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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
We also had our first #KindnessCounts nomination for a group of students. Check out our Storify of recent nominations.
*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.
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’.
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.
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:
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!
View this Slideshare of these super illustrations. Students in Division 7 have been discussing personal attributes and thinking about how different jobs sometimes require certain attributes. Here are some great pictures students have drawn of themselves in different occupations.