September 14

Creating a Core Competency Kindness Quilt

As part of our start up Kindness theme, students in the Learning Commons thought about how to be kind and created a display to share their ideas. some classes used Doodle Buddy app to show their thinking.

Origami paper from the Dollar Store made for easy display.

Grade 2 student gives a refresher tutorial on the features of the app.

Our Kindness ideas inspired by The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

 

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August 23

Resources for Discussing Social Justice in the Classroom

As we head back to school, it seems timely to share some important resources for generating classroom discussion on Social Justice and Empathy.

Titles cover topics ranging from discrimination, racism, human rights, diversity, gender identity, poverty, religion, refugees, residential schools, the differently abled.

Not an exhaustive list, these print titles are currently available in the Vanier collection. There are also eBooks available via the library catalogue.

Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged – Jody Warner

Giant Steps to Change the World – Spike Lee

I have the Right to be a Child – Alain Serres

Across the Alley- Richard Michelson

The Secret of the Dance- Andrea Spalding

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August 14

Picture Book Resources to support Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility Core Competencies (2)

Many of these titles will work in multiple categories, out-of-print or hard to find titles excluded. All titles currently available the Vanier Collection.

*See also Indigenous Titles to Support Personal and Social Core Competencies (1)

*See complete list of SEL resources

Personal Awareness and Responsibility: Self-Determination

Students who are personally aware and responsible have a sense of personal efficacy and growing confidence in a variety of situations. They value themselves, their ideas, and their accomplishments. They are able to express their needs and seek help when they need it, to find purpose and motivation and act on it, and to advocate for themselves.

Fuchsia Fierce – Christianne Jones

Bounce Back: Resilience – Cheri Meiners

A Tiger Tale – Mike Boldt

As A Boy – Plan International

Hooray For You – Marianne Richmond

Happy In Our Skin – Fran Manushkin

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June 5

Indigenous Resources to Support Personal and Social Core Competencies

Vanier staff explored how Indigenous resources might support Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies in B.C.’s new curriculum. Focus was on Personal Awareness and Responsibility and Social Responsibility.

Titles were selected as authentic Indigenous sources or are resources selected and shared by the District Aboriginal Department. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but rather to provide a window into how Indigenous titles may be used to reach school-wide SEL goals.

Indigenous perspectives have also been outlined as well as a final section on further supportive digital resources.1. Personal Awareness and Responsibility: Self-Determination

Students who are personally aware and responsible have a sense of personal efficacy and growing confidence in a variety of situations. They value themselves, their ideas, and their accomplishments. They are able to express their needs and seek help when they need it, to find purpose and motivation and act on it, and to advocate for themselves.

I can show a sense of accomplishment and joy. I can celebrate my efforts and accomplishments. I can advocate for myself and my ideas. I can imagine and work toward change in myself and world. I can take the initiative to inform myself about controversial issues.

 

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson. 2016 Facing hardship and showing strength. Learning how to retain and advocate for one’s sense of identity.
Eaglet’s World by Evelyn White Minshull. 2014 Feeling proud of your accomplishments.
Red Parka Mary by Peter Eyvindson 2015 Celebrate efforts to overcome fears
The Moccasins by Earl Einarson. 2004

Come and Learn with Me – Cheyenne Jumbo

Feeling proud of your heritage
Under One Sun – Nelson 2017

What Do You Share?

We Help Each Other

I Do Good Things

(other titles available)

Being mindful to create change.
Spirit Bear by Jennifer Harrington 2014 Celebrating accomplishments. Determination to get back home.
Mwakwa Talks to the Loon by Dale Auger 2008 Change / growth in self. The qualities of service and humility.
Which Way Should I Go? By Sylvia Olsen Being mindful, Making good choices.
Little Bear’s Vision Quest by Sylvia Olsen Sense of change in self – thoughtless to thoughtful
Everybody Needs A Rock by Byrd Baylor Finding Connections between self and nature and use that knowledge to create personal meaning and change
What’s the Most Beautiful Thing about Horses? by Richard Van Camp / Georges Littlechild What’s the most beautiful thing you know about you?’
Raven Tales – 26 Graphic Novels Edited by D. Bouchard and D. Booth “These graphic novels are built on traditional stories that develop a sense of community, responsibility, respect and interconnectedness of life” Click here for individual story details.
Raven Tales – Teacher’s Guide Edited by D. Bouchard and D. Booth Recommended. Connects Raven Tales to First Nations cultures and other international and aboriginal cultures with similar stories. Story summaries. Delineated themes i.e. Living in Community, Respect…
Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel Celebrating positive changes in emotions.
Dancing with the Cranes by Jeanette Armstrong / Ron Hall I can show a sense of joy. I can imagine and work toward change in myself and world.
Seven Sacred Teachings Niizhwaaswi gagiikwewin by D. Bouchard and Dr. J. Martin Humility, Honesty, Respect, Courage, Wisdom, Truth, Love
I Like Who I Am by Tara White Celebrating my efforts and accomplishments, advocating for myself. Identity.
Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk Believe in Yourself, Love, Help others, Be gentle, Be creative, Find joy, Be empowered, Be patient, Be kind
Sharing Our World: Animals of the Native Northwest Coast by Garfinkel Publications Celebrating strengths and accomplishments
My Heart Fills with Happiness by M.G. Smith Showing joy
Yetsa’s Sweater by Sylvia Olsen Showing a sense of accomplishment and joy. Celebrating efforts and accomplishments.
Dipnetting with Dad by Willie Sellars Showing a sense of accomplishment and joy. Celebrating efforts and accomplishments. The rewards of not giving up.
Cloudwalker by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd Not giving up despite challenges Persevering to overcome adversity
Orca Chief by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd Sense of accomplishment in learning new skills
Set of seven books by Katherena Vermette The Seven Teachings Stories are inspired by the Seven Sacred Teachings of the Anishinaabe—love, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, honesty, and truth. These stories are set in urban landscapes, Indigenous children tell familiar stories about home, school, and community.
When I was Eight by Christy Jordan-Fenton Determination to read, goal setting, over-coming adversity, joy of reading, goal of reading.
Not My Girl by Christy Jordan-Fenton Recognition of change in self, Aspiring to belong, Change takes time.
Gray Wolf’s Search by Bruce Swanson Celebrating effort and accomplishment
Thunder Boy Jr. by S. Alexie Celebrating accomplishments and advocate for myself. Imagine and work toward change.
Dreaming In Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices. Edited by L. Charleyboy and M.B. Leatherdale A visual example to acknowledge the diverse identities in a contemporary current context.
The Secret of Your Name by D. Bouchard Showing a sense of accomplishment and joy. Advocating for my ideas. Celebrating my efforts.

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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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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.

 

 

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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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

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