The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is a story about a little girl named Vashti. In the beginning of the story, Vashti is troubled and frustrated. Art class is nearly over and her paper is blank because she believes that she can't draw. Vashti's teacher encourages her humorously to at least put a dot on the paper and then to sign it. The next day, Vashti returns to class to find that the teacher has posted her artwork above her desk in a swirly gold frame. Inspired, Vashti sets out to make even better dots, and by the end of the story is confident enough to encourage others in the same manner in which she had been inspired.
I love this story because it encourages students to at least try, even when they think something is too hard. I especially love the role the teacher plays in the story, and I'd like to think that I have affected some of my students similarly throughout the years.
Here's how I've incorporated the story into my classroom this year. Last winter, during the holidays, I found this at my local JCPenney store:
This is just a pad of paper but each page looks like a swirly gold picture frame. I bought it and knew just what to do with it in my classroom!
Now, remember, my room is all owlicious this year:
So, I created a space where I can hang my students' work in such a way that they, too, could be inspired. I call it my "Owl"standing Work area!
|Forgive the ugly yellow tile work. It comes with the ancient building.|
Each student has a laminated frame and can hang their graded work on it here in the hallway for all to see. I am making each student responsible for choosing what goes onto the frame. I want to make sure students aren't choosing things just because of the grade they got. Therefore, I have created an "Owl"standing Work Application.
When a student decides that a graded, returned paper or art piece is worthy of the wall they must fill out an application. Really, it's a chance for the student to tell me what they have learned in the piece. The application is going to be my first FREEBIE! Click here to download it from my new TpT store! I hope you can use the story and my ideas to inspire students in your classroom!