International Dot Day

@ Memorial School

Our 1st ever Dot Day celebration!

Memorial School joined with 1.3 million participants in 84 countries around the world to celebrate International Dot Day. Dot Day was inspired by the beautiful book, The Dot, written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds. All Kindergarten and Grade 1 students were read the story of Vashti, a little girl who begins the journey of self discovery after a caring teacher inspires her to "make her mark." This special celebration is all about creativity, courage and collaboration. What a great way for us to begin a new school year!

Here's what we did:

Kindergarten Celebrates!

All kindergarten classes listened to The Dot in their art class. This is what Art Teacher, Joe Knaus had to say about this lesson, "Not only did they make their own dot, they made their mark. I emphasized that it was good to be different from your neighbors because you are making your mark, he/she is making his/her mark."

And this is what resulted! Aren't these bulletin boards fabulous?

1st Grade Celebrates!

First graders listened to The Dot either in their own classrooms or during their library class. There were lots of thoughtful discussions about the story. Each student and even the teachers then made their own marks by creating their own dots.


1st grade teacher, Marie Pendergast, came on board to join the celebration over the summer. She was very familiar with the story and wow, did her students ever make their marks! They created awesome 3-D dots in class with paper plates. Then they each made another dot in preparation for connecting with a first grade class in Dedham, MA who were also celebrating Dot Day. We had our first ever Skype session in the library (many, many thanks to Laura Kirk, our technologist for helping to make this happen). The librarian in Dedham and Randie Groden co-read Watch Me Throw the Ball by Mo Willems (the ball is round like a dot!). Then each student showed the other class their dots. After the skype session, all of the dots were cut in half. We mailed each other the half dots to create "buddy dots." Connecting with another class and becoming Dot Buddies was a really positive and fun experience. One we hope to do again.

Julie Colantoni's 1st graders had a lot of fun bringing their dots to life using iPads and colAR Mix which is an augmented reality app. First we printed out the template specially created for Dot Day and the kids worked in teams of two to color and decorate the dot with markers. Then the fun began. We had three teachers (Julie Colantoni, Randie Groden and Diane Horvath, our amazing technology integration specialist), help the kids use the iPads. Their dots turned into awesome hand-animated 3-D worlds. Talk about making our marks through collaboration and creativity!

Even more!

Boys and girls had a chance to create more dots in our library at the Make A Dot Center!

Planning our celebration

Art teacher, Joe Knaus and librarian, Randie Groden, began planning for this school wide event this past summer. We wanted to make our mark by encouraging Memorial students to be creative, to be brave and to be kind to each other. By having a Kindergarten and Grade 1 all-school read and through related art activities, we accomplished our goal. We all made our marks through reading, listening, creating, and collaborating. It was so much fun, we are already talking about our celebration for next September 15th-ish!

For more information: and