International Dot Day

On Monday, September 15, our entire school celebrated International Dot Day. I am so grateful to my colleague who introduced this special day when educators can encourage student creativity and genius potential, inspired by Peter Reynold’s book The Dot.

Peter Reynold's The Dot book cover
When the kids arrived at school on Monday morning, signs reading “Make Your Mark” were posted all around campus. Our coordinator created a huge display in our multipurpose room where kids were invited to hang a dot to start them on their journey to “make their mark” on the world.  The completed display is a mural of student creativity that represents their unique ability to stand out in a face-paced, creative society.
Now that Dot Day has come and gone, I can’t stop thinking about all of the potential I missed out on by only minimally engaging my students in this unique day. The following is my official Dot Day reflection.
What I did this year to celebrate International Dot Day with my second graders (minimally impressive ideas coming your way).

  • Read aloud The Dot to my kiddos. Before reading I posed the question “What does it mean to make your mark?” and held a class discussion about the meaning of the phrase and how it applies to the characters in the book.
  • Invited students to make their mark by creating their own unique dot (4-inch paper dot designed with the art supplies of their choice).
  • Took the kids to the multipurpose room where they admired the dots designed by their peers and added their dot to the mural (adorable photo opp)!
Second graders painting their dots for International Dot Day
What I want to do differently next year on International Dot Day (radically impressive ideas coming your way):

  • Transform my classroom environment by sticking dots all over the room or setting up one of those disco-like lights that project dots on the walls (WOOT! WOOT!).
  • Wear a dot day outfit (who doesn’t have a polka dot shirt or dress)?!
  • Use Dot Day as a launch pad for Genius Hour at the beginning of the school year.
  • Give each kid a dot sticker/pin to wear all day. I like the pin idea better because they can pin it to their backpack or take it home to store with their treasures after Dot Day.
  • Read The Dot first thing in the morning when the kids walk in to launch the activities for the day.
  • Create a poster that says “How will you make your mark?” to hang in the classroom. Invite students to add sticky notes with their answers to this powerful question throughout the day.
  • Engage students in thinking of what they are a master of and want to share with the world to make it a better place (writing activity).
  • Create Buddy Dots with our sixth grade buddies. Cut larger dots in half and have each buddy design half of the dot before reattaching them.
  • Have a Dots-In-Nature Scavenger Hunt. In September, we are studying plants and insects and working on building our scientific observation skills. Students can head out to the school playground to search for dots in nature and use their scientific observation skills to write about the dots they observe (science activity).

The only subject I can’t figure out is math. I would love to hear your International Dot Day ideas below (math or any other). Now that I’ve actually had time to think about the potential of this day, I am antsy for next year’s Dot Day to arrive (only 360 days left)!

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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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