May 23 2014

Own the Learning Commons

Stuff the Learning Commons and Pirate Day from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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We recently had 2 events to promote reading and student ownership of the Learning Commons. Students were encouraged to bring in a plush toy to ‘Stuff the LC’. We also had ‘Pirate Day’ to celebrate our Learning Commons theme. Students dressed up and joined their big buddies in the gym for stories, reading and a pirate song or two.

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May 9 2014

Getting Ready for Pirate Day, eBooks and Monet

This week in the Learning Commons we have been getting ready for Pirate Day which will be held on Thursday May 15th. Students are invited to wear a shirt with stripes, a belt, a scarf and a ‘scurvy dog’ scowl. We will be meeting our buddy classes in the gym and reading together, watching a short video and singing a pirate song or two. All primary students have made a Pirate hat to wear at the assembly.

‘Let’s Stuff the Learning Commons’ has been a great success. Next week we will take a few photos, blog our pictures and send the toys home at the end of the week on Friday.

Many students in Grade 2 have created  animal research eBooks using My Story App in the Learning Commons. Check out this sample of their great work  “A Moose”

Division 8 began work on making art using the work of Monet as inspiration. Students are using the ProCreate App to blend colours and creating their own ‘impressionist’ art. Next week students will be adding poems to go with their artwork and blogging their creations.

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April 11 2014

Treasure in a Book

In the Learning Commons this week we used the Popplet App to demonstrate our learning about the beginning, middle and end of a story. The app is a graphic organizer that allows students to show their thinking through text, drawings and imported photographs.

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The “Natural Disasters” finished painting their T-shirts. Next we will be photographing our designs, gathering examples of our work from our blogs and creating iMovies.

Divisions 13 and 15 are using My Story App to show their learning about animals. We are drawing, importing images, gathering facts from books and on-line and creating audio files for each page. Students are completing their work in class and in the Learning Commons.

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Some students have created Pirate Treasure. Students used Face On Coins App to design their own currency and show the Treasure in the Learning Commons. Check out their pirate grins.

Pirate Coins: Treasure in the Learning Commons from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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February 14 2014


Some Kindergarten to Grade 2 students created Avatars using the app IMadeFace. We also imported them into Doodle Buddy and turned our faces into Pirates.

Creating Avatars from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

The Learning Commons has been celebrating how much Georges Vanier students LOVE learning. We learned about QR Codes and used the iPads to scan Valentine’s hearts. The QR Codes linked to examples of student creations. Some divisions took a screenshot and blogged “Celebrating Learning”.


Strong Start Pre-School also joined in and the Love Bugs learned about caterpillars and made a Valentine’s butterfly. We had a full house and even had time to explore on the iPads.


Our Natural Disasters club for Divisions 7, 8 and 9 is almost finished our novel, ‘I Survived the Japanese Tsunami’ and we will be next be creating with clay to make our own tsunami iMovies. Division 4 has been trying out the ProCreate App. Students are importing their art into PicCollage App and adding their poems.


Did you know…?
Many students that bring their own devices to school are using the CardStar App to check out books from the Learning Commons. This is a free app that generates a bar code that can be read by the scanner on the Learning Commons computer. It works much like scanning a Starbucks card! The App uses the number on the front of the student’s planner. See Ms. Crosland if you would like help generating your own barcode.
Tip: Some students have taken a screen shot of the code so they do not have to open the App each time.


January 9 2014

Talking Pirates

We are off to a Strong Start in the Learning Commons with pre-schoolers and their care-givers sharing stories, videos and using the iPads to learn about sea life with the ABC Aquarium App. Division 5 showed their learning about the novel ‘The Breadwinner’ using Doodle Buddy, Pic Collage and KidBlog Apps. We also started the Natural Disasters Club. Students began to learn about Japanese culture by trying out some delicious Pocky biscuits and blogging their ideas.


“X Marks the Spot” for Reading Treasure in the Learning Commons

The Stamp Club for Divisions 10, 11, and 12 also meet this past week. Next week Divisions 7, 8 and 9 will meet at lunch on Tuesday and Divisions 1 – 6 on Wednesday. Bring your stamp albums, especially if you were in the Natural Disasters club last year. New members are welcome and free stamp albums will be provided.


Georges Vanier students used the Autorap App to share their research about pirates and Funny Face Maker App to put themselves in the face of pirate pictures. Check out the video:

Using Funny Face Maker App to show our learning about Pirates from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.


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December 11 2013

Categorizing Pirates with Pic Jointer App

The fire has been keeping us nice and toasty in the Learning Commons this week. Strong Start preschool has been enjoying Christmas stories, a Santa craft and exploring skill developing apps on the iPads. Some kindergarten students have used the Balloon Stickie app to create images to show that pirates say “Rrrrr”. Some grade 2 students used Pic Jointer to demonstrate their ideas about categorization with pirate themes and many classes continue to explore new countries through postage stamps.

We are also using a new twitter account in the Learning Commons @VanierLC. Students can use this account to share mini book reviews and recommendations and to tell about their learning. Students only have access during library classes, all tweets are moderated by the Teacher Librarian and we only follow other classes, schools or those we can learn from. Follow us @VanierLC to stay connected.

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Students in grades 1 and 2 use the Pic Jointer App to categorize items associated with pirates.

Categorizing Pirate Themes using Pic Jointer from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.


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December 5 2013

Ginger Bread Pirates

This week in the Learning Commons many students are enjoying adding to their stamp collections. Students are learning how to figure out where their stamps are from and are learning about countries around the world. Many thanks to Mrs. Roxburgh for helping us to add to our stamp supply.

Check out our learning: We used the Draw and Show app to help students visualize the characters in ‘The Gingerbread Pirates’ story and used the Doodlecast app to show our developing rhyming skills.

Gingerbread Pirates. Draw and Show from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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Primary students first tries with Draw and Show app. Visualizing the characters in The Gingerbread Pirates story in the Georges Vanier Learning Commons

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November 13 2013

Strong Start / And more pirates…

Pre-schoolers and their families are able to visit the Learning Commons for early literacy activities. We share ideas for encouraging children to develop an interest in books and explore apps that promote skill development on the iPads. This week, for example, we read ‘The Wheels on The Bus’ and made all the sounds for ‘And the Train Goes…’. We watched a video and sang along with ‘Five Little Monkeys’ and used an alphabet app to practise letters. It is a great opportunity for children and their caregivers to celebrate learning together.

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It’s a Multi-Step Process…

Several classes have been demonstrating their learning about pirates using the Pic Collage App. This is a multi step app that gives students another way of sharing what they have been exploring in the Learning Commons. In creating an image, students first locate pictures from one of our pirate books that they feel reflects their ideas. To use the app, students must be able to locate the app icon, select the camera, frame the photo and take the picture, decide if the picture is clear or retake it, manipulate the image size and orientation, select the text option, add their words, decide on a font, size, colour and background, arrange their images and save to the photo album. It’s a lot of steps and students are proud of their accomplishments. The projects are either uploaded to the individual student’s blog or later added to a video featuring the work of multiple classes.

Div 14 Pic Collage from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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