June 5

Aboriginal Resources to Support Personal and Social Core Competencies

The following Aboriginal resources may be useful when exploring Social Emotional Learning in the classroom. Over 60 picture books were recently shared with staff at Georges Vanier Elementary and we explored how these books might support the Core Competencies in B.C.’s new curriculum. Focus was on Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility.

This list reflects picture books we currently have in our collection or titles that will be added in September ’17. They were selected as authentic Indigenous sources or are titles held and shared by the District Aboriginal Department. It is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to provide a window into how Aboriginal titles may be used to reach school-wide SEL goals.

Each book has been placed within the context of a core competency with specific details outlining how that title might be utilized. Many books are listed in multiple sections. Titles are linked to webpages with further details. Aboriginal perspectives have also been outlined as well as a final section on further supportive digital resources on numerous titles.

Click below for the entire list in one document

Category: Book Recommendations, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Aboriginal Resources to Support Personal and Social Core Competencies
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.

Category: Digital Makers, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Using a Buddha Board for Social Emotional Learning and Digital Creation
February 11

First Nations Resource for Social Emotional Learning

In her book Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, author Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can act as animal guides for children seeking to understand themselves and others.

This little book is great resource for exploring SEL. We made connections using Coast Salish designs for our follow-up activity and students made the link between the animals, the text and identifying their own varying emotions, strengths and feelings.

Gr. 3 discussions and art took two 40 minute periods inc. book exchanges.

After exploring Coast Salish mask art, students used their own creativity to complete the activity. We also took the opportunity to use ‘fancy frames’ to offer students a little recognition. Remaining masks were displayed in the hall.

 

 

Category: First Nations themes and Resources, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on First Nations Resource for Social Emotional Learning
May 13

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…

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 4.36.28 PM

CiR52NcU4AAx7nv.jpg-large

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.

Continue reading

Category: Building Community, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Stuff the LC and #KindnessCounts
January 31

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.

IMG_7083IMG_7085IMG_7075

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.

MyaHardalip

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 11.15.54 AM

 

 

Category: Digital Makers, Kindness Counts, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Virtual Castles, AppSmashed Anti-Bullying Posters and #KindnessCounts
January 17

Cat Says Meow, Co-operative Building and #KindnessCounts

This week in the LC we had a wonderful surprise arrive in the mail from Michael Arndt – a signed copy of his wonderful book Cat Says Meow and other animalopoeia.

c0ver *Pictures reproduced with kind permission from the author.

 

Students had great fun learning about onomatopoeia  and exploring all of the cleverly designed pictures. Our favourite was the cow but the pig was a close second.

cow-pig

 

Students in several classes enjoyed sharing this great story and it really sparked their imaginations. They couldn’t wait to get started designing their own animal creations. We used Doodle Buddy App to come up with the shape for the animal and imported that image into PicCollage. We chose this app as there are a wide variety of fonts to choose from. Students explored with other ideas as they worked: adding the names of the animals into their images. We could also have extended the activity as a way to show learning about animal habitats or behaviours.

I shared some of the creations on twitter and as it was such a great project that I would definitely do again. The students were so excited when they saw that  Mr. Arndt had replied to our tweet and said he thought their work was ‘Cool’.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 4.18.49 PM

 

The contact with the author of the book was an extremely meaningful learning opportunity for the students. The students were deeply engaged in the project, highly motivated to create and keen to figure out how they could show their ideas. They were showing the author what they could do, and they wanted it to be their very best. I am indebted to Michael for his support of our Vanier authors and illustrators.

IMG_6977 IMG_6968

IMG_6971

 Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 4.53.13 PM

We also created a fantastic cooperative learning, problem solving, research background, think outside the box, respect each other’s work, get creative castle. Check out our process:

Cooperative castle building from crosland_a

And of course #KindnessCounts at Vanier. Check out our nominated Acts of Kindness

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 5.05.18 PM

Category: Makers and Makerspaces, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Cat Says Meow, Co-operative Building and #KindnessCounts
December 13

Hour of Code, Character and Setting, Friendship

What a great time students had experimenting with creating javascript computer code during International Hour of Code Week. 15 million students worldwide participated. Check out the tutorials here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 8.25.24 PM

 

Students in Division 10 talked about friendship and we read Chris Raschka’s Book ‘Yo! Yes?’ and created our own interpretation of the story. We tweeted out our video and Chris Raschka favourited our work!

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka and Division 10 from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

While reading some great Christmas stories, we discussed how to determine character and setting. Some Grade 1 and 2 students contributed to a slideshare to show their learning.

Showing understanding of Character and Setting from crosland_a
Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 5.48.08 PM
Category: Digital Makers, Library Skills, Social Emotional Learning | Comments Off on Hour of Code, Character and Setting, Friendship