International Dot Day

Friday 15th September was International Dot Day!

What is International Dot Day?

International Dot Day began when Terry Shay introduced his class to Peter H Reynold’s book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

Since then, this date has been celebrated each year as International Dot Day — a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

Every year, millions of students and educators connect on International Dot Day to celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration.

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What is ‘The Dot’ book all about?

The Dot tells the story of a caring art teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way.

In Peter’s book, the teacher encourages the student to begin a journey of self discovery and creativity, starting with a simple dot on a piece of paper. Transformed by this journey, the student goes on to inspire others.

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This year, Miss Jordan decided to join in the fun with 3/4C. Some of our highlights are described below.

We read The Dot by Peter H Reynold and discussed the themes. We linked the themes to a variety of character strengths, including:

  • Self belief
  • Courage
  • Kindness
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity

We dressed up in dots!

We used our Writer’s Notebooks to generate some “dotty” writing ideas.

We displayed our creativity by decorating big dots! We then cut the dots into quarters and swapped three of the quarters with friends to make a new dot!

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Classes are encouraged to collaborate and connect during International Dot Day celebrations. One of Miss Jordan and Mrs Morris’s “blogging buddies” from the past is Mrs Yollis, from California in the USA. She has celebrated International Dot Day previously, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to get in touch!

Today in class, we had a Google Hangout to chat with Mrs Yollis! We had to work out the time difference between our two countries. For us (in the southern hemisphere), it was 11.30am Friday morning. But for Mrs Yollis (who lives in the northern hemisphere) it was 6.30pm Thursday night!

We asked Mrs Yollis lots of interesting questions about her school. It was so interesting to hear her responses! It was great that Mrs Morris was in our class today so she could be part of the chat too.

Below is a video we made to showcase some of the features of our wonderful school. We hope the third grade students in Mrs Yollis’s class enjoy this sneak peek into Barwon Heads Primary School.

Mrs Yollis also has a post about International Dot Day on her class blog. Her third grade students have put together a video about their school. Check it out!

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What did you enjoy about International Dot Day?

What was the message in “The Dot” picture book by Peter H Reynold?

What did you find interesting during our chat with Mrs Yollis?

Monster Global Project With Mrs Yollis’ Class!

We have just completed a fun global project with Mrs Yollis’ third grade class in Los Angeles, California.

Mrs Yollis and her class have a blog, just like we do!

Mrs Yollis blog

This is how the project worked:

1. Students in 4B were matched up with a partner in Mrs Yollis’ class.

2. All students drew a picture of a monster.

3. Next, the students wrote a detailed description of their own monster.

4. The two classes shared their writing via Google Drive (but didn’t swap their pictures).

5. The students had to draw their partner’s monster using the details in the written description.

6. We compared the original drawing to the drawing our partner made of the monster!

The results:

The results of the project were so interesting! Here is the writing that the 4B students prepared along with their picture and the picture that their partner in Mrs Yollis’ class prepared.

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We learnt:

  • Writing needs to be very clear and detailed for someone to generate the same mental image that you started with.
  • Writing is an excellent way to help people create a mental image when it is done well.
  • When you leave details out of your writing, people can’t read your mind to imagine what you were thinking.
  • Good readers create mental images when they’re reading.
  • Working together with other classes is fun!

Be sure to check out the post on Mrs Yollis’ blog to see the results of our students drawing the directions from her students!

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What did you enjoy about this project?

After reading our descriptions, did our monsters look the way you imagined?

What did you notice about the drawings from your American buddies?

Have you got any tips for writing good descriptions?

Monster Global Project

We have just completed a fun global project with Mrs Yollis’s third grade class in Los Angeles, California.

This is how the project worked:

    1. Students in 4A and 4B were matched up with a partner in Mrs Yollis’s class.
    2. All students drew a picture of a monster.
    3. Next, the students wrote a detailed description of their own monster.
    4. The two classes switched their writing (but didn’t swap their pictures).
    5. The students had to draw their partner’s monster using the details in the written description.
    6. We compared the original drawing to the drawing our partner made of the monster!

The results:

The results of the project were so interesting! Here is the writing that 4A and 4B students prepared along with their picture and the picture that their partner in Mrs Yollis’s class prepared.

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We learnt:

  • Writing needs to be very clear and detailed for someone to generate the same mental image that you started with.
  • Writing is an excellent way to help people create a mental image when it is done well.
  • When you leave details out of your writing, people can’t read your mind to imagine what you were thinking.
  • Good readers create mental images when they’re reading.
  • Working together with other classes is fun!

Be sure to check out the post on Mrs Yollis’ blog to see the results of our students drawing the directions from her students!

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What did you enjoy about this project?

After reading our descriptions, did our monsters look the way you imagined?

Have you got any tips for writing good descriptions?

Stepping Up Our Blog Comments

Recently, Miss Jordan read a post about improving the quality of blog comments on Mrs Yollis’s class blog.

Titled, “Step-up to Commenting”, this terrific post introduced a new structure to writing paragraphs in a blog comment. This process can also be used for other genres of writing too!

To enhance the quality of blog comments, Mrs Yollis uses a chart similar to the one below to encourage her students to add more detail and information to their writing.

Step up to commenting 2

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Here is an example of a blog comment using the structure and colour code as described above.

Comment example

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Today during our literacy session, 4A and 4B wrote blog comments using this structure. They first had to draft their comment in their writing book, underlining the sentences using the colour code to ensure they had followed the structure correctly.

Here are two examples. Click on the images to view them in full size.

P1080319

P1080321

Students then typed and submitted their blog comments on their iPads. It was great to see many quality comments being written during the session!

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As it is the last week of term two, the question students had to answer in their blog comment was:

What have you enjoyed about semester one?

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Thank you to Mrs Yollis for inspiring us to improve the quality of our blog comments!