I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with preK. They have a very organic planning process that comes from the things that the students get energized about or the things that come up naturally in their classrooms. Last week, a preK teacher asked me if I would read The Dot by Peter Reynolds to her class. Her class had been examining what it means to be an artist and she is pulling in multiple ways of discussing the topic through activities and literature.
As soon as she mentioned The Dot, I remember International Dot Day on September 15th and how sad I was that I missed the celebration this year at our school (I have big plans for next year!). So…I thought, why not just celebrate now instead of waiting. I examined the Dot day resources online and discovered the Dot Project using iPads to create dots. I took this idea and looked for a free app rather than the drawing app that the students in the Dot Project used.
In the lesson, we read the book and discussed what it means to be an artist. Following the lesson, each student took a turn to make a dot using the app Drawcast. I gave very little instruction on Drawcast so that students could discover things for themselves. I only showed them how to change their colors and brush sizes. Students got busy making their dots, and I circulated and gave them tips when they needed to erase or when they couldn’t figure out how something worked. Each finished dot was saved on the iPad and then uploaded to Dropbox. On my own computer, I pullled the images from Dropbox and imported them into Animoto to make a video of all of the dots.
This same process repeated for 2 other classes and the final video was shown on our morning broadcast.
This trial run gave me some experience with dots on the iPad for next September’s Dot Day and at the same time gave students an opportunity to use a new technology while expressing their artistic selves to an authentic audience.