November 23

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

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.

October 25

Categorization and Instructional videos using Floto

Primary students used the Floto App to create gif style videos to show learning about categorization. The app dashboard is very simple and intuitive to use for younger students. Here is a sample.

Using Floto with Grade 1 to show learning about Categorization from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We also used the app to show learning about taking pride in keeping the library tidy.

Intermediate students using Floto to create 'instructional' videos for primary peers. from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

October 25

Bringing our Fall Tree to Life

Before we added our fall leaves to the hall display, students used the wool leaves to create digital ideas to show learning. We used Pixaloop App to show the movement of the trees in the fall breeze and Stop Motion App to show the content of a book about Fall emerging from the pages. Students independently uploaded their work to Google Drive so that we could share what we had made with class peers. Here are a two sample videos.

Using Pixaloop to show the movement of Fall Leaves from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

Stop Motion brings the Books to Life from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

October 8

Sharing work from the iPads using Google Drive

This week in the Learning Commons students began using Google Drive to share their learning. In the past I have used Dropbox but this app was much easier for students to navigate. Students need to be able to export and save their work from the creative app to the camera roll first. With primary classes, I usually teach this as the first lesson with the uploading to share as a second lesson. Intermediates usually can figure this out in one class with a review the following lesson.

The iPads stay signed into Google Drive so when students open the app the large blue plus button is clearly the first step. The upload arrow is also intuitive for many learners.

Select Photos and Videos and give permission to access the photos – This only has to be done the first time the app is used. Then Upload. 

Students like to be able to see that their work has successfully uploaded and the larger images in Google Drive make this much easier than in Dropbox. Downloading to my computer was also a snap. 

Thanks to Simon at our Surrey School District’s IMS for helping to resuscitate the Learning Commons iPad 2s.



October 8

Photography skills with Googily Eyes

Holding the iPads horizontally to take a photo from above is not always intuitive for students. It can be helpful to review how to use the camera with a meaningful activity. Bringing book covers to life allows students to practice their photography, filter and photo editing skills. All you need are some googily eyes!


September 29

Exporting and Uploading to Share Ideas

In the Learning Commons, some classes have been exploring ways to digitally share their ideas. We discussed ways to promote reading at our school and each student created a ‘READ’ poster, in any language, using the Draw and Tell app. The object was for the students to independently save their work, export to the camera roll and upload to Dropbox. Scroll down to see the video created with these images. And remember to READ. : )


READ from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

March 13

Six Steps to Superimposing Lego Creations into a Cityscape

Students in Grade 2 and 3 used Lego to show their learning about skyscrapers in Tokyo. They cooperatively created a neon-lit street scene in Akihabara. As a group, we used Superimpose App to place our buildings into a Japanese photograph. No green screen required. Here is how we did it:

1. Begin by importing a background from photos using the square icon on the top left.

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