Saturday, 11 May 2013

I love you mom!

Dear mom
I just want to tell you that I love you!

Team Jelleybean has continued to amaze and inspire all as they worked diligently to prepare this special message for mom.

The beginning stage challenged them to create their own artistic interpretation from a simple provocation of a bouquet of flowers.  Each student meticulously worked through the same artistic plan we have developed over the year, taking time to draw with pencil first (re-visiting and adding more detail when necessary), outlining with black marker and finally painting with watercolour paint.  You have seen that the results are fantastic!

Conversations followed as students shared with each other what is special about their mom.  Some were encouraged to independently record these thoughts, using various writing strategies.  Others worked together with an adult, sharing the pen as they recorded the  students ideas. 

Thinking like a mathematician, team members then faced the problem of figuring out how many sticks would be needed to make the frames for each painting.  We needed to know if we had enough sticks for everybody to make a frame.  Some worked on "How many sticks would you need for you and 2 friends to make their frames?"  Some worked on "How many sticks would you and 1 friend need to make your frames?"  Some worked on "How many sticks would you need to make your frame?"  In each case students were challenged to share their thinking, some orally and many by representing this to share with a group during a math meeting.

The final step was to take the special thoughts about mom and record them on the sides of the frame.

Finally, once all the parts to this special gift were ready, this movie was created.

We hope you enjoyed this tribute to mom.


  1. Thank you team jelleybean for your beautiful tribute to mom. You worked very hard in creating such wonderful masterpieces. EA was so excited as we watched your movie together. I loved hearing her special thoughts about me and all your messages to mom. Great job team jelleybean! :)

    1. Thank you for your comments. I so appreciate hearing feedback from parents in our classroom. EA was one of the first to complete her mother's day gift, demonstrating her absolute love for her mom (wanting to make something memorable) and as always her attention to detail in her work. Thank you too for the support you always give to Team Jelleybean! I created this blog hoping parents would feel a greater connection to their child and what is happening in our classroom. Cheers to Team Jelleybean (students and parents).

  2. Hi Heather,
    I truly enjoyed watching your special tribute to all of the wonderful Mom's of your students! I loved how you integrated math, art, language and creativity all in one incredible activity! Your students and parents are so lucky to have you as their teacher! Thank you for sharing your work and continuing to inspire not only me, but many educators daily!
    Warmest regards,

    1. Hi Jocelyn
      Thank you so much for your comments and kind words. It was an engaging journey to say the least....I must admit I was pleased how the integration of all the different areas of the curriculum flowed seamlessly together for this special gift. Students were motivated each step of the way knowing their efforts were all in celebration of their mom. I do appreciate comments from educators such as yourself who are passionate about creating a learning environment that connects directly to the world of the children you teach.

  3. Heather, I love what you created here! What a great way to combine art and oral language. I'm sure that all of the mothers enjoyed their special gift.

    Thank you for sharing what you did on your blog as well. Now others can be inspired to try something new. I'm going to share your post with some Kindergarten teachers that I know. I think that they may enjoy your idea for next year.

    What words of wisdom would you offer to others that want to try this activity? Is there anything that you would add or change about this activity? I'd love to hear your reflections too! :)


  4. Hi Aviva
    As always I appreciate your comments. This project took some time to complete, something which my students seemed to be far more accepting of due to our focus this year of 'slowing down the process' and doing our best work.

    The different parts seemed to flow naturally, with focus on the arts to start (artistic interpretations in connection with a simple provocation), literacy (writing/expressing thoughts about mom) and math (how many sticks for each frame) followed.

    It is not often that all students are required to complete the same task but in this case it was a given, since everyone had a special person to give a "Mother's Day" gift to. If a student had more than one significant caregiver in their life, there was the option to create more than one gift with the message for each directed to that specific person. Some students chose to do a few different artistic representations and then chose which one was their favourite to go into the frame.

    Students were engaged each step of the way, realizing that in order to give a complete gift no part could be left out . The math challenge as indicated in earlier post was tailored to each group to make it manageable.

    Writing messages about mom, knowing the messages would be included in the gift and recorded, gave students a purpose for the task. Writing their message on the frame sticks was challenging and we realized early in the process that it was better to write it in pencil, then go over message with Sharpie marker before painting. By writing in pencil if a mistake happens it can be easily erased and re-done before traced. Also some messages were too long for sticks and has to be 'modified' to fit. However the recorded messages were as written.

    The recording was interesting. You can hear quiet voices in the background in many cases. All I did was to call "recording" and students knew to lower their voices to a whisper while their peer talked about mom. All were very respectful of each other when it came to this step of the process.

    For my little ones who are still working on expressing thoughts and ideas, holding thoughts and ideas, a simple message "I love you mom" was built with word cards from our word wall and then they practiced saying the message before recording.

    Hope this helps. It was a long journey (took some foresight to predict the time line) but a very worthwhile journey. Now we need to begin to think about "Father's Day"...........