May 13

Leaning In: Collecting Postage Stamps

We have been exploring postage stamps, Grades K to 4 / 5. Students have been learning about classification, attention to detail, decifering languages, organizing a collection in an album as well as how to negotiate a fair trade.

Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 learned about all of the many designs of postage stamps from all over the world. Using a magnifying glass, they examined the fine details in a stamp to take home, and designed their own stamps to show their learning.

Students in Grades 2 and 3 are creating mini stamp albums, carefully examining the stamps and deciding how to categorize them: some by theme, colour or size or a combination of attributes. Students are learning how to arrange the various sized stamps on the grids and how to be creative in their designs on each page.


Grades 4 and 5 have been sorting their stamps by country of origin. This can be tricky and some ‘detective’ work is needed to figure out where the stamps are from. We will have one more week of stamp examination in classtime. In the coming weeks, students will be able collect more stamps from me in the LC as they sort and add to their albums on their own.

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January 21

What Does the Fox Say? Stamp Club, ColarMix App

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This week in the Vanier Learning Commons, the Natural Disasters Club used a web-based program called Today’s Meet to demonstrate their learning about the Japanese Tsunami. It’s a great way to assess student comprehension of the novel and a fun way to share ideas. Check it out at

The stamp club also met again this week and we will get together again on Wednesday at lunch in the Learning Commons. We are using the iPads to help us figure out where the stamps are from. If you have an album from last year, please bring it. Albums supplied free for new members. Lots of great free stamps so come on by. Open to Divisions 1 – 12.

We celebrated the upcoming Chinese New Year with a new 3D image creator using the ColarMix App. The Year of the Horse was celebrated with a horse carousel which, when viewed through the app, made the student’s creations move in 3D. Kindergarten students also experimented with a Sock Puppet App to share some of our learning about Pirates. All of our videos may be viewed on the Learning Commons Vimeo channel.

Kindergarten and Grade 2/3 classes helped to create a video featuring a new book. We read and danced to ‘What Does the Fox Say?” by Ylvis and illustrated by Svein Nyhus. We thought the pictures of the fox were great. We also learned some facts about foxes. Check out our video.

What does the Fox Say? (or, The Read Aloud Everyone Wanted to Read) from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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January 9

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 5

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 30

Stamp Detectives

It has been another busy week in the Learning Commons. Students and their buddies had lots of fun reading ebooks and storybooks with flashlights in the Pirate’s Den Library. Don’t forget, the digital books are available to all students and their families and can be accessed at home from the school library catalogue. See Ms Crosland if you have any questions about accessing the site.

Stamp Detectives from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

 stamps ipad

In the Georges Vanier Learning Commons, students in grades 1 and 2 have been using clues to tell which country a postage stamp is from. They have also been using the iPad camera to document their learning and to figure out how to frame a photograph.

stamps ipad 2 stamps ipad1

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