27 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2013 9:20 AM by lwenske

    Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day


      bunnyatwork_small.jpg Happy International Dot Day! What is Dot Day you ask? International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration which began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

      The Dot is the story of a compassionate teacher who encourages a hesitant student to trust in  herself by “making her mark”. A small dot on a sheet of paper becomes a step forward for a student in confidence, inspiring self-discovery and sharing, which continues to encourage people around the globe.

      Each year on International Dot Day (September 15, 2013) the inspiration continues. What begins as a story of an student is transforming teaching and learning as readers re-discover the power creativity.

      Note: The book THE DOT was written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds and published by Candlewick Press (USA) You can celebrate the book on International Dot Day and year round. Sign up for a free educators guide here.

      The author of this book reminds us of the powerful influence of teachers. All it takes is one adult to change a child’s life. Watch the video version of The Dot before you complete the activity below.


      We would love to see your creativity in our community so here is the task to get in touch with your inner Vashti:

      1. Illustrate your mark using any graphics painting program (MS Paint, TuxPaint, Paint.net or an app like Art App) and save as an image.
      2. Share the image in a reply to this post and include the software/App you used to create your artwork.
      3. In your post also share the story of a  reluctant learner who lacked self-confidence.  Also include how you motivate and encourage children to believe in their abilities so we can be inspired by YOU.
      4. Be sure to return to the thread to read and reply to our inspirational stories.


      Participate in our game between September 9, 2013 and October 29, 2013 (by posting your dot and sharing your inspiration) to be entered into a drawing of a $175.00 Amazon gift card that you might want to use towards the purchase of Peter Reynolds Creatrilogy Box Set (Dot, Ish, Sky Color) which provides you with a beautiful boxed set, of his trio of hardcover titles:


      1. The Dot -An enchanting invitation to self-expression! Don’t worry, just make a mark — and see where it takes you.
      2. Ish -A creative spirit learns that thinking "ishly" leads to a far more wonderful outcome than "getting it right."
      3. Sky Color -The sky’s no limit in this gentle, playful tale — a reminder that if we open our eyes and look beyond the expected, inspiration will come.

      Note: This drawing will only become active when a minimum of 10 participants respond, which means in some cases, the drawing will take place after the above mentioned date. For a complete description and eligibility of Engage community drawings, click on the Intel Bunny Person.

        • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

          Didn't create my own dot project, yet. Any Damien Hirst fans out there? No one does dots better than him.

          Picture 1.png

          • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

            Working on it. I'm going to get my Language Arts teacher involved.

            • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

              Happy International Dot Day to all.  As a special education teacher I always had a reluctant learner or two in my classroom.  Sometimes students who struggle are never given words of encouragement.  They expect to fail.

              I like to start my school year by telling all of my students that they are beginning the year with an "A" in their class.  I remember one student who started to cry because he had never earned an "A" before in any class!  I told all of my students that their new job was to hold on to their "A" by doing their best and I believed in them.  If we begin with a single dot, it can bloom into something beautiful. 


              • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                One of my fourth-grade students from several years ago started out the first few weeks of the new school year pretty much poking thins, including himself with a pencil and otherwise biding his time. I do origami math every week or two, and when I started origami that school year, this particular student perked up, put his pencil in his desk and folded away. It turned out he was a natural. For the remainder of the school year, rather than poking things with pencil, he folded and folded and folded. He memorized a 95-step origami pteranodon and started creating some of his own models. He ended up having a very successful school year and my partner teacher and I have seen him from time-to-time. He is doing very well in all areas. Below is a constellation of an origami crane, made with Constellation Maker, a simple flash program. It's a reminder in the night sky that we can all be shining stars.


                crane constellation.JPG

                • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                  I have been celebrating International Dot Day with my students in the library for the past two weeks and oh, what fun we've had!  I am posting a project that I had my 4th graders complete.  After reading the book The Dot, I challenged them to take the digital cameras I have and take pictures of dots they find all over the library.  Their pictures amazed me!  They were seeing dots in places I had never even noticed and that was so fun to see!


                  I love trying to incorporate technology into my lessons as I feel this is a great way for students to shine.  I've found that those students who lack self-confidence can usually find a glimmer of hope using a device be it a camera, Chromebook or other piece of technology and find a great way to shine.  Many times it's those students who struggle in core classes that excel when we use the technology.  This project for Dot Day emphasized collaboration, creativity and teamwork between my students and they asked me when we'd be using the cameras again because they loved it!


                  This Animoto is created using their pictures and pictures I took of them while they were being creative.


                  Happy Viewing!

                  • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                    Attached you will find "My Mark".  I tend to always be thinking about school and new ways I can teach a lesson, so I thought a swirl would be appropriate to describe myself.  I used the Art App found in the Apple Store.  It is a free app that allows you to free draw using a variety of colors.  I thought it was very user friendly and I was able to darken the color by going over it similar to what painting is like.  I really enjoyed using this app and am already thinking how I can use it in my class. 


                    My story of a reluctant learner would be from my 2nd year of teaching.  I was working at a Title 1 low, income school where some of the parents tended to have encounters with the police.  One of my students came from a family where that was too often the case.  He was very aware of his home life and from seeing adults around him already knew he would be in a gang.  When he was just too much, I would pull him into the hallway where he would explain that since his dad was in jail, he would end up there too.  It was a long first semester, but as I listened to his story and related it to my own story, he began to trust me.  His homework was my first priority because if he could be responsible enough to remember that, we both knew he could do a lot more.  As we worked on this goal, I would pull him from lunch to go to the playground and just talk.  At first, it was mostly me telling him how I grew up and the things that I experienced.  Slowly, he began telling me a few things about himself, not really discussing his family.  He wanted it to be about him and I was okay with that.  By the end of the first semester, I noticed his homework coming in more steadily.  I was worried for Christmas break and I explained to him, his goal was to finish the at-home packet and bring it back to school.  This was the so important for both of us.  At the beginning of the next semester, he came in looking tired and worn.  When it was time to pull out their homework folder, I nervously looked his way.  To my surprise, he already had his homework out and his tired, worn look gave way to a huge smile.  From that point on, he tried his best, sometimes he could do better, but he tried and that's all I could ask for.


                    When students are having trouble with their confidence or just being excited about school, I tend to share my own stories about going to school and talking to my students about the realities of life.  I am very open with my students and very honest.  When they ask me questions, I answered them to the best of my abilities or I tell them I need to look that up.  Being human and willing to show failure and your response to that situation it a bigger lesson to students than any pre-determined core lesson.


                    Stephanie Dempsey


                    • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                      As I was searching for different examples for International Dot Day, I came across this great resource to help teachers get started.

                      • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                        I used TuxPaint to create my Dot picture. I started with the black dot in the middle and I just went for it.

                        Staceys Dot.jpg

                        I had Tux Paint installed on the computers in our school's computer lab and I plan on doing this activity with my students this week when we visit the lab. I'm sure they will be even more creative than I was.

                        In order to help inspire my students and motivate them, at the beginning of the year, I always read "Ish" to my students. Later I follow up with "The Dot." I find that I usually have at least one first grader each year who is a perfectionist and always wants another piece of paper when they make a mistake. We talk about if they think they have made a mistake they can just change it into something else. The "mistake" actually becomes something unique, something even better. I love when the students encourage each other and give compliments to their classmates, especially if they see that they are getting frustrated.

                        Another fabulous book that goes along with this idea is "Regina's Big Mistake" by Marissa Moss (which I highly recommend). As the year goes on if someone gets frustrated, we remind them about Regina and her picture she drew and how her "mistake" made for a fabulous, unique picture.

                        • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                          I use Paint (windows 7).  I teach PPCD and co-teach in PreK classroom. Drawing is not about perfection. It is about taking a risk. We all draw diffently but those differences is what makes our drawings unique.


                          • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

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                            I created on image on tux paint and while creating made a mistake....or did I?  My class is named McMillan's Masterpieces and each work of art and writing is just that....an original work of art!


                            I too began the year reading "Ish" and "The Dot" and "Sky Color" (for color days) by Peter Reynolds to my pre-kindergarten students.  We then painted and drew dots and created a bulletin board based on ideas from children using different properties.  One child created a dirt dot another made a shiny dot out of foil, etc.....  Then, we went on a dot walk and took digital photographs around our campus of dots.  We had International Dot Day and my student all wore "dots".  There were dot dresses, bows, shoes, socks, hats, and more!  I used materials from Peter Reynolds website and it was a wonderful experience.  This was a wonderful way to start the year.....because now students are trying to be more creative and are much more relaxed about the process.  Usually, students have an idea about what they want to create.  However, due to a lack of fine motor development, they can't accurately create the mental image they have.  So, these books inspired us to try and not give up.  I love they idea of using tux paint and other web tools to create dots & images.  Circles and dots are universal designs for young learners and often the easiest and first to create.  FUN!

                            • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                              I used paint to create black dots on white backgrounds and white dots on black  backgrounds.  I used pixlr.com to play around with the color on the final image. This is an activity that could be used in a variety of subject areas including art, language arts, music, etc..  Students select a song and create their dot paintings/pictures to flow with the theme of the song.  They could use the lyrics in the song to reflect on experiences in their lives.  My song was Michael Jackson's Black or White.   What song would you choose and what would your image look like?



                              • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                                Thanks Vanessa for creating this wonderful post. I just had to share our teaching and learning experience from last week's iDesign Mobile Literacy Workshop.  We too had used the book The Dot as a read aloud after lunch to set the stage for active listening and learning. We then had teachers rotate through 4 creation stations using the following apps to design new learning personalized experiences:

                                Station 1: Retelling or Recreating an Ending to A Story. The apps we used included Book Creator Free and Write About This Free Teachers also utilized the Skitch app to take photos and add digital markup's to photos to add to their stories - like a digital script to visually plan and map their story. We then used the choice of Book Creator Free or Write About This Free app to recreate and share their own inspirational "Dot" story in dynamic duos so all teachers would find success. The dynamic duo team allowed for reluctant teachers to learn from a teammate to become more comfortable with using the new apps, share other possible teaching uses and create a collaborative story which they can model and recreate in their classroom with their students.  Here is an example of Global Literacy book that extend the activity mentioned from above. You will need the free app of iBooks prior to click on the link I am providing you to play back in the iBook shelf and to allow for full interaction. OR here are sample pages from the Global Literacy book.


                                Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.43.16 AM.png


                                Station 2: Talking QR Codes- We used the apps of free Croak.it, QR Reader and Maker, and the online site of QR Stuff to create talking QR codes to send home a personal audio message about a student. We had teacher form teams of 3 as transformative trios first. We first demonstrated how to use Croak.it to record a 30 second message a a positive and "good deed done" message that the teachers caught their students being good at in the school setting. Then we took the recorded audio file link and used a choice of the online site of QRStuff or the app of QR Reader to embed the audio file into a QR code creator. Once the code was generated teachers could email or print off the QR Code and send to the parents, and the students in return would model how to scan the codes with their parents as an "at home activity" to listen and see first hand the good things their son or daughter were doing in school from a personalized message from their teacher.


                                Here is an example from Shannon Miller,  Van Meter, IA LMC Specialist of a creative way to include talking QR codes as student book talks.

                                Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 7.45.09 AM.png


                                Station 3: Augmented Reality Remix- We used the free iPad app ofhttp://fablevisionlearning.com/blog/2013/08/dot-day-fun-watch-your-dot-come-to-life-in-amazing-3d-in-the-colar-app/ColAR Mix or Android app,  and a printed of Dot Day sheet from the ColAR Mix site. Teachers colored in their "Dot" for fine motor skill development but also a visual self expression. Once completed, we had dynamic duo teacher teams download the free app of Color Mix and then launch the app from their iPad and then hover over their colored visual coloring display. They were amazed by the  3D pop-up art they had just created and wanted to now touch the floating bouncy balls that came to life with the Augmented Reality app. As an extension, it was so natural that the teacher team wanted to reflect on their learning through a brief reflection about their learning experience- talk about a great way to jump start a learning activity. One more way is to have students now take their written reflection and turn that into a talking QR COde and attach the printed off QR Code onto the Dot colored sheet the student just colored- this way you have an AR experience infused with a QR Code to learn from one another's reflective thought of their interactive learning experience.

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                                We had so much fun with this activity- hope you can try one idea to add a burst of inspiration to your day of teaching and learning- and make an educational impact with your students and teaching staff!


                                • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                                  Wow these posts have been amazing and beautiful!.  Thanks everyone for sharing.



                                  • Re: Fun Activity-Sept-Oct 2013-International Dot Day

                                    I think the book and idea behind it--that you can find the good and positive in any moment and person--is hugely important and powerful.  My class and I talk about this often—how a rainy day can mean the cancellation of outdoor recess, but can then, mean indoor recess and different fun and how finding the good in every moment and transition or unexpected change can truly change our perspectives (I try to practice this in my own life, but it's not always so easy).


                                    A student that comes to mind is someone who is a bit reluctant to talk aloud in class.  I can relate to this child, as I have some OCD tendencies, and it's taken work to understand how to successfully work through that myself.  So, I encourage her, like crazy; and I remain very positive and frank with her as I remind her that the only way to get over this fear and anxiety is to actually do the thing (in this case, talking; for me, it's not engaging in rituals as I leave the house), that is most worrisome for us, in a healthy way, of course.  I try to be consistently aware of how difficult this is for her, and when I feel like we've had too long of a more stagnant period, where maybe things haven't eased up as much as I'd like them to for her--I, then, try to implement goals, such as, "How about each day, you say, "Hello," "GoodBye," and you answer questions to me about how your lunch was today?"...and, I keep going with that.  I have found that being ultra positive and grateful to students for their abilities and what they contribute; but then, also, trying to push them forward with new thinking or by implementing goals alongside them, and scaffolding just what they need to move forward is the strategy-bundle that seems to work for me.


                                    Here's my Dot.  I created it using the Art App that Vanessa suggested.  As Robbie pointed out, it's a really neat app, and it's fairly easy to use and has great features.  I enjoyed using it.  Then, I saved my Dot as a picture to my Camera Roll and shared it by emailing it to myself (just fyi).  As for my Dot, I love Blue and Red, and Yellow used to be my favorite color when I was very young.  photo.PNG