February 25

Upcycle Cigar Boxes to First Nations ‘Cedar Boxes’

We began our project with a great ‘Tree of Life’ kit from Surrey Schools Aboriginal Dept. The kit includes CDs and DVDs as well as books and information on Cedar, Totem Poles and Northwest Native Art. An excellent resource, delivered right to your Surrey school. We also discussed A Journey into Time Immemorial: The Importance of Cedar.

Students added some of the many uses of cedar to a circular tree and coloured a totem for the top.

The cigar boxes came from a Vancouver tobacconist, I paid $20 CAD (cash deal) for 30. Some of the boxes had lots of glossy labels that had to be scraped off before painting. We added Mod Podge to the top surface to seal the picture and add a slight gloss. Students are proud to display their work and excited to take them home. Each time they open the box there will be a little reminder of the importance of the cedar tree to the First Nations peoples.

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February 17

3D Print Love Tokens

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we created Love Tokens on the 3D Printer and learned how to braid yarn. Click here for the stl file. A single print run for nine hearts was only a few minutes. I taped the wool strands to the desks ahead of time. We took a look at part of this video that shows the braiding clearly. Students did a great job and enjoyed the challenge.

Other classes continued to celebrate learning at Vanier using QR Codes and our Mighty Girl Projects are starting to take shape. And, we made a quick video of our wall of What Do You Love?

 

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February 4

How to Build Community

We have been focusing on building and respecting our school community through creative and MakerEd co-operative projects. Three classes worked as a team to create some fantastic wall art based on Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’.

Some classes are helping each other to figure out how to make clothing for their Mighty Girls and others are working together to make First Nations cedar boxes.

Read on for: Love Wall, Todd Parr art, We Are All Linked and Love Hearts bulletin boards Continue reading

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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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December 11

Gathering S.T.E.A.M – Binary Code

This week in the Learning Commons, students got creative by blending Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

img_5123Some classes learned about Binary Code. Binary Code represents computer data using any two-symbol system, often 0 and 1. It is the language of computers. Students used guides to create strings of beads that show their initials in binary code. I used Perler Beads for this science and technology activity as these beads are easy to thread, create a ‘tube’ of code and are inexpensive to purchase.

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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?

Photo 2016-06-09

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