Monday, September 22, 2014

We Made Our Marks and More!

Last week Memorial School celebrated International Dot Day with many, many kids and grown-ups around the world.  Here are the stats from the official Dot Day website:

                                    1,863,084   Participants!   

                                 82                Countries!                                                    

Wow! What an impressive number!  And to think we were part of this exciting event!  It was like a One Book, One School initiative for us because every single student heard or read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds in the past two weeks.  We discussed it's message of creativity, courage and collaboration in classrooms, in art classes, in the library and at lunch in the teachers' room. All students and many staff members created an original dot to display around the building. Parents may have noticed all the beautiful dots at PIN night last week.  I so love that everyone signs their dots and makes their marks.

Kindergarten Dot Trees!
We loved watching Peter H. Reynolds create a dot for International Dot Day 2014:

Peter H. Reynolds on Dot Day-ish! from FableVision Learning on Vimeo.

We sang The Dot Song I love this song as it reinforces the message of Dot Day. It is so catchy, I found myself humming it to myself throughout the week! Click here for the video version of the song.

And, every First Grade class made a connection with another class beyond the walls of our school. We collaborated with Teacher Librarians and their students from Vermont, Maryland, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Texas. We showed each other our dots, we sent some of the classes halves of our dots and they will send halves of their dots to us to create "Buddy Dots." 

Dot halves getting ready to be mailed to Texas!
One class made Dot Trading Cards!  Students drew a dot on one side (and of course signed their names) and then wrote something on the back of the card they wanted the other class to try.  This goes along with the message of being brave.

Here are few of the Trading Cards that will be mailed to Connecticut.  And of course, our students will be receiving
Trading Cards from the CT class. Very fun and exciting!

We made new connections with classes from far away via Skype and Google Hangout. Sometimes we shared a story relating to Dot Day.  Sometimes we asked each other questions.  We learned what was the same and what was different about our schools. While we have many things in common (like everyone liking recess!) we learned that at least one school in North Carolina does not have a swing set or monkey bars in their playground like we do. This was very surprising to our Medfield students!

Here are some pics from our Skype/Google Hangout sessions:

Co-reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds with a librarian in Newton, MA!

What our dots looked like when we showed them to our friends in Maryland!

A new friend asking us a question!
One of our students asking the other class a question
Texas Connection!

We even made virtual dots to share with our North Carolina friends!
And, they made one for us!
Making new friends, even virtually, is really fun ;-)

More introductions!
New friends had questions for us too!
Another introduction. The other class was curious about us!

We made our dots come to life using Augmented Reality!

Some of us couldn't resist wearing dots!

We'll leave the dots students and staff created around the building up for a little while to remind us of the fun week we had learning, creating, sharing and connecting.  Thank you, Peter H. Reynolds, for making the world a better place, for sharing your creativity and vision, and for giving us the opportunity to have such a remarkable time making our marks.

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