January 3

A Learning Community

We began the leap from a traditional library model to a library learning commons in September 2012. Here’s a top 10 list of some of the most striking benefits of a Learning Commons that we have observed:

1. Physical  LC: The space is open and inviting with no divisive stacks. There is space to create, to read, to build and to collaborate. Check out our transformation here.

2. Virtual LC: We use social media and digital student portfolios to share work and maintain a website that directs staff and students to the virtual learning commons. Continue reading

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February 16

Increase the Cool Factor

At Vanier, an ever growing number of students bring a personal device to school. In the Learning Commons we use those digital devices to increase the circulation of books, particularly among upper intermediate students.

Continue reading

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October 17

Finding the Book that’s Just Right

Reluctant readers are able to read, they may just have trouble settling in to a good book. Finding your child’s  ‘just right’ book can sometimes be tricky. These common traits of books that appeal to all kinds of learners might help guide your young reader’s choices. One might just be the perfect book to hook your child into becoming a life long reader. Continue reading

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February 20

Woo Hoo! Easier Access to the Intermediate Fiction

Students in the Learning Commons now have a new way to more easily find the books they love. Instead of organizing the intermediate fiction by author, the books are now arranged by genre – like in a book store.


The books have brightly coloured labels which makes them easy to identify and are grouped together. So if you like books about ghouls and zombies take a look at our SUPERNATURAL section.

Here’s a list of our new categories. Come check out our books about:

ADVENTURE: danger and challenges

ANIMALS: dogs, cats, elephants and gorillas

HISTORICAL: wars, ninjas and sinking ships

HUMOUR: diaries, laughs and giggles

REALISTIC: relationships, home and school, joy and sadness

SCI-FI and FANTASY: monsters, myths, mermaids and magic

SPORTS: pucks, balls and bats

SUSPENSE: mysteries and surprise endings

SUPERNATURAL: ghosts and vampires

Students can also use an iPad to electronically search the library catalogue to find their perfect book.

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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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October 13

Uh Oh!

This week in the Learning Commons students celebrated some of our great books. We used Pic Collage App to create posters and then blogged our favourite book covers. We are thankful for the wide variety of materials we have available to us and are proud of the quality of our resources.

Unfortunately, every year, we loose a significant number of books due to damage and loss. The biggest problem is leaking water bottles and sticky lunches. Wet pages turn mouldy and the books cannot be salvaged. Please make sure lids are on tight. Vanier students know not to draw in books but younger siblings or cousins should be supervised.

Families may be asked for full or partial replacement costs of damaged books. Accidents happen, and if you are unable to contribute towards a book’s replacement please let Ms. Crosland know.image

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September 28

Building the Learning Commons

We are getting very excited about developing our library into a Learning Commons. Yesterday the carpenter came to talk about the changes we would like to make in how the room is organized. We are moving shelves and creating more open space. The first of our ‘comfy cubes’ have arrived. These can be used for sitting on or as little tables. They are lightweight and flexible so we can move them around however we need them.

The iPad cart has arrived and so have the really smart purple iPad covers. We noticed that the covers came with a lot of packaging so we recycled as much as we could. The little boxes are being used in the Grade One class for sorting trays, the card sleeves will be cut and made into little bird decorations for our library theme and the plastic covers were made into virtual iPads for our virtual students on Meet the Teacher evening.

The most exciting thing that has been happening is a gradual change in the way we are thinking during our library classes. As we move through a lesson we keep thinking of ways that we might incorporate the iPads to enhance our learning. We are getting ideas for further developing our projects and thinking of meaningful ways of sharing our thinking.