International Dot Day 2014


It’s been a busy week in our school library! Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 celebrated International Dot Day. Originally launched by a teacher in Iowa when he introduced Peter H. Reynolds’ book, The Dot, on September 15, 2009, this event is now celebrated annually around September 15. This year, almost 2 million teachers and their students were expected to participate.

Here at the MJGDS Library we had several fun events planned. All classes watched a retelling of The Dot. It tells the story of Vashti, a little girl who believes she cannot draw. But when her teacher tells her to “make her mark and see where it takes you”, the single dot she draws and the paper she signs and then finds hanging framed on the wall inspire Vashti to be creative. Eventually, she has an art show of her dot creations and pays it forward by inspiring a little boy to be creative.

Kindergarten: Dot Art!

Our Kindergarten students just let their imaginations run wild by creating dot art using a template I created. The rhyme is from the Magic Dot Paintings by Julie Burns. Also, Ms. Gutterman, our art teacher, is working with the students on a fantastic Kandinsky-style art project making concentric circles.!


1st Grade: Trading Cards!

Our first grade students collaborated with a class at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Their librarian, Crystal Hendrix, and I asked our students to create trading cards, challenging their new friends in the other class “You Should Try…”. This was a three-step process. First we met virtually to introduce the classes to each other. Then we created our trading cards before we concluded with another virtual visit, complimenting student creativity and exploring differences and similarities about each other’s schools and cities.



2nd Grade: Dot Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Our second graders made an international connection to celebrate Dot Day! They connected with Natalia Vergara’s class at The Graded School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Each class went on a photo scavenger hunt using iPads. Amazing how many dots one can find in the library and in the students’ classroom! When we met our new friends in Brazil, we talked all about the many things we noticed in each classroom’s videos, for example the fact that each class has dot-shaped ceiling speakers and our library books have dot-shaped labels and there was a girl wearing a dot-dress in each class! But our class also noticed that we forgot to take photos of the eye-dots on the stuffed animals in the library. We hope to hook up again with our new friends in Brazil soon to continue learning about their school, city, and country.


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3rd Grade: Book Characters Make Their Marks!

With our third graders I tried something completely new. We focused our discussion on how Vashti made her mark in the story. There is of course the literal meaning of her jabbing the pen on the paper creating a dot. And then there is the figurative meaning of how her new-found creativity sparked an art show and eventually inspired another child to make his mark. For our lesson, I wanted the students to think of book characters who’ve made their mark. This was a very quick but fun lesson. Students first completed a template. In pairs, they then recorded each other using an iPad telling how their chosen book characters have made a mark. The results were amazing!


 4th and 5th Grades: Augmented Reality Dots!

I introduced our fourth and fifth grade students to the colAR Mix app for iPad to get their creative juices flowing! This app allows students to view their drawings augmented by computer-generated graphics in 3D format. I downloaded the Dot Day coloring page from Fablevision’s site and the kids began creating. Amazing!




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