Earlier this month I blogged about the upcoming International Dot Day on September 15th. The day finally arrived today and it has been fantastic!
A lot of preparation went in to the day. We actually began Dot Day on the Thursday before. Our children got to know the text well before the day came, and we had finished our individual dots by close of play on Friday. For the actual day, we enhanced our continuous provision areas with dotty resources which the children had access to indoors and outdoors all day long – an exciting blog post about this has been published on Alistair Bryce-Clegg’s blog here.
Our teaching points for Dot Day focused on taking our knowledge of the text from a classroom context and applying it to the wider world. “How will we make our mark on the world?”
This was a huge challenge with 4 and 5 year olds but I had great help to achieve it! At the Apple Distinguished Educator Institute last July, and early years group was formed and together we planned our International Dot Day. Using our iTunes U course ‘Connecting Classes Across Continents’ we uploaded and shared videos and books that our classes created.
First off, ADE Brittani Wilton (Kansas) uploaded a video of her class reading the story book so that we could listen to others read to us. They then showed their dots and explained how they would make their mark on the world. This got us talking about our ideas. Next I used MyStory app and each child had a page to make their digital dot. They recorded their ideas on to their page and I exported the book to iTunes U to be shared with the other classes. We also got to download and read the books coming in from the other classes around the world on this iTunes U course. You can see our book here too http://msty.me/1qZpxbm.
Once we had seen content from each class (Ireland, South Carolina, Kansas and Maine), we started our Skype calls. These were short calls to each class. We shared our dots, our mark on the world ideas and we also got to chat and ask questions about each other’s place in the world.
Yes. All of this in one day!
This was a great day for our classes to meet each other before we begin a year of collaborative projects together.
If you are interested in seeing the dot day experience that my class had, and watching our Skype call with children in South Carolina, visit our class blog here. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our iTunes U course too!