Sharing this reflection from teacher Annette Nelson:
At Silver Oaks recently, we celebrated “thinking outside the box” and “coloring outside the lines” for Dot Day, a day set aside by teachers in mid-September to encourage students to make their own mark on the world.
The story behind Dot Day is that teacher Terry Shay read the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds to students on September 15, 2009 and encouraged them to make their mark on the world.
It's a lovely book about a girl in art class who thinks she can't draw. Her teacher encourages her to just make a dot on the paper and then treats it as a work of art. Once the girl sees her dot framed above her teacher's desk she is inspired to make even more dots.
It’s wild that International Dot Day has become a phenomenon celebrated in 183 countries! Students all over are encouraged to harness their creativity, make their mark, and see where it takes them. It seemed like just the sort of thing that the SOCS community wants to celebrate.
Empowering the Artist
One thing I did before we started was to share with the students some “best practices” for painting, from the amazing, hilarious art teacher Cassie Stevens. We used watercolor paints but the rules are generally the same. Dip your brush in the water, wipe it on the lip of the cup, dip it in the paint and go for it!
The paint brush needs to dance on it's tippy-tippy-toes across the paper because no one wants to go to the booty-scooting-ballet! That ruins the brushes and makes for less detailed artwork. To ensure students remembered the rules, I dressed as a ballerina and danced around. It was a hit!
Since it was dot day, each child got a paper plate and painted concentric circles (or whatever they were inspired to do) to make their own "dot." The kids loved it! And, even though everyone had the same basic supplies, the variety they came up with was something to see.
P.S. You can purchase the book here.