PAC Celebrates Dot Day

PAC Celebrates Dot Day

PAC Celebrates International Dot Day”
Pocahontas Technology Integrationist, Susan Oehlertz, originally posted on her blog: PAC-This Just In. Check out her original post for more video and photo footage of the day.

PAC Elementary was among the 2 million people in over 80 countries celebrating.

International Dot Day was Inspired by New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ classic “storybook for all ages” The Dot.

The Dot is a story about a young girl named Vashti who is a reluctant artist. When her teacher says, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you,” Vashti begrudgingly jabs a dot on to her paper. The teacher asks Vashti to sign her creation. The next day Vashti finds her “masterpiece” hanging on the wall behind her teacher’s desk in a gold frame. Vashti realizes she can do better and proceeds to create a gallery of “dot” masterpieces using splashes and swirls of color. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds’ delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us.

This was a day to motivate students to celebrate their own creativity.

It challenged students to “make their mark and see where it takes them.” Everyone had something to offer – no matter how big or small. It was a day to allow students to express themselves in a variety of creative ways, feel important, and truly understand they matter and do make a difference everyday!

Classrooms activities incorporated the Iowa Core Technology Standards of Creativity and Innovation, Communication and Collaboration, Research and Information Fluency, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. Students were being great digital citizens while using a variety of digital devices throughout the day.

All classes – Prep – 6th Grade began their Dot Day Activities by reading The Dot.
Some classrooms read the hardcopy book, while others utilized the online version.

Prep students made Dot Day Hats, colored a dot, and used an augmented reality app – Colarmix – to watch their dot come to life in 3D.

Kindergarten students painted big dots, created a dot poem and drew a dot picture. They also made dot hats and skyped with a kindergarten class in Cedar Rapids where they collaborated back and forth and shared what they created.

Our First Graders were given a dot sticker in which they had to create a picture from a dot. They then wrote a story about their dot picture to share with the class.

Second graders were paired up and given a big orange dot. They had to place their dot around the school and take a picture with their iPad in five different locations where they placed their dot. Students gathered back in the classroom for an iPad demonstration of the app 30 Hands. Students imported their pictures, gave their stories a voice by recording their voices as they made a dot story. Students then exported their stories to video format that will be shared on their teacher’s Google+ wall, as well as some showcased on my Dot Day blog entry.

The Third Graders used the app ScribbleMyStory to create dot pictures that showcased how they could make a difference. Their skype partner was a third grade class in Maine. We were all set to skype; we could see them, they could see and hear us, but unfortunately we couldn’t hear them. So another date will be set so students can share their pictures.

The Fourth Grade class had fun doing an activity that centered around math fractions. Students were given three circles to color. Students then had to cut their circles into halves, thirds, or fourths. Students paired up with two other students to form complete circles. Each student picked their favorite collaborative circle to put in the classes dot mosaic poster.

Fifth Grade skyped with Los Angeles, California! Our students researched ways they could make a difference in the communities they live in. They took pictures and shared with their skyping friends what our communities look like and how they can make it a better place to live. They also found out it was 102 degrees that day in Los Angeles where it was 62 degrees here.

Our Sixth Graders delved into the story a bit more with some great discussion questions, they formed a Dot Picture using themselves to spell out PAC, and did a fantastic Social Studies activity incorporating dot stickers. Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.37.45 PM

Throughout the entire day, I had 10 six grade peer helpers using iPads to video tape and take pictures of the classes activities. A final PAC Dot Day video will be produced showcasing all the fun we had.

Dot Day ended with a final presentation in the gym where each class showcased what they did, Mrs. Youngberg led the crowd as we all sang “The Dot Song,” and the peer helpers handed out a treat to each student.