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International Dot Day is coming up on, around, or during the week of September 15-ish.

Every year, millions of students and educators connect on International Dot Day to celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration.

Getting involved in International Dot Day is easy. It’s free, flexible, and open to any classes from all around the world.

This ultimate guide to International Dot Day explains exactly what it is and how to participate. We’ve put together lots of examples from the educational blogging community and invite you to leave your own ideas in a comment.

About International Dot Day

International Dot Day began when Terry Shay introduced his class to Peter H. Reynold’s book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

Since then, this date has been celebrated each year as International Dot Day — a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

About the Book — The Dot

The Dot tells the story of a caring art teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way.

In Peter’s book, the teacher encourages the student to begin a journey of self discovery and creativity, starting with a simple dot on a piece of paper. Transformed by this journey, the student goes on to inspire others.

Don’t own the book? Here’s the story read aloud by Peter H. Reynolds.

How to Get Involved

Participating in International Dot Day is simple.

  1. Visit www.thedotclub.org/dotday Here you can read up on the day, find ideas, and connections.
  2. Sign up to participate. This is just a simple survey the organizers use to help plan events around International Dot Day.
  3. Explore the handbook. Once you’ve signed up, you can browse through the Dot Day participation handbook. This PDF guide has lots of ideas and a certificate for your students.
  4. Read the book to your class. If you or your library don’t have the book, you might opt to view a YouTube video or purchase the interactive online version. 
  5. Express yourself in any way. This is where you can get creative. Your dot theme can be incorporated into story writing, artwork, songwriting, photography, dance, cooking, performances or more. Remember, there are lots of ideas in the handbook.
  6. Publish! If you have a blog, this is the perfect platform to show the world how you have celebrated the day.
  7. Connect. International Dot Day is as much about celebrating creativity as it is about connecting and collaborating. There is a page on the International Dot Day website which has been set up to help you connect with others. There are links to a Google Doc and social media channels. There are many teachers looking to connect their class through their blog or Skype etc. Such wonderful possibilities for your students!

7 Steps To Participating in International Dot Day for Teachers Edublogs -- The Edublogger

International Dot Day Ideas For 2018

International Dot Day is something you can celebrate throughout your entire school, with your class, or by connecting with other classes around the world.

We looked back at how some of the educational blogging community celebrated International Dot Day in 2017 to provide you with some inspiration for your 2018 activities.

Here are 7 ideas from primary (elementary) and middle school classrooms worldwide.

You can find these ideas and more on our Pinterest board.

1) Google Hangouts

Amy Kincaid‘s elementary students met with three other classes via Google Hangouts during their library sessions for International Dot Day

They shared pictures, asked questions, and shared math story problems.

Read more on Amy’s Library Blog.

Ogle hangouts dot day images

2) Dot Day Circle Stories

Kevin Hodgson‘s sixth graders celebrated International Dot Day by writing Circle Stories.

These are short stories with either a circular object or a circular theme. They used the words to “paint” the stories into circles (or dots) using a free tool called Visual Poetry.

They collated their Circle Stories in a Padlet.

Find out more on Kevin’s class blog, The Electronic Pencil, and on his professional blog, Kevin’s Meandering Mind. 

Made with Padlet

Padlet books with dots

3) Kindness Rocks

Inspired by the Kindness Rocks movement, Mrs. Shemansky and her colleague did a rock painting activity with their middle school art classes.

The students ‘made their mark’ by painting two rocks each. One rock became part of the school rock garden and the second rock was hidden and shared with others.

Read more on Mrs. Shemansky’s Class Blog.

Mrs. Shemansky's rock project for Dot Day The Edublogger

4) Dotty Tours — Australia And The USA

Last year when I was working in Kelly Jordan’s class, I was involved in a Dot Day connection with Linda Yollis‘ class in California.

We did some dotty artwork where students decorated a circle then cut it in quarters and put it together with pieces from three other students’ circles.

There was also dotty writing, dotty dress-up day, and a Google Hangout with Linda Yollis to talk about the book and activities (time zones prevented us from talking to her students).

The students also made videos to show the other class around their school.

Here is the video Linda Yollis’ third grade students made to share with us for Dot Day 2017.

Read more on Miss Jordan’s Class Blog and Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog.

5) School-Wide Thinglink

Karen Arrington’s school has been participating in International Dot Day since 2011 and you can check out some of the creative ways her students have celebrated here. 

Dot Day was a school-wide affair in 2017. The activities involved design thinking, art, augmented reality, Flipgrid and more.

Karen compiled all of the great activities the students completed in a Thinglink.

Read more details on these activities on Karen’s Tech Tips blog. 

6) Skyping In-Person

Jen Bearden dot day art The Edublogger

Jen Bearden, Rachael Turken and their first grade students tried all sorts of things on International Dot Day. There was singing, dancing, artwork, and math.

See what these young students got up to on Jen Bearden’s blog, 20 Something Kids And 1 Kooky Teacher, and Rachel Turken’s blog, im 4 students. 

Jen Bearden dot day Skype The Edublogger

To share their creations, Mrs. Bearden’s class was going to Skype with Ms. Turken’s class next door as practice for future calls. Technical problems led to them doing ‘in-person’ Skype calls in a fun and creative way.

Check out all the action from their in-person Skype session on this blog post. 

7) A Dotty Day

Becky Versteeg and her Team 2 Eagles students had a busy Dot Day in 2017. After reading the story, they got some creative with some artwork and writing.

This video with The Dot author, Peter H. Reynolds, provided inspiration for their dotty creations.

Artwork dot day Team 2 Eagles The Edublogger

They then tried some dot day math with dominoes and finished the day with some music.

These lyrics are for a song that Peter H. Reynolds and Emily Arrow wrote for International Dot Day. Find the video and actions here.

Dot Day song lyrics The Edublogger

Shannon Miller’s Resources

Dot Day logoK-12 Teacher Librarian, Shannon Miller is a leader in the International Dot Day Community. A post on Shannon’s blog explains how you can connect and celebrate.

She shares a link to a Google Doc where people can add their details, schedules, and make connections. Shannon has also put together some Padlets with resources and picture books, plus Pinterest board.

Check out Shannon’s post for all the details and links.

How will you celebrate?

How will you make your mark on International Dot Day this year? Leave a comment and tell us.

Personally, I’m looking forward to connecting my students in a quad blogging Dot Day project with three other classes around the world. Check it out!

If you blog about International Dot Day, be sure to leave the link in a comment!

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