As I prepare to return to school for the new academic year and welcome my new Foundation class to our school, I can’t help but feel excited. Usually September focuses on establishing routines, settling in to school life and base-line assessments, but this year will be slightly different for us.
My Early Years group of Apple Distinguished Educators in America are already a few weeks in to their school year and we are about to embark on a year of collaboration and projects between our classes. The first of these projects, which is a great ‘getting to know you’ exercise for my own class but also for all of our classes, is called ‘International Dot Day’.
This festival of collaboration is inspired by children’s book ‘The Dot‘ and the project intends to link your class with many other international classrooms to boost confidence and social skills through a whole host of wonderful activities. The teachers guide for International Dot Day is one of the most forward thinking free guides I have ever seen, featuring great links to technology. I am most excited by the adoption of Skype in the Classroom and the range of apps and art activities which are described. Also, this summer at the Apple Distinguished Educators Global Institute many of us fell in love with the app ‘Paper’ by 53. This app is great for sketch-noting but is also a wonderful art app with a great water colour tool. I’m excited to see what digital art the children create with this app. For us, this will probably become International Dot Week. Or Fortnight. There is so much to choose from!
You can watch an animation of the book here:
Last year we set up our Foundation 2 Unit with ‘Marvellous Me’ squares around our carpet area to collect and display work, photographs and quotes. These squares displayed the uniqueness of our children and illustrated the progress they made throughout the year. These squares were favoured by our moderation team at the end of the year. International Dot Day will be a great addition to this display this year!
Be sure to sign up to International Dot Day to download the teachers pack and link up with other classes already involved in the project. This is going to be a good week and a great way for my class to get to know our friends in America, Ireland and Italy as we embark on our iTunes U project ‘Connecting Classrooms Across Continents.‘