March 28

Digitally showcasing MakerEd Mighty Women

Students used their learning about their Mighty Woman to place their dolls in a setting. The images showcase the research, costume design and sewing of the clothes. They  photographed the characters on a solid colour and used Superimpose App to layer the images. The digital creation was then imported into PicCollage and text was added. Students then uploaded their work to their FreshGrade digital portfolio. Here’s some of their wonderful work. 


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March 9

How to Export from an App for Kindergarten

Check out this great little instructional video sung by Grade 1 for Kindergarten on how to export from Doodle Buddy App. Using a familiar tune, hand motions and visual cues Kindergarten students are soon able to independently export their work from a creative app into the iPad photo album.

Instructional video made by Grade 1 for Kindergarten on how to export from Doodle Buddy from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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March 4

Exporting Student Work from Supervised iPads using Dropbox

In the Learning Commons, many students are reviewing how to export their digital creations so that we can share their work with the world. The school iPads are necessarily restricted and there is no email associated with the devices. Students are able to upload to their digital portfolio on FreshGrade and we often do this through a stand alone student comment and image. This allows students to reflect on their learning and is a fantastic opportunity. However, given prep period time constraints of a 20 to 40 minute class and the multitude of passwords and user names, this is not always possible with younger students, so we sometimes use DropBox to share our work.

Googily Eyes and Book Covers: Learning photo editing skills, cropping, straightening and colour adjustments.

The iPads stay signed in to my Dropbox account so students do not need to sign into the app. Primary students are able to export their work from a creative app, save to the camera roll and upload to Dropbox.

Sharing creations on the big screen gives us an opportunity to discuss our learning.

Before the class is over we can easily view everyone’s creations and discuss as a group what we learned and what we would do differently next time. I then download the images, import as a whole to iMovie to create a video, add titles and upload to Vanier on Video. This allows the link to be posted on Twitter, on the Learning Commons blog and in the school newsletter. It can also be added to the Freshgrade account of the class. We often will take a look at the video at the beginning of the next library period by way of review and celebration.

Learning photo editing and uploading with GOOGILY eyes. from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

This was a quick and easy activity to practise the skill of creating, editing, saving, exporting and uploading.

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February 28

Using a Buddha Board for Social Emotional Learning and Digital Creation

A Buddha Board is calming way to paint and then watch your creation slowly disappear. The white board is mounted onto a black water tray and you use the brush to paint with the water. The brush strokes show up in black. As the water evaporates, the board becomes white again. We have been experimenting with our new Buddha Board in the Learning Commons and figuring out some ways it could be best utilized.

Our first use of the board in the classroom was as a calm down tool for students. The board worked in much the same way as Mind Up tools. Bubblers or glitter jars can be useful in helping students to self regulate and the board offers one more strategy for this calming activity. Students are able to create an image, for example, a representation of their frustration, and watch it slowly disappear as they practice their mindful breathing techniques. The image can take about 5 minutes to evaporate and the process repeated if necessary.

It was also handy for an impatient or anxious student to look at to help understand how long it would be before the next activity or recess. ‘ When the picture is gone’ was more concrete than ‘in 5 minutes’. The board was also helpful for a student who just needed a break from the current activity.

All of the students who tried the board liked the way the brush felt as they painted. They liked the idea that the creation would slowly disappear. Mistakes were not important and it didn’t matter if they felt themselves to be ‘good artists’ or not as there was no permanence to the painting.

We also video taped some Social Emotional Learning words as they disappeared, reversed the film and sped it up so the words seem to appear. As students create their own videos to show their learning we could imagine using this technique for adding titles, credits, thought balloons etc.

Buddha Board from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

I am wondering about using the board as a ‘End of Day’ tool, i.e. ‘Let’s see if we can pick up all of the lego before the image disappears’. Overall, we are looking forward to experimenting with the board. It is great to be able to create with a brush without the problem of getting actual paint all over the library. We have the larger board but smaller ones are available. The larger one was about $35CAD at Chapters and Amazon .The smaller boards are about $16CAD but at just 5″ square, they looked a little too small to be useful.

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January 27

Alternative Eiffel, Cedar Boxes, Mighty Girls

Figuring out a building plan

Vanier students are Makers. After creating designs last week, students came up with a construction plan and worked cooperatively to build their own interpretations of the Eiffel Tower. They figured out that communication is the most important thing when working together.

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January 21

Reading with Musical Cushions

We had fun in the Learning Commons playing Musical Cushions. Students circled the books until the music stopped and then read the picture book. We practised looking at the details in the illustrations and worked on remembering how to turn the pages carefully so that the book does not get damaged.

Grade 4 classes used Doodle Buddy App to begin our design plans for our giant Eiffel Towers, the 5/6 classes continued with their Mighty Girl projects and the 4/5 class began looking at all of the fantastic ways that First Nations Peoples used Cedar: The Tree of Life. Continue reading

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September 17

Create vs. Consume

Choosing apps for school iPads can be a transformational task that might encourage discussion on learning goals and school missions. There are many great apps available but there are a few things to consider.

Photo 2016-02-29, 1 31 27 PM

Begin by clarifying your vision for the use of the devices. What are your objectives and goals, the ‘why’. Look at apps that help you meet those goals.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 7.39.19 AMLook for apps that are used to create rather than consume. Continue reading

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June 5

I Spy, Dreams, Sidewalk Art

Kindergarten students have been exploring I Spy books. We have been using the pictures to search carefully for shapes, colours and items. Students used colourful miniatures to create and photograph their own I Spy pages. We will use these next week to challenge each other’s searching skills.


Students work cooperatively to design their own I Spy challenge.

Using the green screen, three classes demonstrated how expressive and creative they can be. Some students imagined themselves as future doctors, engineers or pilots. We also re-created some iconic images and put them in a video to share at the Primary Assembly. Lots of fun!


Even Einstein knew how to have fun.


Friendly Nemo



If you can dream it… from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We decided to advertise some of the great books in the Learning Commons at the front of the school. Students sketched their current favourite book covers including the author’s name and book title and we re-created them on the sidewalk. It was a great way to celebrate our reading.


Mermaid Tales by D. Daday

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