Donna (New Jersey):
Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate my colleagues. We have been celebrating The Dot in February to celebrate our children and their strengths, creativity and love. Every year it has grown, happy tears are shed, and love is blooming…all we did was Plant a Kiss!
Students in first grade participate in a week of fun learning activities, all Common Core Standard based. They use DOTS for math, reading, word work (word building/phonics), art activities and building relationships with classmates.
The last three years we have had a grant for the purchase of learning materials and a copy of The Dot for each first grade student to keep (194 books last year).
My favorite activity based on The Dot is a letter that is the “DOT of Love”. The letter, with an attached large circle and heart is sent home asking the parents/family to write a Dot of Love to their child. Parents have written the most beautiful word of love and encouragement. Students who did not have a parent respond, the staff wrote one for them. Each student was represented in the hallway display. Hearts were full and tears were flowing! Prior to our DOT Day assembly where parents/family are invited in to read The Dot with their child. Community members also were invited to be buddy readers with our children including the Mayor, Police Chief, Firefighters, and local representatives.
Parents were invited to school on a Friday night in prior to Dot Week and volunteered time to come in and paint dots on our floor in the first grade hallway and hang dots everywhere. Laugh, laugh and laugh as parents painted each other, formed new friendships, and stayed until 10:00. They didn’t want to go home!
The Dot has impacted our first grade in a most positive manner. The children learn about never giving up, keep a focus on a goal, and build friendships as a learning community.
You know an event is a success with growth, and getting yelled at by first graders (and other students in second and third grade) when the dots were washed off the floor!
Our DOT DAY has bloomed, and will continue to do so. Our new principal is purchasing one book for each of our first grade students this year.
Help me celebrate my colleagues who have helped me create this event! Dot week is February 9-12, 2015.
Anything is possible with a DOT of Love!