January 22

Binary Code with Beads

This week in the Learning Commons some classes learned about Binary Coding. We used beads and coding charts to recreate our initials in Binary Code. These are on display in the hallway.

If time is limited, have all the strings ‘started’ with a bead tied on already to go at the bottom. These can take some classes longer to complete than you might think. A challenge, or for a class with longer time, would be to add the periods or middle initials as well. Label the ends with the students initials and ‘Binary Coding’ on labels. This is also a quick way to ‘tie off’ the strand. I used pearler beads which are inexpensive and make for a nice straight binary representation.

December 2

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.

September 22

Meet the Teacher in the Learning Commons

As part of welcoming families for Meet the Teacher evening, students populated the Learning Commons with some very quiet readers. (A bit too quiet for me – no one asked any questions!)

The class created self portraits on paper plates which we taped to wooden sticks. Rulers or paint stir sticks would also work.

Students brought long sleeved hoodies from home that were slipped over the back of the chairs and we stuffed the sleeves with newspaper to ‘hold’ the books.

No pants needed…just push in the chairs.

Tip: Tape the heads to the backs of the chairs after the hoodies are in place – some students brought shirts that had no zips.

May 2

Inspiration from Clayton Gauthier – Cree/Dakelh Artist and Author

Many thanks to Clayton Gauthier  – Cree/Dakelh Artist who kindly gave us permission to draw inspiration from his wonderful book The Salmon Run.

We are so proud of this collaborative Learning Commons project which included every student at our school. Everyone was able to participate in different ways, from design, sanding, drilling and painting. It was an entirely inclusive project.

Each division looked at the life cycle of the salmon from an Indigenous Perspective and discussed Clayton Gauthier’s powerful images about showing true colours, persevering in the face of struggles, following your heart, honouring your ancestors, protecting the environment and the interconnectedness of life. Safety First from Kindergarten to Grade 7:  Sanding the wood and drilling the holes. Thanks to Brian Newbold for the jigs. The painters each did one part of a salmon and were totally engaged in this cooperative, communal project. Over 500 students made 100 fish.The project took one full month to complete, including our discussions and developing an understanding of the perspectives of  The Salmon Run. This involved scheduling entire classes as well as small groups into the Learning Commons. The space was taken over by tarps, newspaper, wood and paint cans for the duration of the activity. Our next step is to celebrate this Indigenous project with the school community. We will be hosting a parent tea with The Salmon Run theme and showing a video of images from our learning.

For next time I would remember: Outdoor paint goes a long way – don’t buy too much. Match the drill holes better to the size of the wire. Get very fine sandpaper for the exuberant sanders. Don’t worry about the carpet – we didn’t spill one bit of paint, not one! Regular sweeping keeps the sawdust under control. Wash the brushes immediately. Buy better quality brushes. Most importantly, just jump right in.

Clayton Gauthier. Dakelh translation by Francois Prince.
Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2016.
20 pp., stapled pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-926886-44-2.
Click image for CM Magazine review.









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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January 31

Celebrating the Salmon Run by Clayton Gauthier

We have been getting ready for our First Peoples in Residence program to be held Feb. 5th to 9th. Students in Grade 4 have been exploring the powerful messages in Clayton Gauthier’s book The Salmon Run.

Mr. Gauthier graciously agreed to allow the students to gather inspiration from his art. To celebrate the journey of the salmon and to help to share our learning, students painted their own versions of the salmon on T-Shirts. We will wear our shirts at our welcoming assembly, our closing gathering and throughout the week as we enjoy a variety of workshops.

The colouring images of the salmon were kindly provided by Mr. Gauthier. We blackened the lines so they would show through the fabric and pinned them in place. We used fabric paint by Tulip Brand that will withstand the washing machine if turned inside out.

We completed the painting in two sessions to allow the initial colours to dry before adding the final outline. This gave students a chance to cover over or re-do any parts they wanted to change.

Salmon from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We are looking forward to a further project with this book after the Spring Break.





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January 26

The Wave: Art inspired by Barbara Reid and Hokusai

This was a collaborative project by Grade 2 and 3 students. Focus was on appreciating and respecting the work of their peers as well as exploring how to combine styles from two different artists: Hokusai and Barbara Reid. Following explorations of the artists, the first class created the blue background with plasticine. We used the cardboard sleeves to present our work.

The second class imported a photograph of the background into Doodle Buddy and added the details. It was uploaded to Dropbox for sharing. The final group added white plasticine and the images were displayed in the hallway.

Art inspired by Hokusai and Barbara Reid from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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January 26

Upcycle DVD cases with Japanese Calligraphy

Students in Grade 4 have been learning about different styles of Japanese writing. We chose some powerful words to put on display using old DVD cases. Students chose words such as Kindness, Beauty, Truth and Peace. We used calligraphy brushes purchased at an inexpensive Japanese Dollar store (Daiso in Richmond).


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