January 22 2019

Reach for the Stars with Books

Check out our latest bulletin board display. The Cat in the Hat is enjoying some of the new books that reflect the latest direction in the development of the library.

These titles are helping us to create a collection that honours diversity and respects the individual. The focus is on building a collection, in both French and English, that helps students understand the importance of Social Emotional Learning and offers staff some great titles to share as discussion starters with students.

January 22 2019

Art in the style of Todd Parr

Todd Parr books are always popular in our Learning Commons. This week we read “Reading Makes you Feel Good”. Students are easily able to identify the bold colours and simple style of the illustrations and love the humour in the images. Some classes created some ‘selfies’, drawn in the style of  Todd Parr. We discovered the bright colours and black lines around each colour helped us to create a representation of his style.

I saved discarded and damaged copies of the books to use for these door displays.

January 22 2019

January Storytime Core Competencies

For our first week back in January we shared two stories that were great fun to read, super discussion starters and helped students think about the classroom dynamic. We read Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook. I shared our reading on Twitter and both of these authors responded to our work. It is always fun for students to see that their reading is acknowledged by the authors.

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 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. :  )