Thursday, May 8, 2014

Not the same old Mother's Day gift

Allow me to introduce one of my favorite-amazing-third-grade-teacher-friends, Juliet. She is the brains behind a very new TPT store: The Tech Crazy Teacher. I asked her to guest post today to show you the fabulous Mother's Day gift idea that she had for this year, since I haven't gotten anything together yet. PS: You'll be seeing a lot more of her soon *wink*.

Here she is...

I really struggle to find the right projects on Mother’s Day.  I think it is because I am a mom, and it means so much to me.  I want to give my students’ moms something special--something they will treasure and that still has an impact 10 years from now when their kiddo is going off to college and is moving out.   Maybe this overwhelming need to make an extraordinary Mother’s Day project is because it happens to be my son’s senior year, and I just want to hang on to his little handprints from Kindergarten and cry. 

Last year I watched almost all the students in my school parade out on the Friday before Mother’s Day.  I would say a good 80% of them were carrying a planted flower in various types of containers.  I am not dissing the plants and flowers.  Okay.  Okay.  Maybe I am anti-flowers because their life span in my care seems to be about 2 weeks. 

So what is a teacher to do?  Pinterest search.  Check.  Teachers Pay Teachers.  Check.  Examine what I did in the past.  Check.  Blogs.  Check.  Ask teacher friends.  Check.  I am still not really inspired.  What is left to do?  Create a project that combines some of the best elements from the other hundreds of Mother’s Day gifts I viewed.

I brought my camera to school and took photographs of my students.  I focused on close-ups of their faces.  Any camera can do this and almost all phones will take great pictures.  Here are a few tips to take a great picture. 
1.  If you are in the sunlight, use a flash.  This will get rid of shadows.  Find the shade if you can. 
2.  Get close.  A picture becomes more personal the closer you are. 
3.  Take more pictures than you need.  I delete more than I save. 
4.  Crop and resize pictures.  Most sites will let you upload a picture and then crop them for free. 
5.  Try making the pictures black and white.  Black and white pictures are timeless. 

Here is a good list of tips from Kodak on taking excellent pictures.

I then chose 2 of the pictures of each student to print out.  Cropped, turned black and white, and then sent off to my local photo shop.  (I used Walgreens.)

At Hobby Lobby (any framing shop), I bought some matting board.  They had about 20 12x12 boards in a package for less than $10.  I then added white acrylic paint, double stick tape, and ribbon to my cart.

I painted each student’s hands with the paint and had them make a heart with their fingers.  (See picture).  Then we placed their handprints on the matting board upside down so the heart would be right side up.

I added the pictures and had the students write, “I love you!” the date and their names on the mat.  Attach the ribbon and you are finished.

I LOVE the outcome of this project.  As a mom, I would so hang this up and keep it forever.  That is exactly what I was looking for.  It’s different.  It’s meaningful.  It’s personal, and I think it’s extraordinary. 


1 comment:

  1. Awesome idea, Juliet & congrats on your new adventure!!


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