September 15(ish) is International Dot Day. This day celebrates The Dot by Peter Reynolds and the idea that we are all creative and unique and can all make our mark on the world. Every year, we use this week to make Skype connections with classes around the country, share dot-related stories, and realize that we are all connected to each other.
Some years I try to host many dot-making activities in the library.
This year, we are doing creativity challenges every week as a whole school, so I asked my principal if we could make this week’s challenge dot-related. At the beginning of the week on our morning broadcast, I explained the purpose of Dot Day and challenged all classes to see what they could make out of dots. They could create something as a class, create individual ideas on post-its or index cards, or anything else. Each class was encouraged to hang their work outside their door for all to see. They were also encouraged to bring their creations to Skype sessions to share with our connecting classes.
I really loved this new addition because I feel like more people jumped into celebrating Dot Day. On Friday, we invited everyone to wear dots, and I was surprised to see how many students created their own shirts at home with dots. One student even hid a Mo Willems pigeon in his dots on his shirt.
For our Skypes we connected with:
- Donna MacDonald at Orchard School in South Burlington Vermont to read Little Elliot by Mike Curato.
- Craig Seasholes in Seattle, Washington to read Yo! Yes! and The Dot
- Shannon Miller at Van Meter Elementary in Van Meter, Iowa to read Ish
- Mrs. Shekleton at Howard Winneshiek School District in Iowa to read Say Zoop by Herve Tullet
- Mrs. Guardiola at Caldwell Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas to read I Don’t Draw I Color by Adam Lehrhaupt
- Mrs. Snead at Central Elementary in Carrollton, Texas to read Say Zoop by Herve Tullet
- Mrs. Schnurr in Dallas, Texas to read I Don’t Draw I Color by Adam Lehrhaupt
As usual, every connection was filled with special moments. One of my favorites was reading Say Zoop with so many students. It’s a book that puts you a bit out of your comfort zone, but the kids had a blast making all of the noises.
I also loved seeing all of the creativity of dots from place to place and hearing students ask questions and share with one another. These Skype connections always remind us how we are sometimes stuck in our routines and forget that there’s a whole world of people out there doing some of the same things we are. It just takes reaching out and having a conversation to connect yourself to one another.
Thank you to everyone who connected with us and to all educators and students who reached out, tried something new, and connected the dots around the world.