November 3

Kimono MakerEd with Newspapers

This week Grade 3/4 showed their previous learning about Kimono design. Students focused on core competency skills such as working in a group, problem solving, peer encouragement and celebrating our learning. We searched for inspiration from images of clothing designed from newspaper and other recycled materials.

Students were able to complete the lesson and the activity, including clean up and book circulation during a 40 minute prep.

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October 28

MakerEd and Fall Fans

Students have been learning about the artistry of Japanese fans. We explored seasonal fan designs and enjoyed a Maple Fan Dance video from Kyoto.

Using fall colours, with inspiration from Ehlert, some classes designed fans with wooden handles using crayons, cut out leaves or by painting maple leaves collected from outside.

To celebrate the work of their peers, Grade 4 and 5 students created stop motion videos using keys from discarded laptops or used Lego to design display stands for the fans.

Students had to work co-operatively, share the materials as well as show respect for the work of their peers.




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October 19

Making buttons and cards with our Flower Press

Students experimented with a flower press to see if we would be able to add petals to a design and then create a pin with our button press. We wondered if the petals would dry out and break in the button. So far so good. We also created designs to use as Thank you cards in the future. We are looking forward to the spring when more flower petals will be available.

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October 19

Predicting and Problem Solving with Chopsticks

Students in the Learning Commons have been trying their hand at using chopsticks as part of our Japan unit. We learned about what a Japanese person might have for breakfast and talked about healthy eating habits. Students examined various items and predicted which might be the easiest and the trickiest to pick up.

Some classes built a chart and others discussed their findings. Each station had a pom-poms bowl for students who needed a little more practice.

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October 13

Wabi-Sabi: Celebrating Transience and Imperfection

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, the concept of Wabi-sabi centers on the acceptance and celebration of transience, mindfulness and imperfection.

We have begun to use the concept of Wabi Sabi in the Learning Commons to help influence our thinking around Maker Ed. Whilst some maker projects appear more permanent than others, students are encouraged to remember that their temporary maker creations are all the more valuable because they are to be enjoyed and appreciated for a short time. We celebrated our Indian Banga / Japanese Kimono creations as we made them but remembered wabi-sabi as we broke them apart. What remains is the learning.

Wabi-sabi also encourages students to be mindful, to notice details, to focus on the materials and to think carefully and critically as they work. To find beauty in unexpected places. The celebration of imperfection may encourage students to take risks, challenge themselves and try new ideas. Mark Reibstein’s book Wabi Sabi is a great read aloud for this concept.

We look forward to seeing how this idea pans out as the year progresses.


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October 11

Simple Fill-In Framework for Intermediate Bibliography

Bibliography                                                Name:                                              

Author Last Name, Author First Name Initial. The Book Title. City, State/Province or Country: Publisher, Copyright Year.





Bell, S. Frogs. London, England: Plume Books, 2006.

Name of the website, Year it was updated, Place where the website is from, Date when you looked at it, URL (the web address)

Children Opposed to Smoking Tobacco 2005, USA, viewed 12/1/09,


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