May 23

Own the Learning Commons

Stuff the Learning Commons and Pirate Day from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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We recently had 2 events to promote reading and student ownership of the Learning Commons. Students were encouraged to bring in a plush toy to ‘Stuff the LC’. We also had ‘Pirate Day’ to celebrate our Learning Commons theme. Students dressed up and joined their big buddies in the gym for stories, reading and a pirate song or two.

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May 9

Getting Ready for Pirate Day, eBooks and Monet

This week in the Learning Commons we have been getting ready for Pirate Day which will be held on Thursday May 15th. Students are invited to wear a shirt with stripes, a belt, a scarf and a ‘scurvy dog’ scowl. We will be meeting our buddy classes in the gym and reading together, watching a short video and singing a pirate song or two. All primary students have made a Pirate hat to wear at the assembly.

‘Let’s Stuff the Learning Commons’ has been a great success. Next week we will take a few photos, blog our pictures and send the toys home at the end of the week on Friday.

Many students in Grade 2 have created  animal research eBooks using My Story App in the Learning Commons. Check out this sample of their great work  “A Moose”

Division 8 began work on making art using the work of Monet as inspiration. Students are using the ProCreate App to blend colours and creating their own ‘impressionist’ art. Next week students will be adding poems to go with their artwork and blogging their creations.

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May 1

We are Stuffed…and the Pirates are Coming!

We are stuffed with stuffies in the Learning Commons! Students have been claiming ownership of the space by bringing in Plush Toys to decorate. We will leave them on display all next week.

May 15th is Dress Like a Pirate Day at Vanier School. A striped shirt, a pair of boots, a big belt and a scarf and you too can be a pirate! The whole school pirate crew will be buddy reading in the gym.

The Natural Disasters club have begun to get creative with their Tsunami learning. Each student in Division 7, 8 and 9 will be creating an iMovie trailer to gather together all of their blogs, tweets, and art to demonstrate their learning.

Grade 2’s have been using My Story app to make animal eBooks and autobiographical About Me books. Grade 1’s have been learning to use Pic Collage to show their learning about plants and demonstrating an understanding of Beginning Middle and End of a story. Kindergarten has been practising using Drop Box to save their work and Grade 3 have been utilizing the district eLibrary.Yahoo!

Labelling and Beginning Middle and End App Smashing Pic Collage and Doodle Buddy Grade 1 from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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April 11

Treasure in a Book

In the Learning Commons this week we used the Popplet App to demonstrate our learning about the beginning, middle and end of a story. The app is a graphic organizer that allows students to show their thinking through text, drawings and imported photographs.

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The “Natural Disasters” finished painting their T-shirts. Next we will be photographing our designs, gathering examples of our work from our blogs and creating iMovies.

Divisions 13 and 15 are using My Story App to show their learning about animals. We are drawing, importing images, gathering facts from books and on-line and creating audio files for each page. Students are completing their work in class and in the Learning Commons.

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Some students have created Pirate Treasure. Students used Face On Coins App to design their own currency and show the Treasure in the Learning Commons. Check out their pirate grins.

Pirate Coins: Treasure in the Learning Commons from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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April 5


Strong Start

Students in the ‘Natural Disasters Club’ began to use the fabric paint to create their T Shirts. They have been tweeting their progress on  There are 75 T Shirts hanging up to dry in the Learning Commons!  CLICK HERE to check out our latest STORIFY of student tweets.

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Ms. Dhaliwal’s class created Earth Day messages in the style of Todd Parr. We used more than one app (PicCollage and ProCreate) to create our work. This is called App Smashing. This favourite author even ‘favourited’ our tweet when we shared our work. Yahoo! Check out the student blogs for Division 5 at

Plasticine App Smash

Division 9 AppSmashed ColorEffects and PicCollage to manipulate photos of their plasticine tsunami creations. We wanted to demonstrate the power and devastation of a Tsunami. Check out their blogs:

Many students in Kindergarten to Grade 2 used chalkboards and Chalkboard App to respond to Bill Tomson’s picture book, Chalk. Students imagined what they would draw if their creations could come to life. Check out their great video:

Chalkboard from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.



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February 14


Some Kindergarten to Grade 2 students created Avatars using the app IMadeFace. We also imported them into Doodle Buddy and turned our faces into Pirates.

Creating Avatars from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

The Learning Commons has been celebrating how much Georges Vanier students LOVE learning. We learned about QR Codes and used the iPads to scan Valentine’s hearts. The QR Codes linked to examples of student creations. Some divisions took a screenshot and blogged “Celebrating Learning”.


Strong Start Pre-School also joined in and the Love Bugs learned about caterpillars and made a Valentine’s butterfly. We had a full house and even had time to explore on the iPads.


Our Natural Disasters club for Divisions 7, 8 and 9 is almost finished our novel, ‘I Survived the Japanese Tsunami’ and we will be next be creating with clay to make our own tsunami iMovies. Division 4 has been trying out the ProCreate App. Students are importing their art into PicCollage App and adding their poems.


Did you know…?
Many students that bring their own devices to school are using the CardStar App to check out books from the Learning Commons. This is a free app that generates a bar code that can be read by the scanner on the Learning Commons computer. It works much like scanning a Starbucks card! The App uses the number on the front of the student’s planner. See Ms. Crosland if you would like help generating your own barcode.
Tip: Some students have taken a screen shot of the code so they do not have to open the App each time.


January 30

Experts at Uploading and Ted Harrison Art


Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 3.59.44 PMWhat Do You Love? Come on by the Learning Commons and add to our banner. So far we love the beach, basketball, reading, our families, BFFs and much more. See Ms. Crosland for a marker and help us to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Stay up to date with student learning by following @VanierLC on twitter. Here’s the link to our latest stories:

Division 5 and 9 learned about the art of Ted Harrison and used the Pro-Create App to make their own digital creations in the style of the famous Canadian artist. Check out their work on the student blogs.

Strong Start Pre-school celebrated Chinese New Year in the Learning Commons with a 3D horse colouring activity, horse pictures and videos. Grade One and Two students are learning how to use screenshots, photo editing, the camera and dropbox to save and share their work. Check out their 45 second video.

Gr 1 and 2 create from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

Grade 1 and 2 students in the Learning Commons at Georges Vanier Elementary create using Doodle Buddy, screen shot their work and upload to Dropbox independently.
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January 9

Talking Pirates

We are off to a Strong Start in the Learning Commons with pre-schoolers and their care-givers sharing stories, videos and using the iPads to learn about sea life with the ABC Aquarium App. Division 5 showed their learning about the novel ‘The Breadwinner’ using Doodle Buddy, Pic Collage and KidBlog Apps. We also started the Natural Disasters Club. Students began to learn about Japanese culture by trying out some delicious Pocky biscuits and blogging their ideas.


“X Marks the Spot” for Reading Treasure in the Learning Commons

The Stamp Club for Divisions 10, 11, and 12 also meet this past week. Next week Divisions 7, 8 and 9 will meet at lunch on Tuesday and Divisions 1 – 6 on Wednesday. Bring your stamp albums, especially if you were in the Natural Disasters club last year. New members are welcome and free stamp albums will be provided.


Georges Vanier students used the Autorap App to share their research about pirates and Funny Face Maker App to put themselves in the face of pirate pictures. Check out the video:

Using Funny Face Maker App to show our learning about Pirates from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.


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