We celebrated our first ever International Dot Day with connections with four different schools in two different states.
My biggest regret is that Dot Day is so close to the beginning of our school year here. This week is only my second time with my classes, so our preparation was pretty minimal. The art teacher read The Dot to all classes and is working on assorted art projects with them, but she’s in much the same boat as me as far as getting anything of substance done in time.
Also, because school just opened, my library is still not completely back to normal from the summer construction. My teaching station and Smart Board are not working yet, so we had to Skype with my iPad. Less than ideal, but we made the best of it. In fact, I would have to say that the best part of this experience has been watching the kids as they connected with the other other schools. Since we were using my iPad, I had an up close view of my kids faces as the conferences occurred and I loved watching their expressions. The kids were mostly very patient with the fact that they had to crowd around the tiny screen and I took a few screen shots during the actual conferences for them to look at later.
Not only did we learn about other places and schools, one of our partner schools told us about a wonderful iPad app called colAR mix which makes 3D animations of pictures that you color. This app became a prime attraction during our Open House this week as I printed extra copies and invited people to try it out.
On the one hand, it was great to have such an exciting event so early in the year. The parents were pretty impressed at Open House and the kids are excited for future collaborations. These are really positive outcomes.
The downside is that I feel like I’m going backwards now. There are still some beginning of the year routines that we need to establish because the first two weeks were all about Dot Day. And, now Banned Books Week is here. This may end up being the year we skip establishing routine. I guess we’ll see how that goes.