We are continuing our week-long celebration of connecting with learners in other parts of the country. Today, we read The Dot with students in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas, and Vermont.As part of our week-long Dot Day celebration, we have been listening to The Dot song. It is very catchy. (I now find myself humming it, regardless of whether it is actually playing.) Instead of listening to the song after reading the story and while creating projects, we listened to it before reading the story. It proved to be an effective way to connect with our new friends in Texas.
Listening to The Dot Song with students at Curtis Elementary in Texas.
Reading The Dot with students at Curtis Elementary in Texas.
I didn't record the conversation after these two experiences, but it was great. Fourth graders and first graders listened, shared, and learned.
Our other Skype visits with the students of Donna MacDonald in Vermont, Jenny Lussier in Connecticut, and Randie Groden in Massachusetts went equally as well. I am continually impressed with the students in my school and theirs. They are learning how to address a group, how to share their ideas, and how to engage in a virtual conversation. Many times today (and throughout this week), I noticed my students raising their hands to respond to a student or a teacher in the other classroom. They see this as a seamless learning environment. How cool is that? We are building learning communities outside our four walls.
Today's Dot Day celebration theme brings me back to The Dot Song. The second line of the refrain says, "make a mark and watch it splatter." It is an accurate way to describe the magic of these Dot Day connections. Our connections are like splatters of paint: like the contact between paint and paper - something new is created, but like those splatters, they are not perfect, because that does not matter. What matters is the connection. Our Dot Day connections are also a bit like a splatter because there are unexpected connections and moments of beauty and chaos. And finally, they are like a splatter because one never knows where these marks - these opportunities to meet other learners and and establish connections - might lead.
So, during this Dot Day celebration....