February 22

Morphing into characters with Face Film App

In the Learning Commons, we shared Danielle Daniel’s book Sometimes I feel like a Fox. The paperback edition is in a larger format which makes the pictures more visible in a group. Students discussed which character they connected with the most on that day. We used FaceFilm App to show ourselves in the characters.

Morphing into character connections from Anna Crosland on Vimeo.

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February 14

Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World

Students had great fun sharing the terms of endearment their family uses. We celebrated Valentine’s Day with the wonderful book Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn with illustrations by Chris Raschka. Students showed their learning with digital creations using Doodle Buddy App.

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January 15

Core Competencies and Digital Citizenship: Screen time

Here’s a handy list of book titles that can help launch discussions about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to screen time. Linked images and extension activities. Synopsis provided by the publishers. Read more for Indigenous connections.

Dot’s a spunky little girl well versed in electronic devices. Dot knows a lot. She knows how to tap . . . to swipe . . . to share . . . and she pays little attention to anything else, until one day Dot sets off on an interactive adventure with the world surrounding her. Dot’s tech-savvy expertise, mingled with her resourceful imagination, proves Dot really does know lots and lots. Ironically, there is a little video series to accompany the book.


After the star of this story gets her brother’s hand-me-down camera-phone and a quick lesson in the “selfie,” there is no stopping her! Until, that is, it’s time to call it a day. Turns out, camera-phones and kids alike need to recharge their batteries! Here’s a great ‘Selfie’ Digital Citizenship follow up activity.

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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.” www.sogieducation.org

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 21

Early Novels for Beginning Readers

Early novels vary widely in not only the reading level but also in the presentation. For newer readers, many books described as early chapter books can be an intimidating challenge. Here’s a selection of high interest, lower vocabulary ‘Chapter Book’ series for new readers.

Criteria for inclusion in this list includes profuse illustrations that match the text, lower vocabulary, clear font, larger print size wide wide spaced lines and words, multiple paragraphs, shorter chapters, engaging covers and a high interest story. There are, of course, lots of others, but these are some favourites in the Vanier LC.

Ella and Owen by Jaden Kent   2017

Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan 2013

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November 17

If I Built a House: Literature link to MakerEd

We like to keep the literature closely linked to our Maker Education activities. Here’s a link to a useful list of books that can easily be linked to a Maker activity. This week we explored Chris Van Dusen’s If I Built a House and designed our own structures with unique features. We have also done this activity with the companion book If I Built a Car.

Like the character in the book, we used a variety of materials to design our structures including Tinker Toys, Lego and K’nex. We will be linking this to our Japan theme next week and some classes will be exploring traditional Japanese home design.

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