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Making Your Mark- What Dot Day is All About

Despite great intentions and ahead of scheduled planning, our efforts to experience all things that are The Dot got off to what was most assuredly- a rocky start. For those of you unfamiliar with The Dot, it is a charming tale of a young girl, Vashti, who feels frustrated she is unable to draw during art class one day. With the simple solution of her teacher, "Make a mark and see where it takes you," Vashti quickly realizes she CAN create art- and quite well. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is a reminder that we all have talents and abilities- even when those talents and abilities seem hidden and dormant. 

The morning we were to read The Dot, I arrived to school with frenzied excitement. Over the course of the night, I had played out the lesson in my mind, along with all of the wisdom I would impart on my young learners. I was downright giddy when the bell rang and the first class began filing in. 

Then reality hit.

My VGA cord to connect the iPad to our projector was acting up so the fact that I'd downloaded the book (actually I'd downloaded the entire Creatrilogy Boxed Set by Peter H. Reynolds at yes! It's that good.) to my Kindle app on the iPad did not matter. The entire story was sideways despite numerous attempts to fix it. I'm sure there is some easy and logical explanation/fix... but at that moment I was in a panic. On top of which, two students declared they hated each other, one came in not feeling well, and another moaned that he'd rather use this "reading time" to read a "real book." 

Not exactly what I had in mind. At all. What to do?

I quickly realized that THIS is what The Dot is all about! It's the reality that we are all called to do something in this world we may not feel equipped to do. And that's okay! Things (Life) may seem to have gone awry somewhere along the way, our cords don't work right, we're upset with our friends, we need someone to comfort us and help us to feel better- what ever it may be- sometimes things just don't go as planned, and we tend to take a stab at it feeling frustrated and weary. But then, when the circumstances are framed just right, we realize it's okay. We find the courage and strength to move forward and continue to make the best of what we have, using our never-before-used skills we sometimes keep hidden away because we aren't too sure we know what to do with them... and we end up inspiring others. 

So after a quick reminder about what true friendship is all about, a snack to take the edge off of an upset stomach from not eating breakfast, and an agreement that if The Dot isn't hands-down a favorite after reading, we never have to use "reading time" for un-real (?!?) books ever again---- we read The Dot. (And it actually came up the right way once I plugged in the cord a billionth time; so we weren't looking at it sideways this time!) 

Needless to say- Vashti is now one of our favorite characters. We have referenced her several times in random discussions. My students have even gotten to know the enormously-talented, Peter H. Reynolds a bit through our class Twitter account. 

So, I leave you with this: today may be somewhat of an "off" day (maybe if you're like me it sometimes feels like an "off" week) and you may not feel like you have much to contribute, but don't doubt your abilities, your talents. Just make a mark... and see where it takes you! You never know when you'll inspire others doing it! 

*Be sure to read the next blog post on our #dotday activities! Students enjoyed setting goals and thinking about how they will make their mark on this world! 


  1. This is a fantastic post. Thank you for sharing. I love the way you looked at your day. I'm adding this to Stanley & Katrina's Dot Day linky:


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