Thursday, September 15th was Dot Day. My students love Dot Day. Since I teach them year after year, they look forward to it from the first day of school. International Dot Day was inspired by teacher Terry Shay in 2009. The day is designed around The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. In The Dot, Vashti doesn’t feel like she can do art in art class. She turns away from her paper. But through the gentle guidance of her teacher, she discovers within herself a budding dot artist. In the end, she passes on this confidence to another child who says he can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. The Dot shows students in a very accessible way that they can be creative.
This summer I was privileged to join a Google Hangout with Trevor Bryan. Trevor is writing a book around the Art of Comprehension. He uses The Dot to show how students can access text and images through different lenses. My students responded well to the Art of Comprehension, sharing eagerly about what they saw and read about Vashti’s changing mood. One of my students, a 2nd grader, said Vashti had an aura. She was referring to the changing color of the dot that surrounds Vashti on each page.
After we read and discussed the book, I invited my students to make a dot using this plan I found in Scholastic Teacher Magazine. The art teacher let us use her oil pastels. First we decorated the plate. Then we made 19 evenly spaced slits around the rim of the plate. (I used the bumps on the edges to help the kids know where to make the cuts, every third bump.) Then we threaded yarn around the plate to create a base for weaving. Most of my students had never weaved yarn before. They loved this new activity.
I wore my Dot Day skirt made especially for me by my friend Cathy and the official Dot Day t-shirt. One student dubbed me the Queen of Dot Day. And another said, “Mrs. Simon, thank you for giving us Dot Day!”
A joyful celebration of creativity, reading, and just being you!