Posts Tagged ‘International Dot Day’

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One of our favorite days of the year is Dot Day. Created to celebrate the publication of The Dot by Peter Reynolds, Dot Day encourages creativity and playful art.

My students and I drew dots and wrote Zeno poems. The Zeno form was invented by J. Patrick Lewis. The form uses a syllable count of 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1 with each 1 syllable line rhyming. This is a playful form. We folded paper into a zine. To see how to make a zine, go to this post from last year.

Imagining the brightest knot

see the colors

of the dot

colors of the



Brightest of the

ones I’ve


Breighlynn, 4th grade

It is true that you have talent
you are so high
in the
you should always
you are in clouds
try to

Chloe, 4th grade

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International Dot Day is one of my favorite days of the year.  For years, I’ve celebrated with my students.  This year I tried out a new activity for Dot Day, a Zeno Zine.  We started by reading The Dot and playing the Emily Arrow Dot Day Song.  Then each student decorated a dot on white art paper using markers. Rainbow dots seemed to be the choice of the day.

After drawing a dot, I asked my students to collect words and phrases about their artwork to use in a zeno poem.  We wrote a zeno together using ideas from the book.  Then they wrote their own zeno about their own dot.  We folded their art work into a zine and copied their poems into their zine.

Zeno form: syllable count 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1 (Each one syllable line rhymes. )

Our Group Dot Zeno

I can’t draw a straight line, can you?
May I please see
you draw
I don’t think so
I bet you can
draw a

Dot Day Zeno Zine by Chloe



After the rainstorm has happened
Colors appear
a beautiful
flower petals

by Breighlynn

Zine by Breighlynn


I draw and write alongside my students, so I made three zeno zines throughout the day.  My student Madison suggested that I post this one because, as she said, “The solar system is full of dots!”

Solar System Dot Zeno Zine

Gravitational central sun
spiral orbit
Solar system
Constant spinning

Margaret Simon, (c) 2018



Bayou Song Interview on KRVS:

If you are interested in hearing an interview with me on our local public radio station, click this link and go to “Interview.”

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.


The Queen of Dot Day!

The Queen of Dot Day!


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.


Weaving is a new activity for my students.

Weaving is a new activity for my students.

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!




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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

more love Erin

If you came by here in the last few days, you’ve seen that we celebrated Dot Day this week with younger students. We created a collaborative poem about our dots, and I made an Animoto video. The post is here.

In my Voxer conversation about Writing about Reading, someone (I think it was Phyllis Sutton, but I’m not sure) suggested trying out Sway as a presentation platform. Sway is new to me. I wanted to give it a try before telling my students (and you) about it.

The platform is similar to PowerPoint in that you add slides. The slide can contain a graphic and text. I saved my Dot Day pictures in Dropbox. It was easy to navigate back and forth using tabs. The end product looks like a board similar to Padlet. To navigate to each slide, you scroll.

I plan to introduce my students to this new app and add it to our ever-growing list of presentation apps.

Click on the picture to go to the Sway. Because of the private images, I set it so that only those with a link can view it. That’s yet another cool feature of Sway. Try it out. Let me know what you think.

Click here to see our Dot Day Sway.

Click here to see our Dot Day Sway.


Next week, there will be no Digital Literacy Sunday because I will be traveling.

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Poetry Friday round-up with Michelle at Today's Little Ditty.

Poetry Friday round-up with Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty.

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

This is a dual posting for Poetry Friday and Celebration Saturday because this week we celebrated Dot Day. What a great week we had!

On Tuesday, Sept. 15th, my students have come to expect Dot Day. It’s a tradition in my gifted classroom. And every year gets better. A friend of mine made me a Dot Day skirt, a felt poodle skirt full of dots.

I received a text from a former student with the greeting, “Happy International Dot Day!” Thanks to Peter Reynolds for writing The Dot and for establishing Dot Day, a day to celebrate creativity, resilience, and empathy. Did you know there’s a Dot Day song?

We shared our enthusiasm on Wednesday with Mrs. Rogers’ first grade class. Two students shared the reading of the book and everyone danced to the song. Then the first graders decorated coffee filters with markers. I brought a spray bottle, so each gifted student sprayed their group’s dots. We had so much fun. Their teacher, Mrs. Rogers, invited us back on Friday. Her kids had made thank you drawings and wanted to perform the song for us. They had been practicing. The smile never left my face.

My kids want to do another activity with them. One suggested Chalk-a-bration. More to come!

Back in our classroom, I started a document with this line, “A blank canvas stares at me.” I invited the students to add a line to our class Dot poem. Then I put it all together in this Animoto video. I think it will make you smile!

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  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Oh, how my students love Dot Day! Do you celebrate? Peter Reynolds is the brilliant creator of this amazing, phenomenal day. This year 1.7 million have registered to participate. That’s a lot of dots!

I wore my Dot Day skirt. We read The Dot (again) and watched The Dot video. This year a new song was released by Emily Dale. What a catchy tune! We sang along and kept singing as we made our dots. There is nothing more fun than painting on a Monday. My students experimented with mixing colors. They tried out new designs. Not one of them said they didn’t know what to draw. I love that about Dot Day. Vashti shows us that even a jab of a pencil is worthy.

You can still celebrate Dot Day. The official day is Sept. 15th but Peter tells us that it is Sept. 15th-ish. I say any day could be Dot Day. Make your mark. Make it matter.

Many resources are available on FableVision.

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

For today’s Slice of Life, I want to express my gratitude for the Wonders in my life.

I. I am part of a Wonderful group of women called The Berry Queens. At the 6th annual ball on Friday night, I was honored to be named Head Diva.

2012-13 Head Diva, Susan and me, 2013-14 Head Diva.

2012-13 Head Diva, Susan and me, 2013-14 Head Diva.

II. My Wonderful baby girl was home for two weeks. We enjoyed some fun times together. Her boyfriend, Jeff, came in for the weekend. Here they are posing at the Grandmother Oak.

Daughter Martha with boyfriend, Jeff and Grandmother Oak.

Daughter Martha with boyfriend, Jeff with Grandmother Oak.

III. Reading FREADOM: This is National Banned Books week. My students are discussing their favorite books. I am grateful that they are Wonder-filled readers. Some of them made Animoto videos about their books.

IV. International Dot Day celebration continues: My younger students (2nd-4th grade) discovered the Wonder of creating their own mark using Paint.

Emily's Dot created on Paint.

Emily’s Dot created on Paint.

Emily’s Acrostic Dot Day poem

Decorating Dots
Oh,what a nice day
Today, today dots we make.

Dabbing on dots
All day I say
Yay! oh what a nice day!

V. The proof is here! The book of my poems with my Dad’s art, Illuminate, will be coming soon. Here I am with the Proof! Wonders never cease!

It may be small, but it is oh, so precious.  My book of poems with my father's art.

It may be small, but it is oh, so precious. My book of poems with my father’s art.

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My students continue to celebrate International Dot Day. A group of 2nd-4th graders presented Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot to a kindergarten class. We gave each of them a coffee filter. They placed the filter on a sheet of art paper. They colored the filter with markers. Then my students sprayed the filters. (2-3 squirts only! We learned quickly that too many squirts made a very soggy dot.) Another thing we learned was that most kindergarten kids can sign their own name and are very proud to do so.

Back in class with some of my older students, we wrote a collaborative poem around the line, “Make a mark and see where it takes you.” Combining the efforts of all of my various groups of children, I created this Animoto video.

Another book in Peter Reynolds’ Creatrilogy is Ish. Third grader Tobie read Dot and Ish and drew this dot on the board. I thought it was really clever.

Invisiblish dot by Tobie

Invisiblish dot by Tobie

Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. Hop on over to her site: The Opposite of Indifference.

poetry friday button

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I discovered Peter Reynolds and his delightful collection of creative books a few years ago. I made International Dot Day a part of my classroom lore. Teaching gifted students allows me the luxury of having the same students each year, with some additions along the way. All I said last week was “Dot Day is coming,” and my students cheered. I gave them 3 choices for celebrating: 1. Create your own dot. 2. Present the book to a kindergarten class; or 3. Both. Guess what they chose? You got it, option 3. So our Dot Day celebration is only just beginning. I love that Peter Reynolds says Dot Day is Sept. 15-ish because we plan to celebrate all week.

You’ll have to stay tuned for more posts about our week. The first thing we did was, of course, read THE DOT. Vashti thinks she is no good at art. Her very wonderful caring art teacher thinks otherwise and honors her most miniscule attempt to draw by framing her small dot in gold. Vashti then becomes determined to make more and more dots, various sizes and colors. She even paints a dot without painting a dot. The most important thing is to sign your name.

Sixth grader, Brooklyn, read the story.

Dot day1

Each of my students led a small group of kindergartners to create their own individual dot.

dot day 4
dot day 5

dot day 6

My students had a great time with the little ones and want to make this a monthly activity. Their teacher was happy to have us, too.

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Some Dot Day links:

International Dot Day Website: Free Posters!

Facebook Page for International Dot Day: Share how you are celebrating.

The Dot Club

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