October 17

Celebrating Diwali

Cross-curricular explorations and building connections during Diwali. Useful links to information, activities and videos to help your class celebrate the Festival of Lights. Diwali in 2017 is on Thursday, October 19, 2017 and will continue to Monday, October 23, 2017.

STEM ideas and activities which can be linked to Diwali including: investigating shadows, creating shadow puppets, using spectroscopes and colour wheels to study light and colour, exploring electrical circuits and making lava lamps.

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Rangoli

A rangoli is a colourful design made on the floor near the entrance to a house to welcome guests. At Diwali, people draw bright Rangoli patterns to encourage the goddess Lakshmi to enter their homes.

Group Chalk and Sand Project. Social Emotional Learning – cooperation, planning, inclusion, critical thinking. Continue reading

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August 27

Refreshing Your MakerSpace

Beyond the investments in kits such as Makey-Makey or robotics or Lego, the heart of the MakerSpace is in the consumables. The paper cups, tape, cardboard and straws that not only inspire some serious creativity and ‘outside the box’ thinking but also are the great equalizer – accessible to all students and teachers.

We recently gave the Vanier MakerSpace a makeover by restocking some of those consumable items. Although donations, cardboard and packing materials flow through the space throughout the year, sometimes it is just more efficient to stock up on some of the basics.

With visits to several Dollar Stores we invested $300 in additional MakerSpace consumables for our school of 550 K-7 students. This included more large storage containers. Here’s what we chose:

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Straws: From structures to toys, mazes to stop motion, straws are a must have. There are some great ideas on using straws ideas on using straws and free .stl files for 3D printing connectors. Continue reading

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June 11

#LiveDive, Stop Motion, Cooperation

This week we celebrated World Oceans Day and joined in two #LiveDives off Vancouver Island. Students were able to see the scuba diver and ask her questions about what they observed under the water. Students tweeted and the Fish Eye Project team replied. Check out some of these great questions here on our #LiveDive Storify

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Division 8, Grade 4 class created an instructional video for Kindergarten students on how to line up using our plush toys from ‘Stuff the Learning Commons’

How to Line Up from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

Grade 3 and Grade 2 students showed that Cooperation Counts and created pages for an I Spy book. They also included Kindergarten students in the design process. It was a great way for 65 students to work together on one project. Slide share of the book coming soon. Here’s a sample page. Can you find all of the items?

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April 23

#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.

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“So Cool!”

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April 8

Author tweets, stop motion, spirograph

This week many classes read ‘Please Open this Book’ by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe. We loved the characters  and the great story sparked lots of discussion. Kindergarten students used the theme of the animals being stuck in the book to help them think about their digital work being stuck in an App. It was a great jumping off point for our lessons on saving our creations to the iPad photo album.

We tweeted our idea and the author wrote back!

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We have also been experimenting with stop motion video using items from the Maker Space.

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Team work, Problem solving, Cooperation, Creativity, Critical Thinking

Boom! Stop Motion in the Learning Commons from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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Breathing new life into art prints with stop motion video.

Our 3D printed Spirograph worked pretty well!

Check out our 3D printed Spirograph set!

And don’t forget our Monster Book Fair is next week – April 11th – 15th. Classes will have an opportunity to visit the fair during their scheduled Learning Commons period. Student shoppers are welcome to bring their piggy banks at recess and lunch and everyone is welcome to come and check it out after 2:30. Parents and Caregivers are also invited to visit between 8:00 and 8:30 for a quieter browse.

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