Grandparents, Dots, and Making Our Mark

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.

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Grandparents day and dot day #dotday #grandparentsday

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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.

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Dot gallery walk #dotday #creativity

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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.

 

International Dot Day 2012 @barrowmc

September 15(ish) is International Dot Day.  We’ve been celebrating for the past week in the Barrow Media Center.  Numerous classes came to listen to The Dot by Peter Reynolds.  We talked about the importance of making your mark on the world and avoiding the words “I can’t”.  After our discussion, students moved to tables and made dots in 2 different ways.

Using Drawcast on the iPad, students made digital dots in a variety of ways.  They saved their images to the iPad photo gallery.  We took those dots and imported them into a collective dot folder and used Animoto to make a digital dot gallery.  We also made a QR code and displayed it outside the library to link to our Animoto video.

At the other tables, student had access to coffee filters, markers, crayons, and color pencils.  They decorated their coffee filters in creative ways.  All of the paper dots filled the windows of the media center to the point that you almost couldn’t see in!  Some students used a spray bottle of water to spray their filters so that the color ran together.  After many classes came, we realized that our sprayed dots had created even more dots in the drying area.  The final class, Ms. Olin’s class, wrote on the drying paper “Barrow School Made Their Mark” and we displayed this in the hallway as well.

We hope our creativity will inspire others to make their mark on the world!

 

 

International Dot Day (Extreme September 15-ish)

Students using Drawcast to make dots on the iPad

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.

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