We had a very short week due to Hurricane Irma, but we still had time for some miraculous things happening in the library. September 15 was International Dot Day, but at Barrow, we also celebrated Grandparent’s Day for the very first time.
These two events fit perfectly together because it gave grandparents and grandchildren a space of time to share conversations, stories, creativity, and think about how we are all making our mark in the world.
The morning started in the cafeteria with a donuts and coffee event organized by our amazing PTA. Well over 300 grandparents & children gathered in the cafeteria and shared table conversations around these questions.
Then, I shared Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson’s Last Stop on Market Street. I loved sharing this grandparent story about seeing the beautiful in the world. So many grandparents came up to me to talk about how much they loved this story and how much it meant to them to hear it. I was so worried about choosing a book for a crowd this large, but this one spoke to so many.
Following the story, I showed the table conversation questions again and invited families to stop by the library to record some of their conversations using Flipgrid. The library was filled with grandparents and grandchildren. Several did record their stories, and there are so many special moments in the videos. I hope you’ll take a moment to listen, react, and respond to some of them.
Grandparents and grandchildren also sat down together all around the library reading stories to one another. Some visited our Lego wall and build creations together. Others took coffee filters and design collaborative dots in honor of International Dot Day.
The library was buzzing for almost an hour.
After grandparents left, our day continued with many classes coming to the library for Dot Day. We of course read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, but we also read The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken. I loved how these two books paired together. Both spread the messages of getting started, persevering, making a mark and seeing where it goes, and realizing the potential that is hiding inside you. During the stories, we had conversations about what it means to make your mark on the world and students shared many of their ideas of how they are already making their mark.
After each story, students practiced the idea of physically making a mark on paper and seeing where it took them. Students took a coffee filter and made one mark as a symbol of starting and then each students continued the dot creation to see what emerged.
I loved walking around and seeing the individuality of each student and dot. No two dots looked alike even though every one started with just one mark.
Sometimes it’s hard to explain Dot Day to people who haven’t heard of it, but when you experience the story, conversations, and creativity that are made public on this day, it brings Dot Day to life in a whole new way.
How did you make your mark on Dot Day? What did you try that was new? I hope that this year (and next) I can continue this conversation between students/families about how we are all making our mark in the world.
SUPER EVENT, THANKS FROM YOUR GRANDPARENTS
I loved every minute of Grand-Dot Day!!! Barrow staff + PTA put on a spectacular show!!
Your theme “Barrow, I Belong” was especially evident as our granddaughters gave us a tour of their beloved school. Incorporating FlipGrid was genius!!
I loved seeing kids and grandparents recording together, and the videos are priceless. Thanks for coming!
I’ve never done Dot Day at our school but want to start this year. Do you do this same activity with all grade levels? Do they take home their creations or do you keep them and display? I’d rather them take them home because I’m not sure how we’d display!
It’s totally up to what works for your community. I do usually send things home with kids, but if time & space allows, we create a display.
Have you seen the Google doc that helps you find people to connect with via Skype? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PgJlm6KvfWQ3P3o2Q5OrdctE5lsvXqJgfF0-LqMLo3k/edit?usp=sharing