Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrations - International Dot Day!

Got Dots??
One of the reasons I love my Twitter PLN is that they are always sharing great ideas to use in the classroom. One of these great ideas I learned about this summer was "International Dot Day."

Based on the picture book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, "Dot Day" is a celebration of what makes each student unique and the special ways they can "make their mark on the world."

Visit this Dot Day Website to learn more if you'd like to celebrate next year on September 15th-"ish". It's a great way to have students celebrate their strengths, hopes, dreams, and passions as well as reflect on how they can use them to make our world better. This Dot Day Handbook is a wonderful collection of Dot Day ideas.

We started with some "dot" donuts for breakfast.
While this was my first year to celebrate International Dot Day, I would say it was definitely a success. Here is how we celebrated on September 15, 2014:

Students gathered around a life-sized dot to choose
a section of the dot to make their own.
We have some creative students!
*We read the book and had a discussion about the story, how the main character changed, and how it can be a lesson for our own life.

*These  discussion cards helped us with a Think-Pair-Share activity we did with partners.

*We listened to this recording of the author, Peter H. Reynolds, discussing how he came up with the idea for the book. I think sharing how authors come up with ideas and what their vision is can be really eye-opening for students.
Singing "The Dot Song" (We did this at least a ten times!)

*The class loved learning "The Dot Song" written by Emily Dale in collaboration with Peter H. Reynolds. After practicing a few times, we invited our music teacher to come and listen to us sing it. Having a copy of the words and learning the song by using the "bouncing dot" video was helpful.

*Next we started creating some dots of our own, showing our creative side! The students each chose a dot (1 inch) of a certain color and created a picture around the dot. These turned out wonderful and it was great to see each student's creative side. We will be using these pictures on our blog as we write about our day and artwork.

A pink dot makes a great glue stick.
A black dot can be a dog's nose.

I love bubble gum, too.

We had fun doing a Skype chat with some 2nd graders (*somewhere* in the USA - which will be determined later once we Mystery Skype with them)! The students in each class took turns showing their dot creations and explaining something special about themselves. Then, we sang, "The Dot Song" together a couple of times. I had downloaded the music to my phone so we could hold the speaker up to the computer and hear it so we could sing along.

Singing "The Dot" song - Skype picture of our 2nd grade friends
Watch a short VINE here made by Mrs. Ladd during our song with her class!

A couple math activities we did involved dots as well. We drew circles and learned the parts of a circle for a geometry lesson - center, chord, radius, and diameter. We also used dot stickers to create multiplication arrays. We listed the fact families that related to each array we made. 

Multiplication & Division Fact Families with Dot Stickers
Students created a colorful dot using a coffee filter, markers, and a spray bottle of water. Students took their coffee filter and designed patterns and colors. Then, we sprayed it with water 3-4 times and laid them out to dry for a couple hours. We shared them, along with something special about ourselves, with a 4th grade class from California on Skype. Our next step was to write our name twice on our dot, cut them in half, and mail one of the halves to our 4th grade friends in California. We will be working with them during the Global Read Aloud next month, so that will be an opportunity to get to know them even better. This "friendship" dot, along with some trading cards that we made later in the week, will be a good reminder of how we can share our special characteristics with others.
Lining up to show & share our dots on Skype
Coffee filter dots - we will cut in half & mail to California!

Watching our Skype feed from California as our
4th grade friends share their dots.
We wanted to do an activity with a class in our own school as well, so we teamed up with a second grade class and colored dots. Then, we used the colAR app on the iPads to create a 3-D dot. This was a lot of fun and the students made some great looking dots. We have Chromebooks in our classroom, so this was a chance for my students to try something new using their friend's iPads. The time went really quickly and I think we left plenty of iPad screen shots of our work on the 2nd grade teacher's iPads!

2nd and 4th graders worked together coloring dots & using the iPad app.
The colAR app is awesome!

Some of my PLN friends with class Twitter accounts spent time during the day tweeting out pictures and messages of their students participating in Dot Day activities and showing/explaining to the world how their plan is in place to make their mark on the world.

It was a day of celebration, a day of new things, and a day to remember that we all have special things to share. Hope you will join us next year.

1 comment:

  1. What great ideas! A very cool experience your students will treasure.