Monthly Archives: September 2014

International Dot Day

We took part in the International Dot Day for the first time this year.  I am so glad we did!  Over a two week period I read the book to every class in the school, from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  After we shared the book, each class did some creative activity in response to the reading.  Some grades created art work, while others did a written response.  We even used the iPads with 1st grade to draw and take photos on a dot scavenger hunt.  The art was displayed in the hall outside the school library.  Boy, is it an impressive showing of creativity and making a mark “and seeing where it takes you” (to quote from Peter Reynolds’ book, The Dot).

2nd grade

2nd grade

Kindergarten art created with our art teacher, Svetlana Reed.

Kindergarten art created with our art teacher, Svetlana Reed.

3rd grade students did a circle design, cut into 1/4's and shared.

3rd grade students did a circle design, cut into 1/4’s and shared.

Create, Connect and Collaborate

Some of our students made the connection between the message of the book and some of our IB/PYP learner profiles and attitudes.  The students said Vashti was not a risk-taker at the beginning of the book, but by the end she was.  They also said she showed creativity and commitment (2 IB attitudes) in her actions by experimenting and trying new ways of painting dots.

Skype with FSUS

We reached out to collaborate and connect with another school who was also recognizing Dot Day on the official International Dot Day, September 15th.   One  of our 2nd grade classes (taught by Camille Little) Skyped with Sara King’s 2nd grade class at Florida State University Schools in Tallahassee, FL.  I connected with the librarian there, Jenn Underhill, who taught one of my classes this summer at FSU.  We did a reading of The Dot, with our Spanish teacher, Lidia Olds reading one page in Spanish from the book (El Punto) followed by two students from Ms. King’s class reading the next page in English.  Then the classes took turns answering questions and sharing ideas about the book.  I think both classes enjoyed themselves.  It was our first Skpye at the school and I’m anxious to repeat the experience!

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Collaborate with Other Teachers

I collaborated with another teacher at my school, our art teacher, Svetlana Reed.  She did several projects with different grade levels that involved dots and circles.  The students turned out some very nice art.  We also had a good showing of staff wearing dots on International Dot Day, anyone from the paraprofessionals, teachers, office staff, to the administrators!

Here is the Animoto I created to capture some of what went on at our school.

 

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Butterflies in the Library

Each elementary library in our school system received a “Butterfly Garden” kit from our local aquarium, the Flint Riverquarium recently. The Riverquarium is getting ready to celebrate their 10th anniversary next weekend and they will have a special butterfly encounter on September 5th & 6th. To promote the idea of science and butterflies we each received 5 caterpillars and the mesh habitat.

I placed the caterpillars on the library checkout desk so that students could monitor their progress.  I also had a couple of books about butterflies and a poster with the complete butterfly life cycle on display.

Caterpillars in the library

Our five caterpillars creating their chrysalis.

The Butterfly Life Cycle

We received out caterpillars and habitat on Monday, August 18th and by Thursday, August 28th all but one of the caterpillars had completed their metamorphosis and emerged.  Since many of our grades were testing that day, I enlisted my morning television crew (all 5th grade students) to assist with the release that morning.  One student was my videographer, one was the photographer and the other two held the habitat.  I invited one Kindergarten class to witness the event.  Since the rest of the students were not able to be present at the release I created an Animoto and emailed it to all of the teachers.  Here is our Animoto:

The students were fascinated by the whole process, so I think I’ll buy more caterpillars in the spring.

P.S.  I took home the habitat with the remaining chrysalis on Friday as it was the long, Labor Day weekend.  I placed the habitat on my screened porch and he (or she) emerged on Saturday morning and was released in my garden.

P.P.S. Can’t get the Animoto video to embed….I’m working on it!

P.P.P.S.  Let’s see if this works:

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