collage App. Students used png files and captions to show their ideas, exported their work to the camera roll and uplaoded the images to Google Drive.

It’s a multi-step process that is a great way to show learning. Check out the video below of the creations from Mr. Gauvin’s class.


There’s a Bug on My Arm That Won’t Let Go by David Mackintosh Div 9 from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We also experimented with a low tech version of this activity using LEGO.