SchoolArts Magazine

September 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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F O C U S I N PAGE SPONSORED BY: CONTINUED ON PAGE 45. Making Our Mark on Dot Da Elementary students make their marks on a paper-covered table. B y now, you have probably heard of International Dot Day (Sep- tember 15), inspired by the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. The Dot tells the story of an art teacher who reaches out to a frus- trated student by daring her to "make a mark." The student begins with a simple dot on a piece of paper which her teacher proudly hangs on the wall. This encouragement leads the student to inspire others. International Dot Day Since 2009, Dot Day has grown into a day when art teachers and classroom teachers around the world focus on the dot as a symbol of bravery, cre- ativity, and self-expression. I have the intention of celebrating Dot Day every year, but with it being so early in the year, I struggle to fit it in. This year was the same until Hurricane Harvey hit our area. We had three days of school and then we were out for two weeks. There was so much destruction and trauma that students were facing. I was challenged with planning a lesson for my students that not only got them back into the swing of things, but Michele Rose for no reason other than they could. Then we brainstormed ways we could use those experiences to inspire or help others. I posed the question: "What nice things could we do for someone for no reason other than to be nice?" Making Their Marks After our discussion, students got down to making their marks on the paper-covered tables. They looked at different pictures of dots and I dem - onstrated making different-sized dots with the paint. At first, I let students choose their own color of paint, but that was too chaotic with all of the moving around, so after a while I chose a team leader at each table. The team leader moved the paint and brushes to the next table. The same students painted with all the colors at the same table. Only the paints moved. Every day I let the dots dry overnight and then removed them from the tables and trimmed them down. I have a six- day rotation with six classes per day, so that meant that students in kinder - garten through fifth-grade all painted on the dots over six days. At the end of allowed them to have a little fun and express themselves in a creative way. Introducing the Dot Our first day back, I hit the ground running and had cut brown kraft paper to fit each of my round tables. I taped the paper to the underside of the tables so it wouldn't move around as students worked on it. I also had containers of tempera paint and brushes ready to go. We watched The Dot on www. tumblebooks.com and talked about the themes of creativity and bravery as we related it to their recent experiences with the hurricane and flooding in our area. We discussed how, in the book, the student was inspired by her teacher, and she inspired someone else in turn. We related that to how people in Houston helped one another during the storm Dot Da as grown into a da hen art teachers and classroom teachers around the world focus on the dot as a s mbol of braver , creativit , and self-expression. 42 SEPTEMBER 2018 SchoolArts

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