Book Fair Breaks Records: Student Leaders Step Up!

Scholastic tells me that our Fall Book Fair was the highest grossing Fair in the history of Pacific Heights Elementary! Library Book circulation continued as usual. Our Student Leaders stepped up to the challenge. They attended meetings, returned permission slips, learned about displays, customer service, so much monetary math and working as a team. We had two contests: Guess the Number of Pages and a draw for the Grand Prize. Cash profits will be used to purchase new books for our collection. Several piles of current Scholastic bonus titles will also be added. Great work everyone.

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Celebrating Reading

We all had a grand time at the Book Fair this week. We were even able to reap more Scholastic Rewards than the fall Fair. ūüéČūüéČ

More importantly the school was abuzz with reading, students in Grades 6 and 7 enjoyed leadership opportunities and everyone had lots of fun.

Student Centered Book Fair Planning

This week we have begun to get ready to the Martha Currie Book Fair. The event is approached as a learning opportunity and as a festival of books. Here are some of our pre-planning activities.

Using Tangrams and Birds-eye view mapping to figure out how we could best fit all of the Fair Displays into the library space.

Uploading to Google Drive to review our ideas

Using the sneak peek box of books to practice money and math addition skills.

Designing our own book display stands with some of the new Fair titles.

Problem solving, negotiating, cooperation and team work as students figure out a support schedule for the Fair.

Woot! Lots of learning at the Book Fair

Many thanks to all of the families who visited the Book Fair. Students had lots of fun choosing which books they would like to see added to the Vanier library collection. Students learned about customer service, money math, scheduling, and retail tidying up. Student leaders were exemplary in their commitment and showed a great sense of school spirit and responsibility. Proceeds from this fun literacy event go towards adding new books to the Vanier Learning Commons. Continue reading

Zoomy Digital Microscope, Deconstruction and Fair Winners


In the Learning Commons we shared a great story about the changing seasons called ‘And Then It’s Spring’ by Julie Fogliano. We examined¬†some signs of spring with¬†our¬†cool Zoomy Digital Microscope¬†and took a close look at the dandelions growing in the playground. We examined roots, pollen and petals of a variety of spring plants.


We also¬†started to deconstruct an old CD/Cassette player to see if we could get a better understanding of how it worked. Our plan is¬†to use the parts we salvage to design a knight’s suit of armour.¬†We learned that different shapes of screwdrivers have special names and we soon figured out that those screws can be tricky to take out. We used team work to¬†just about open the case and peek inside. We problem solved what¬†went well with the activity and what didn’t go so well.¬†To be continued…


And what a fun time we all had at the Book Fair! There were lots of¬†great books and we were able to choose many to add to our library collection. Here’s a few of the new titles. We also raised some funds to¬†support Learning Commons initiatives as well as order additional titles. And, 25 book prizes were awarded.¬†¬†Yahoo!

Next week we will be starting our ‘Stuff the Learning Commons’ activity.¬†Let’s see if we can stuff the LC with warm fuzzies! Students are invited bring in a plush toy to display in the library. We will have the toys at¬†school for about 2 weeks. Please label with¬†masking tape with student name and division.¬†No sentimental favourites just in case! (And we don’t really have space for the fair ground style giant stuffies) This activity helps students create ownership of the space and students¬†will be creating videos with the toys.

Photography Club: Eyebombing, Evaluating Apps, Blogging

This week in the Learning Commons students began to develop some new skills in photography. Students were given the digital camera to explore outside and search for items they could turn into faces. We will be uploading these to the iPads and digitally manipulating them to create different effects. Here are a couple of great pics.

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We also added unique characters to our photography using picture book covers. Some students also experimented with colour filters.

We also gathered together several of our castle creations and are beginning to look critically at the apps we used. Students are looking at what the learning outcomes of the projects are and figuring out if their choice of app helped them to effectively show their learning.

And we blogged some screenshots of our videos here

And finally, the Book Fair begins next week and runs from Thursday April 9th to Wednesday April 15th. We are excited to add to our library collection, so if you see any books that might be great for our library please let me know. The fair will be open in the morning for parents and caregivers and their children, throughout the day for students and after school for everyone. I hope to close the fair by 3:15 most days so come early for the best selection. Thank you for the support and see you in the Learning Commons!


Celebrating Books and Terrific Student Leaders

Yahoo! What a wonderful week we had in the Learning Commons. It was super to see so many families visiting the LC and helping to get their children excited about reading. Thank you very much to all those that came by to help support our fair. I was so excited to see students recommend new titles. All the books that students suggested were purchased for our library.
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Students learned so much about organizing equitable schedules, customer service, counting out money and making change – so much math! Students were responsible for arriving on time (sometimes early in the morning), tidying the fair, greeting visitors, helping younger students, assisting parents in finding books from the flyers, dressing Clifford and ensuring the wearer had guides and sign holders. I was so impressed with the commitment of our students. The more work and responsibility they were given, the happier they seemed. Well done! Check out our video…

60 seconds of Book Fair Fun from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

Wimpy Winners, Text Features, D.E.A.R.

Check out all of these Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans. There were 18 lucky winners of a Wimpy book. Did you know we also have 14 copies of the Wimpy Kid books in our Learning Commons?


Our whole school participated in Drop Everything And Read. We joined schools from around B.C. and across Canada by reading all at the same time.


Students in Division 9 are learning about Text Features in class. In the Learning Commons we began to experiment with PicCollage App as a tool to demonstrate our learning. This week students explored some of the features of the app to see how it might be used show what they have learned. They blogged their creations:

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Kindergarten students used the iPads to show their learning about pumpkins, skeletons and bats. They worked together to problem solve how to use the Doodle Buddy app. Students celebrated their accomplishments by using the appleTV to display their work to the class. Well done!


And finally, we have a big week coming up. The Book Fair will be held in the Learning Commons November 3 Р7. The fair is open before school for adults and their children and after school for everyone to come and browse. All students will also have the opportunity to have a look around the fair during regularly scheduled  classes.

Students who are interested in reading the books in the fair, but who do not wish to make a purchase are welcome to suggest titles for us to add to our Vanier collection. We will happily consider appropriate suggestions of novels or picture books for purchase.


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