I love International Dot Day!
I love that it's a chance for our school to unite around a common celebration. I love that we get to connect with other educators from around the world. I love that it's an opportunity for students to see the good in themselves and in one another.
If you're new to Dot Day, I know you're going to love it, too!
Get ideas from a jam-packed educator guide here. Connect with classrooms around the world here. Find tons of educators eager to Skype with your class for Dot Day here. Or take inspiration from what's going on under our roof.
Our teachers are pulling great ideas from the Free Educators' Handbook for Dot Day, so I wanted to make sure I tried something off-book in order to avoid duplicating lessons. Last year each grade did a special dot-inspired lesson in Library Media (check them out here). This year I'm at a new school and so it's like we're all celebrating Dot Day for the first time! I've kept a couple of the activities from last year because the kids had so much fun mailing dot trading cards, creating a Press Here-inspired eBook, and, in general, just getting dotty. But I couldn't help trying out a couple of new ideas, too.
We can't wait to share our work with those classes with which we're connecting via Skype the week of September 16th to celebrate Dot Day!
As always, feel free to borrow, improve on, collaborate with, or share any of these ideas. I can't wait for you, too, to make your mark and see where it takes you!
(Encore Lesson) My Name in Dots (Kindergarten) - Kinders are working on letters and writing their names. So, why not do it in dots? Each student is going to write the first letter in his or her name in pencil, then decorate the lines in crayon dots. Using watercolors, the students will then paint dots over their letters to create a brightly colored crayon relief. (Using The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds)
|Lots of dots in every color and shape make the final product really stand out.|
Dots Made with Friends (Grade 1) - 1st graders are going to explore halves and quarters by creating dots, using scissors, and sharing dot sections. Each student will decorate a dot in his or her own unique way, then will cut the dot in half and cut one half in half again, resulting in one half and two quarter sections. Students will keep the half piece and will exchange their quarter pieces with classmates in order to form a complete dot. The pieces are glued onto a colored square of paper and can be decorated by glueing on more paper cut out dots. When all of the dot squares are pieced together, the result will be a mural of connections. (Using The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds)
NOTE: This activity can also be tied into the following 1st grade Common Core Math Standard:
CCSS.Math.Content.1.G.A.3 Partition circles and rectangles into two and four equal shares, describe the shares using the words halves, fourths, and quarters, and use the phrases half of,fourth of, and quarter of. Describe the whole as two of, or four of the shares. Understand for these examples that decomposing into more equal shares creates smaller shares.
|Who will you meet to make your dot complete?|
(Encore Lesson) Press the Dots eBook (Grade 2) - Focusing on cause and effect, students will take inspiration from a sensational picture book in order to create some magic of their own. Have you read Press Here? It's amazing. We're aiming to recreate some of the book's magic through this project. We'll make a plan using an organizer and incorporate action words to come up with some creative effects for our dots. But rather than sticking with dots on a white paper, we're going to stick cut-out dots onto students and take before/after photos in order to recreate the effect from their plan. It's an ambitious project, but it just might work. (Using Press Here by Herve Tullet)
The Official Dot of Ducketts Lane (Grade 3) - We're a brand new school and developing an identity. Our 3rd graders will pay a small, but crucial role in this by helping to create the official Dot of Ducketts Lane for the 2013-2014 school year. Each 3rd grader will create his or her own unique dot, designed to best represent our school, our pledge to be Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn, and our mascot, Hootie the owl. Students will vote on the top three designs at the end of each class. Then it's up to YOU (and the schools with which we are connecting)! We'll share our top dots on Friday, September 13th and open the polls. The winning design will be announced on Friday, September 20th at the close of our Dot Day celebrations. (Using The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds)
|We've cut the ribbon on our brand new school. Now it's time for an official dot!|
Trophy Dots (Grade 4) - Taking inspiration from the Dots: a Game About Connecting app (available free from iTunes here) our 4th graders will test their connecting skills in attempts to set a high score or earn a trophy on the popular iOS game. After familiarizing themselves with the game, students will make dots using highlighters and, with the help of a black pen, transform the dots into cool achievement trophies. It's a chance to level up in school while making up some really awesome (and probably really silly) awards. (Using The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds and Dots app)
|I wonder who will create the Mr. Winner dot?|
(Encore Lesson) Dot Day Trading Cards (Grade 5) - This idea, adapted from the Free Educators' Handbook, might be my favorite activity of all our Dot Day plans. This is mainly because it's already revealed so much about my 5th graders and they're so readily offering up their ideas and creativity to make it something awesome. The idea is that we're creating trading cards that we look forward to actually trading (potentially with some of you!) Each student will create three original trading cards. Each card will contain a handmade dot and the artist's signature on one side and a suggestion for the recipient to try on the other. The students are brainstorming things they love that they'd like others to try. We're making three cards so that they can each trade one with me (yep... I'm making a whole bunch of cards!), one with a Skype school, and one with a classmate. Some kids are actually making four cards so that they have one to keep for themselves. Want to get your hands on some of these cards? I guess you'll just have to Skype with us for Dot Day! (Using The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds)
|Geeking out over these is no difficult task. We can't wait to share our cards with our Skype classes!|
So, that's it for now. I'm really excited for the students to share their hard work with all of you, via this blog and Skype. I'm also excited to see what you come up with. Make sure you share!