Connecting the dots

A few months ago I wrote a post about the work of Peter H. Reynolds. The discovery of this author, filmmaker and artist was a really good one for me. To quote from my original post:

” Peter H. Reynolds. If ever there was a person who was saying just what I thought and have always thought about creativity, potential and the need to find the inner-passion and ability within yourself, then here he was.

Peter is very much a polymath, a writer, illustrator, I.T. specialist and the founder of an amazing film company called Fablevision.”

Imagine my delight therefore when I was looking at a Tweet from the inspirational  Shannon Miller from Van Meter Schools in Iowa:

Shannon Miller
shannonmmiller Shannon Miller

Today The Students Made Their Mark….On Each Other, The World, and ME! from the #vanmeter Library VOICE http://ow.ly/6orvG @MrSchuReads

I went to the post and heard how Shannon got a group of her older students to prepare a “dot” display from scratch.The post has some great photos and I absolutely loved the collaboration, creativity and especially the spontaneity of the whole thing (as Shannon says, it just happened and wasn’t in her Google Diary for that day!)

I decided to look up YouTube to see whether they had a video of “The Dot” and made the discovery about “The Dot Project”

Here was another exciting idea.. to use “The Dot” as a basis for some computer art using iPads for 1st graders!

To quote their wonderful site:

“As part of our reading program, Mr. Colosi’s First Grade class read the book “The Dot,” by Peter Reynolds.  Students were so inspired by the book’s message of uniqueness that they decided to create art in a brand new way.  Using the classroom iPad, each student sketched their own “dot” using the Drawing App app.  Using this unique app, students were able to draw with crayons, paints, and markers to make original artwork that could be shared with the world!  Want to see the Dot Art Gallery?  Well just click on the admission ticket!”

I would recommend that you click on the admission ticket.. it is free but is also a powerful example of how some very fortunate children in Grade 1 are able to access technology, share their creations with each other and the world, read a great book by an inspirational author which teaches them about making their mark on life (whatever it is) and in both this example and the Van Meter one, there is no talk about grades, levels, tests or standards…… it is about learning, growing, creativity… the very things that these children will need if they are to survive and thrive in the future.

I will end this post by saying that September 15th is International Dot Day which was the reason for Shannon’s display work. To quote the site:

Every year on September 15, innovative educators around the world celebrate International Dot Day by making time to encourage their students’ creativity. After the last International Dot Day, we were overwhelmed by wonderful stories about the “outside-the-box” activities educators invented for their students. The time is here again — this year, we encourage even more kids and grown-up kids to “make their mark” in new and exciting ways!

If you are inspired in any way by the video, the blog post or the original book then why not join your class in with the fun on the 15th?

 

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