Too often educators adopt a content coverage mentality to prepare students for high-stakes tests. They try to cram a ton of facts into students’ heads without engaging students in deeper, longer-lasting learning. International Dot Day and the Choose2Matter movement are opportunities for teachers, principals, superintendents and others to reject the content coverage mentality and articulate a more compelling vision of teaching and learning. With this vision, students commit themselves enthusiastically to work that makes a difference locally, nationally, and/or globally. Students learn the content and skills of the curriculum as they choose to matter.
Participation in International Dot Day can launch sustained efforts to support students as they do work that matters. Participation in Dot Day can generate excitement, extend understanding of the concept of choosing to matter, build community, and make connections. These examples illustrate the different ways schools can use participation in Dot Day to launch a year of doing work that matters:
- Students, teachers and administrators are making their own dots.
- High School students are Skyping with elementary school students for a read-aloud of The Dot and related activities.
- Multiple schools are planning aerial photographs of students and staff standing together forming a Dot, making their mark as a school.
- Visit the official Dot Day web site to learn more and view resources for instructional activities.Here are five steps you can take to participate in International Dot Day:
- Read Angela Maier’s blog post regarding connecting the dots to change the world.
- Sign your students up to participate in International Dot Day.
- Register for the Skype in the Classroom network to use videoconferencing to participate in Dot Day and followup activities throughout the year.
- Exchange ideas with others through Twitter using the #DotDay #Choose2Matter and #MakeURMark hashtags.
Participating in International Dot Day can be an effective part of engaging students in deeper, longer-lasting learning through projects that make a difference. When students learn the content and skills of the curriculum through these projects, we see that a content-coverage mentality that focuses on just exposing students to content is not the best perspective. So, join educators and students around the globe in connecting their dots to make a difference locally, nationally, and/or globally.