Sunday, September 20, 2015


We just celebrated International Dot Day at school.  If you have not had a chance to read The Dot by Peter Reynolds, it needs to be on your list!  It is all about making your mark and seeing where it takes you.  Every year on September 15th ish people around the world celebrate International Dot Day!

To prepare for Dot Day this year we made Dot Themed shoes. Super easy! Found my shoes at Wal-Mart (just need canvas shoes) and used puffy paint.  I also bought circle dobbers, but you could also use a ton of different dot shaped items.

For the past 3 years we have celebrated Dot Day at school.  There were a ton of awesome dot themed shirts that came to school that day, and our event was a success!
We had several stations that students could work through:

Participants grabbed an old cd and a paperplate.
Put the cd on the paperplate and painted both the plate and cd
Once dried participants could take off the cd and there would be negative dot on the paper plate

Participants took a die cut plain dot and decorated it in the style of
Van Gogh or Piet Mondrian

Download the Quiver app (android and iphone) and print off the Dot coloring sheet
participants were able to color their own dot and then have it come to life by using the Quiver app

-Dot Photobooth
I mean, how can you pass up a photobooth!
-Pasta Jewelry
Our amazing art teacher dyed a ton of pasta! (and got everything set up for this event!)
Participants had a chance to rotate through this station and make necklaces or bracelets that had dot shapes in them

I love watching students and parents create together.  What better way to do that then with the reminder that we want everyone to make their mark.

To get our administration ready for Dot Day we had some Dot Day shenanigans in their office!

This week I had a fellow teacher bring me this beautiful piece of artwork.  She told me that she watched my #summerofcreating and decided to do her own.  She did a few pieces, but after doing this one she wanted me to have it. (not going to lie.. had a few tears.. and I now have it displayed in my room!)
Have you celebrated Dot Day?  What are your favorite things to do?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Champion for Educators

New routines, new students, new teachers… can only mean a new year!  I recently began my 14th year (oh my goodness... only 14!) in a school district. At the beginning of the summer I chose my word for the upcoming year. Champion.  I blogged about it here I rewatched one of my favorite Youtube videos by Rita Pierson: Every Kid needs a Champion, and I started my school year.
And, I just published a new blog post about how important I think the word, “Champion,” is to our students on the Association of Texas Public Educators (ATPE) blog. Check it out!

By the way, this blog post was sponsored by ATPE, but the words and opinions are 100% mine!

The first week of school I reminded myself to think about my word for the year, “Champion,” as I worked with new teachers.  I wanted to be a Champion for them and help them realize how important they are to our school.  I wanted to be a Champion for the returning teachers to help them see their value to the students and the classroom.  I also wanted to be a Champion for myself and do things that were going to make me perform better and feel better. While I am working on being a Champion for those people around me, I know that I am a part of an association that is being a Champion for Texas Educators.
Fourteen years ago I began my teaching career in a small school district.  I joined the ATPE because you are supposed to make sure that you are covered by a professional association… right?  I made sure that I signed up every year knowing that if I was ever faced with a need to be covered legally I would be.  As I have grown in my profession I learned that ATPE was so much more than legal coverage.
Here are a few of my favorite ways ATPE is a Champion for Texas educators:
· By always having Texas Educators in mind.  ATPE advocates for Texas Education! Check out the ATPE Advocacy page
· By keeping us informed.  Have you checked out to research the education stances of candidates for the State Board of Education and the Texas Legislature? (Even better? There are no endorsements--just information!)
· By having a huge amount of resources availabe.  This includes online trainings and book studies.
· By having amazing benefits and discounts for just being a member (did I mention there are matching funds from available too???)
ATPE encompasses the word Champion in so many ways, but it also consists of Champions.  
ATPE is a member-owned and member-governed association that is full of passionate educators.
When people hear the word Champion many automatically think of sports or winning a competition.
I prefer: Champion: a person who fights for or defends any person or cause. My word for this year is “Champion.” I am going to be a Champion for myself and others and know that ATPE is my Champion everywhere else!

Are you a member of ATPE? Do you have a power word each year?