If you follow Dot Day or you have been to the official website, then you know the date for Dot Day is advertised as “Sept 15th-ish.” Now being a fan of the Reynolds brothers, I figure there’s probably a joke in there because of their amazing book Ish, but I also love that it probably just means teachers can have some freedom in when they celebrate. I mean, we all know that things like that can rarely fit so nicely right into our schedules.
We were able to take advantage of a great Skype invitation from Ms. Hachen’s 2nd Grade Ms. Hachen’s 2nd Grade class to take place on Sept. 15th, and so in order to have something to talk to our new friends about on that morning at 9 am, we did our “official” Dot Day work the day before. If you have visited 20somethingkids before, then you know Skyping is not a new thing to my kiddos, BUT this was to be the first one this particular class had made. I was excited and I’m pretty sure that until it happened, many of them didn’t know what we were doing. LOL
Ms. Hachen and I had planned to have our kiddos share their dot art, and tell the rest of the class what they decided to do to “make their mark.” We gathered on the floor in front of our screen and computer, and oh my goodness I wish I would have taken a video of what happened next. You can imagine I’m sure…I turned on Facetime just to give them an idea of what it would look like once we got started and everyone started making faces at themselves in the camera, putting bunny ears on their friends, waving their hands…you get the idea? I mean I guess I couldn’t really blame them–if you have never seen yourself on screen before like that and you are a 6YO, you’re probably going to do something goofy, right? So I asked them to get all those sillies out and then we waited patiently for our friends to call. They did, and we listened to our new friends from Kansas (hey, they’re our neighbors!) tell us about their Dot Day creations.
It looked and sounded a little like this:
You know, I love it when I watch videos of things that happen in our classroom, because I often notice or see new things that I didn’t notice in the moment. Honestly, I remembered that many kiddos were NUTS and had a hard time being patient as we watched and listened, and I remembered having to give many reminders for them to be respectful audience members. I’m so glad to see that most of them did a GREAT job of waiting, and am not surprised to see that there are still some who REALLY wanted to show off their art work. I’m going to take that as a sign that they were really proud–and that we need more practice with Skype. LOL No worries, we will get lots of that as we go through this year. 🙂
When we were finished with our Skype, we had some other things to do (like regular 1st grade curriculum stuff!), but we came back to another art challenge later in the afternoon. I had seen a blog post about creating a circle painting with your class and wanted to try it. After all the paint fun we’d had the day before (did I mention that we had to throw three kiddos’ clothes in the washer?), I needed to figure another way to make it work.
We didn’t exactly follow the directions, as we didn’t use paint, and I didn’t have them only paint circles, but we did indeed work together to make our marks on a class art piece together. That was really my big idea anyway, regardless of the medium.
So, we started with a big yellow piece of paper, 8 kiddos and a box of markers.
They were given 30 seconds to work at the part of the paper that was in front of them, and then we rotated around the table. They were supposed to add something new to the picture that they moved to next.
Not only did we create a BEAUTIFUL art piece together, but not a single person fussed during this time, nor did anyone argue, fight over a spot, or not follow directions. It was quiet, ran smoothly and kiddos seemed like there were really enjoying themselves! They took this “making our mark together” business really seriously. 🙂
And then when we were finished (we went through three rounds of 8 kiddos each), we had to do the most important part–sign it!
I have not had a chance to frame it yet, nor have I decided where to hang it (we should decide on that together, I think!), but I am surely impressed with what we were able to do. My favorite part? When I heard Johnny say to me as he rotated to the next spot, “I think this is supposed to be a carnival, so I’m going to add part to the roller coaster!” What a great example of paying attention to others’ intentions. Saw that happening all over the place after he said it. Way to go Johnny and Rm. 202 friends!
Just for fun, a few closer looks:
Ok, and just one more. It was a good thing we had Double Dot Day, because on actual Dot Day I wore stripes to school. I know, wah wah. 😦 But I remembered the next time and was excited to sport the RIGHT outfit!
What a great couple of days focusing on reading and creativity, helping and working together! Thanks for reading and ’til next year, keep on make, make, making your mark!!