Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dot Day Brings Together New Kindergarten Friends In Iowa Who Are Same, Same But Different

Dot Day is one of my most favorite days of the year.  With it comes creativity, fun, and wonderful new ideas on how to make our mark in our libraries and classrooms. 

Dot Day also brings lots of amazing connections and collaboration.  
Today we had one of those connections in the library for Dot Day.  Yesterday I sent a direct message to my friend Heather Klenke on Twitter and today we made the connection happen.  

Heather is one of the technology stars at Howard-Winneshiek School District.  I met Heather at the EdCamp Howard-Winn had last March.  My friend John Carver, who was the superintendent at Van Meter, is now the superintendent there.  He invited my family and I to come to EdCamp over Spring Break last year. I met Heather and so many other great people.  

We decided to connect our little ones today.  I had Lynn Caltrider's kindergarteners and Heather found Julie Franzen's kindergarteners at Crestwood Elementary in Cresco too. 
Since both of our classes had already read The Dot we read Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw.  This is one of the best books to read during a first virtual connection.  

Before we read the book, I spoke to all of the kids in Cresco and Van Meter about how we all make a different mark on the world even though we are "same, same but different."  
We read the book and shared Jenny's beautiful illustrations.  The little ones loved the story and by the end were saying "Same, Same but Different" too.  

We also created some really awesome art work to go with our connection.  We gave each child a 7-inch circle.  Within their circle, the student would draw and color what their life looked like.  What makes them different? What makes them the same? What do the find in their story?  

When they had created their dot, we would then cut them out of paper and in half.  We'd send one half of the circle to Cresco and keep one half of each circle with us.  They would do the same.  When we got the dots back, we would then assemble them on black paper to be displayed in the library.  

What a statement these Same, Same but Different DOTS will make!  
The students created their stories on the dots that were around the room on the tables.  They did a really nice job and we cannot wait to get the other half of the Cresco Dots!  
When I got home I looked at all of the dots...
and mailed one half of each to Cresco Elementary.  
These little ones in Mrs. Caltrider's class created really awesome dots today!  I am excited to see what all of their new dots look like too. 
You and your students can also check out Jenny's website.  She has put together lots of valuable resources.  
But my favorite part of her website is the "Travel Behind-the-Scenes" for Same, Same but Different.  It is the first of many connections between our two schools and friends.

Today the kindergarteners will remember their first time celebrating Dot Day by seeing that they all do make their mark on the world.  Just wait until we receive half of Crestview Elementarys dots and put them together around the library.

You will see.....The mark we leave on the world is truly Same, Same but Different.


  1. This is awesome, Shannon. What a great idea to do with little ones! I may have to find that book--can think of a few ways to use it with my high schoolers too!

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