Augusta Golden May 8, 2021 Dot to Dot
Reynolds story, which has been translated into 22 languages including Braille, has been inspiring the creativity of students and teachers around the world. Reynolds has also been one of the main inspirations for teacher Angela Maiers, who began the World Movement Choose2Matter. What would happen if children and adults not only believed that they had the power to take on the world, but chose to use it? Maiers asked at her TEDx Conference in Des Moines, Iowa this August. She wholeheartedly believes that encouraging others and the self to understand that "You Matter" can make teachers and students more responsible and empowered. Reynolds teamed up with Maiers this year to kickoff the Dot Day event at the Boston Childrens Museum this Saturday. This year more than half a million students participating in 15,000 classrooms worldwide registered online for International Dot Day.
The event is inspiring creativity in the classroom worldwide: many teachers are reading Reynolds book aloud to their class, while some have been giving out certificates and dot candy as prizes. Elementary teacher Melissa Black is having her fourth graders use Pointillism (working with primary and secondary colors) and tiny dots to make paintings. She had her younger students start their artwork by gluing a paper dot of any size and color onto a piece of paper and learning to use the dot as a part of a bigger picture. Music teacher Judy Holloway is "Making Music with Dots" in her classes. She planned to use the notion of "sound dots" to relay basic lessons about rhythmic and melodic dictation while making the lessons fun and easy for her young students. "Third graders made colorful rhythmic patters and second grade wrote Do Re Mi on staff paper," Holloway wrote. "First grade will take colored markers and respond to music that is staccato (dots!) and legato by drawing designs on the whiteboard." Other teachers are having their students dot the equator and prime meridian on a map while they learn about latitude, longitude and other map skills. Some math teachers are using brightly colored dots in their lessons on arrays. In the computer lab, students are using Paint for Windows to discover where their dot takes them. Teachers are also sharing their plans with other teachers on the web; some are using Skype in the classroom and others are posting their ideas to the International Dot Day Facebook page.
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
To get coloured spots on a white background you can use ring binder reinforcement ring stickers. Again these are also readily and cheaply available from stationers. Just stick the reinforcement rings all over your pot, but instead of painting the background carefully paint the hole in the middle of the ring binder stickers and then peel the rings off when the paint is dry before glazing and firing. Stamping your Spots and Dots Instead of using your fingers at a stamp for dots and spots, your could use other round objects by immersing them in paint and dabbing them on your pottery. At craft shops you can buy various sponge tools called dabbers and daubers which also make round spots. Other household items you could use to stamp spots on your pottery are cotton wool buds, the end of your paint brush or the flat end of a pencil. The object does need to be clean and free from grease for starting each colour. With the cotton wool buds it is best to use a new one for each colour.
Teapots, mugs, plates covered in spots and dots are extremely stylish and popular at the moment. Emma Bridgewater has her Polka Dot design and visit any household section of department stores you will see lots of spotty and dotty pottery designs. But did you know there are several very simple ways suitable for all ages and abilities to of paint your own pottery with a dotty or spotty design. Finger print spots Your fingers make some of the best dots on pottery and ceramics, plus it is something even the youngest child with a bit of help can do. The only thing you need to do before starting your finger print dots is to make sure is that your fingers are clean and free of any grease. When you change colours make sure you clean your fingers well. A damp sponge to wipe your fingers on works quite well. The spots created with your fingers may not be perfectly round but they are unique, stylish and completely personal.
However, the temptation to stay within the walls of the fabulous HMV Ritz to see the very much buizzed about Dog is Dead was too much and proved not to be a disappointment. After a quick bit of tucker over at Oddest - a lovely little Oxford Rd bar with a fine selection of ales - it was time to get into the evening of the festival. The highlights of the night, which ran into the very early hours indeed, had to be the always entertaining The Drums at The Ritz, the incredible Lulu James over at Joshua Brookes and finally Islet at the Sound Control live lounge. It has to be said, that as the music shifted the latter hours at the club, things may have gotten a little blurry for some of us - but after a day like this I think its fair to say we deserved it.