Thinking about Kindness, Consideration and Joy

In the Learning Commons, students are contributing to posters that show meaningful ways they are celebrating kindness and growth in their lives. Five stations ask questions that students are encouraged to think about. We tried to avoid the idea of store bought gifts or monetary goals but focused on ‘ideas that speak to your heart’. The completed posters have been hung in the hallways.

  • What brings you joy?
  • How can you show kindness?
  • How can you bring joy to others?
  • What will you try to do next year?
  • What is your winter wish?

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Creating Winter Trees with glitter everywhere : )

In a collaborative effort, two Grade 3 classes contributed to the making of a set of trees to decorate the Learning Commons. Given time constraints, I hot glued the pine cones into the small dixie cups in advance. Activity  linked to Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.

The first class painted the base and the green tree. This allowed the first coat to dry before the next class added the white paint and glitter.

Rather than each student have to leave the room for clean up, or try to squeeze to use the sink in my office, I put out a shallow container of soapy water and a pile of paper towels.

Update: The class that did the painting decided to gift the creations to the class that did the glitter. Great practice on how to wrap presents. 

‘Stepping up’ to Kindness

Students in Grade 3/4 shared Jaqueline Woodson’s story ‘Each Kindness’ and discussed how we show kindness to others. Here is how we completed the activity during a one library period.

The students used card sentence strips which are pre-cut with a writing line. I photocopied ‘Kindness is_________’ in large bold font to help students gage the size of their printing. These were easily trimmed and lightly glued at each end to the cards. I used oversized tape to attach the strips to the steps. They could have been laminated but the heavy duty tape worked well too.

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How to make a Fun Friendship Video and Random Acts of Kindness Cookies

I found a bag 10 of ‘nose and glasses’ from the Dollar store and used them to get some genuine, unposed smiles from students with their buddies for our Pink Shirt Day assembly. Students thought I was getting ready to take the picture but I actually filmed the students as they put the glasses on and saw each other for the first time, then snapped a quick photo and slowed the video down by 50% in iMovie.

Pink Shirt Day: Friendship from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We decorated cookies in the Learning Commons and 75 students participated. We discussed Random Acts of Kindness and the idea of how sharing a cookie can be a way to make a connection, start a friendship or show appreciation. The cookies were pre-made from kits bought on sale after Valentine’s Day so were easy to use. Each kit included 12 nut free cookies, icing and decorative candies. We set up a big bucket of hot soapy water for a hand washing station.

Stuff the LC and #KindnessCounts

At Georges Vanier, the Learning Commons is a shared space that is used by staff and students for lots of great activities. We are helping further a sense of ownership by inviting students to bring a plush toy to hang out on the shelves in the LC for a couple of weeks. Please label stuffies with your child’s name and division.  No sentimental favourites, just in case…

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We are continuing to create some wonderful #KindnessCounts buttons. Students and staff are designing a self portrait with a big smile. We will wear them at the Year End Celebration Assembly on June 13th.

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#KindnessCounts designs

This week in the Learning Commons some classes have begun to experiment with our new button maker. This was purchased with greatly appreciated funds from the GVPAC, the school and with profits from the Book Fair. It has been a great success and we can see lots of possibilities. The students are designing smiling faces to help us remember to smile as we pass each other in the hallways.


“So Cool!”

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Designing Castles, Classroom Trophies, Global Play Day, Our Love Wall

This week in the Learning Commons we have been showing what we have learned about castle design and structure. Students included features such as a keep, arrow slits, crenellations, a gatehouse and a well in their creations. Next we will be looking at designing castles in more detail to include features of medieval life. Check out this great video showing their work.

Structures: Castle Design by Georges Vanier Students from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

The #KindnessCounts trophy in the LC has been a great success. Each class now has their own ‘designer’ trophy or rosette to help continue thinking about kindness in the classroom.


We participated in Global School Play Day on Feb 4th. Students created, shared, problem solved, imagined, laughed, deciphered, communicated, were kind and cleaned up together. Read more about it here



Our ‘What Do You Love?’ wall is beginning to take shape. Students are asked to contribute by thinking about, ‘What makes your heart sing?’, ‘What brings you joy?’ The answers are wonderful. Come on by the LC for a marker and help celebrate the things and people we love.




Virtual Castles, AppSmashed Anti-Bullying Posters and #KindnessCounts

This week students have been showing their learning about castles and creating their own virtual structures, incorporating the defensive design features of medieval castles. We are using a free app called Castle Builder – Minecraft style – that allows the students to view their creations in 3D.


We have also begun our Pink Shirt Day promotions. Students in Ms. Dhaliwal’s and Mrs. Lutz’s class created graphics that they will be posting on their student blogs to help spread the word about Anti-Bullying. We created images in Chalkboard App and imported them into Comic Book App to add quotes and pizazz.


We also had our first #KindnessCounts nomination for a group of students. Check out our Storify of recent nominations.

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