May 2

Inspiration from Clayton Gauthier – Cree/Dakelh Artist and Author

Many thanks to Clayton Gauthier  – Cree/Dakelh Artist who kindly gave us permission to draw inspiration from his wonderful book The Salmon Run.

We are so proud of this collaborative Learning Commons project which included every student at our school. Everyone was able to participate in different ways, from design, sanding, drilling and painting. It was an entirely inclusive project.

Each division looked at the life cycle of the salmon from an Indigenous Perspective and discussed Clayton Gauthier’s powerful images about showing true colours, persevering in the face of struggles, following your heart, honouring your ancestors, protecting the environment and the interconnectedness of life. Safety First from Kindergarten to Grade 7:  Sanding the wood and drilling the holes. Thanks to Brian Newbold for the jigs. The painters each did one part of a salmon and were totally engaged in this cooperative, communal project. Over 500 students made 100 fish.The project took one full month to complete, including our discussions and developing an understanding of the perspectives of  The Salmon Run. This involved scheduling entire classes as well as small groups into the Learning Commons. The space was taken over by tarps, newspaper, wood and paint cans for the duration of the activity. Our next step is to celebrate this Indigenous project with the school community. We will be hosting a parent tea with The Salmon Run theme and showing a video of images from our learning.

For next time I would remember: Outdoor paint goes a long way – don’t buy too much. Match the drill holes better to the size of the wire. Get very fine sandpaper for the exuberant sanders. Don’t worry about the carpet – we didn’t spill one bit of paint, not one! Regular sweeping keeps the sawdust under control. Wash the brushes immediately. Buy better quality brushes. Most importantly, just jump right in.

Clayton Gauthier. Dakelh translation by Francois Prince.
Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2016.
20 pp., stapled pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-926886-44-2.
Click image for CM Magazine review.

 

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April 21

Celebrating Sakura: Cherry Blossoms

This week as part of our Japanese theme, some classes read Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Paul Robert Weston.  Students have begun to decorate our cherry tree using different shades of pink tissue. We also made some petals out of Japanese origami paper. The tree was painted onto the bulletin board paper and the trunk was cut out and taped onto the wall. Classes continue to add flowers. 

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February 5

Designing Manga, inspired by old maps

Students have been learning about anime and manga traditions from Japan. We practised visualizing and looking at old maps in new ways. Students created manga creatures and animals using the map features from an old atlas.

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January 31

Celebrating the Salmon Run by Clayton Gauthier

We have been getting ready for our First Peoples in Residence program to be held Feb. 5th to 9th. Students in Grade 4 have been exploring the powerful messages in Clayton Gauthier’s book The Salmon Run.

Mr. Gauthier graciously agreed to allow the students to gather inspiration from his art. To celebrate the journey of the salmon and to help to share our learning, students painted their own versions of the salmon on T-Shirts. We will wear our shirts at our welcoming assembly, our closing gathering and throughout the week as we enjoy a variety of workshops.

The colouring images of the salmon were kindly provided by Mr. Gauthier. We blackened the lines so they would show through the fabric and pinned them in place. We used fabric paint by Tulip Brand that will withstand the washing machine if turned inside out.

We completed the painting in two sessions to allow the initial colours to dry before adding the final outline. This gave students a chance to cover over or re-do any parts they wanted to change.

Salmon from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

We are looking forward to a further project with this book after the Spring Break.

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June 12

‘Only One You’ and ‘Everybody Needs a Rock’ Make a Perfect Pair

Students in Grade 4/5 shared Only One You by Linda Kranz and Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor. Students sketched a draft picture of how they would like to show a part of their identity on a painted rock. During the next period, the rocks were painted and sprayed with lacquer.

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December 11

Gathering S.T.E.A.M – Binary Code

This week in the Learning Commons, students got creative by blending Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

img_5123Some classes learned about Binary Code. Binary Code represents computer data using any two-symbol system, often 0 and 1. It is the language of computers. Students used guides to create strings of beads that show their initials in binary code. I used Perler Beads for this science and technology activity as these beads are easy to thread, create a ‘tube’ of code and are inexpensive to purchase.

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September 16

Each One of Us is a Work of Art, Together We Are a Masterpiece

Check out our school community building project. Students who came to the Learning Commons all contributed to a wonderful hall display. Our goal is to celebrate our differences and to recognize that all together we can create great things. Read on for instructions on how to create your own school Masterpiece.

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I painted the tree after school to give it time to dry.

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Coloured pencils were sorted into 6 shades. I drew around a couple of mugs and a small glass for circles.

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October 11

Geronimo Stilton Contest, Hallway Creativity

Students have been taking full advantage of the great new books available in the Learning Commons. More arriving regularly. Check out these Vanier LC Numbers.
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Yahoo! Another Learning Commons contest. Students in Grade three are invited to enter the draw to win one of 31 Geronimo Stilton books.
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Vanier students and staff have been showing off their creative talents and making our hallways beautiful with some wonderful bulletin boards:

Georges Vanier Elementary Hallway Displays. Oct ’14 from crosland_a
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May 13

Division 8 iMovies – Natural Disasters Club

This year the ‘Natural Disasters Club’ meet over a three month period in the Georges Vanier Learning Commons. Three classes, about 75 students, participated from grades 3 – 5. The goal was to encourage reading using a high interest topic using fiction and non-fiction sources. Students blogged their ideas, created digital art, showed their learning through a variety of apps and web based programs, tweeted their progress and read, read, read. Students designed and created T Shirts to reflect on their learning and each made an iMovie Trailer to bring together the many facets of the project. We are appreciative of the My Class Needs and Fuel Your School programs for the support for this project.

Div 8 iMovies Natural Disasters Club from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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