December 15

Labelling in Japanese using Google Translate

We have begun our explorations of Japanese written language. Students explored using Google Translate to read some Japanese books. We enjoyed comparing the english version to compare our translations. Students then used Google Translate to figure out signs in Japanese for common items in the Learning Commons.

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December 12

Thinking about Kindness, Consideration and Joy

In the Learning Commons, students are contributing to posters that show meaningful ways they are celebrating kindness and growth in their lives. Five stations ask questions that students are encouraged to think about. We tried to avoid the idea of store bought gifts or monetary goals but focused on ‘ideas that speak to your heart’. The completed posters have been hung in the hallways.

  • What brings you joy?
  • How can you show kindness?
  • How can you bring joy to others?
  • What will you try to do next year?
  • What is your winter wish?

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December 8

Creating Winter Trees with glitter everywhere : )

In a collaborative effort, two Grade 3 classes contributed to the making of a set of trees to decorate the Learning Commons. Given time constraints, I hot glued the pine cones into the small dixie cups in advance. Activity  linked to Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.

The first class painted the base and the green tree. This allowed the first coat to dry before the next class added the white paint and glitter.

Rather than each student have to leave the room for clean up, or try to squeeze to use the sink in my office, I put out a shallow container of soapy water and a pile of paper towels.

Update: The class that did the painting decided to gift the creations to the class that did the glitter. Great practice on how to wrap presents. 

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December 5

Quick PicVid Stitch to show learning about Japan

In the Learning Commons Gr 2/3 students tinkered with PicVid Stitch App. We thought it might be a good way to show a number of images at the same time. We looked for pictures in books and items in our library that show what we have learned about Japan.

We are looking forward to experimenting with the Video feature of this app. Students had to figure out camera angles as well as how to export their work to the camera roll and then upload to Dropbox.

Using Pic Vid Stitch to show learning about Japan from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.


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December 1

Sushi on the menu

Students in Grades 2 and 3 were very interested in learning about how Japanese restaurants sometimes have plastic food on display to show what’s on the menu. We created our own Japanese window menu by creating sushi for display.

We used electrical tape, cotton balls, fabric scraps, popsicle sticks and small sized paper plates. Each table group created 2 or 3 plates together using glue sticks. I pre-cut the tape as it can get pretty sticky.

Due to time constraints, I also pre-cut the fabric, but this wouldn’t be necessary in the classroom.  I used a glue gun to ensure the ‘chopsticks’ wouldn’t fall off and to attach the plates to our red background. The font style is Matura Script

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December 1

‘Stepping up’ to Kindness

Students in Grade 3/4 shared Jaqueline Woodson’s story ‘Each Kindness’ and discussed how we show kindness to others. Here is how we completed the activity during a one library period.

The students used card sentence strips which are pre-cut with a writing line. I photocopied ‘Kindness is_________’ in large bold font to help students gage the size of their printing. These were easily trimmed and lightly glued at each end to the cards. I used oversized tape to attach the strips to the steps. They could have been laminated but the heavy duty tape worked well too.

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November 29

New #SOGI Resources

SOGI 1 2 3 was created by ARC Foundation in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Education, BC Teachers’ Federation, UBC Faculty of Education,  and local, national and international LGBTQ community organizations. We look forward to collaborating with school districts across BC, BC Principal’s and Vice-Principal’s Association, BC School Superintendents Association, BC School Trustees Association and BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. We are working together to address the immediate need to support marginalized LGBTQ students by effecting rapid and progressive change in attitudes, policies, and practices toward creating safer and more inclusive school environments for all students.”

Below are some of our more recently arrived resources. Click here for a comprehensive list of  the top 77 additions to our growing collection.

Also, here are some of our collection’s great resources supporting Love is Love: Creating a gender inclusive school and celebrating diverse families. (130 titles)

And check out the TeachBC Resource. The Gender Spectrum: What Educators Need to Know by Glen Hansman

My current favourite…

Not Quite Narwhal (2017) Heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals. Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him!  The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? 


I Love My Purse (2017 ). Charlie loves the bright red purse that his grandmother let him have. One day, he decides to take it to school. First his father, then his friends, and even the crossing guard question him about his “strange” choice. After all, boys don’t carry purses. They point out that they, too, have things they like, but that doesn’t mean they go out in public wearing them. But Charlie isn’t deterred.


The Pink Suitcase (2018) What was his grandmother thinking when she bought Benjamin such a strange present: an empty pink suitcase! To his mother’s horror, Benjamin is not only drawn to the suitcase—he absolutely loves it. What’s more, as he grows older he shows no signs of wanting to give it up. Spanning the generations, The Pink Suitcase is a warm-hearted and amusing tale about being different and celebrating the individual.


Teddy’s Favourite Toy (2018) A mom goes to great lengths to rescue her son’s favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys—and mothers. Teddy has a lot of cool toys. But his very favorite doll has the best manners, the sickest fighting skills, and a fierce sense of style. Then one morning, something truly awful happens. And there’s only one woman fierce enough to save the day.


The Boy and the Bindi by Vivek Shraya. (2016) A five-year-old boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by South Asian women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.

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November 26

Updated: Indigenous Resources to Support Personal and Social Core Competencies

This document explores how Indigenous resources might support Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies in B.C.’s new curriculum. Focus is 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. See also links to resources for discussing Residential Schools and a full list of our Indigenous resources.

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