Dear Fablefriends, Thanks to those who replied to our Creative Educator Constellation email. We appreciate all the support and kind words that our Fablefriends provided in their responses. As promised, we are featuring the submissions below:
Christine Gillions (Australia):
The Dot by Peter Reynolds has made its mark on me, my students, my colleagues and the whole school community…. and has taken us all on exciting teaching and learning journeys.
In my role as the leader of St Paul’s professional development program in ‘Differentiation’, over the past three years I have used The Dot to inspire, motivate and sustain the teachers in their learning and implementation of the essential yet challenging Differentiation approach in the regular classroom. Applying best practice Differentiation as outlined by Carol Tomlinson, a noted expert on Differentiation, is often daunting for teachers. However The Dot in its different forms (hardcopy and interactive books, song, posters, CD), has contributed considerably to the St Paul’s staff’s enthusiastic embrace and implementation of Differentiation – our teachers, administration staff, teacher assistants AND our principal even wear The Dot tee shirt!
The Dot has also taken the students in my Gifted Education classes (5-12 year olds) beyond their hometown, beyond Australia, and into classrooms across the globe. By participating in The Dot’s International Dot Days, my gifted and talented students have been able to communicate and work directly with students in France, Thailand and the USA. This international collaboration is not only leaving an invaluable mark on my students, but is also taking them on real-world learning adventures. These adventurous opportunities are enabling my students to increase their knowledge, understandings and skills with, and via multimedia technology, PLUS also gain increased appreciation of and respect for cultural differences and develop a sense of global citizenship – essential attributes for our 21st century children’s lives and contributions, now and in the future.
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!
Making Our Mark (DOT) in the World
The Ripple Effect: Individual DOTS with one main Purpose = A MARK that matters. What MARK are you making on the World?
Room 12 celebrated Dot Day by sharing their story with the world.
Using social media and blogging, Room 12 students have reached over 500 individuals in 29 countries since posting about their mark making a difference.
Every Dot matters!