Sunday, November 4, 2012

Connecting the Dots

Students from University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, Connecticut, in the course Computers in the Classroom, linked up with 5th graders from the Longfellow Elementary School, Columbia, Maryland, in celebration of International Dot Day. This day, celebrated on Sept. 15, is a way for students from around the world to connect.

Matthew Winner, the librarian at Longfellow, reached out to teachers, via Twitter and other means. He posted on his blog, The Busy Librarian, numerous ways to celebrate. These two posts are examples:
That's the project University of Saint Joseph student joined, linking up with fifth graders at Longfellow. The Longfellow students began by designing trading cards. Their cards were based on the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds in which a young child, afraid to be expressive, learns to open up and shares a dot that she has drawn, challenging others to make their mark on the world.

On the front side of the cards, the fifth graders draw a dot. On the back, they wrote an invitation challenging others. On a rainy Tuesday morning, the students Skyped with me, displaying their cards. Mr. Winner then mailed the cards to me to share with the Saint Joseph students, who designed their trading cards. The cards from both groups were organized into a final project, as captured in these two displays.

Reactions to this Dot Day project are welcomed. What ideas do you have for connecting classes? What are the benefits of International Dot Day? What other days or events lend themselves to cross-class sharing?