October 25, 2014
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First-graders create special video messages for Mother’s Day
Beacon photos by Jennifer Rodrigues
CAMERA-READY MOMS: The moms in the audience at Warwick Neck’s Mother’s Day Tea had their cameras and camera phones ready to capture their children’s musical performance and special tribute videos yesterday.

The moms of first-graders at Warwick Neck Elementary School received a special treat during yesterday’s Mother’s Day Tea, when special tribute videos made by their kids were shown.

Using the skills learned during computer programming and writing, each student put together a video slide show to tell their mom exactly what they loved about her. Each video had a song selected by the student, along with both family photos and Google images to represent the message featured on the screen.

“We gave them the sentence starters,” said first-grade teacher Tracy Mollock, explaining that the sentences were taken from their curriculum, tying the project to Common Core. “And they just finished it.”

Some of the sentences included what impressed them about their mom, what they admire about their mom, what they see when they look at their mom, fun memories and more. A number of kids were happy that their moms did the dishes, baked brownies, read them stories and cleaned the house. Others were impressed with their mom’s dancing skills, while others loved when their mom got the high score on a video game.

Almost every student also mentioned how their moms make them laugh, keep them safe, and love them no matter what.

Needless to say, every mom had tears in their eyes when their child’s video began to play.

This project began after the first-graders completed the Hour of Coding program, during which they learned basic computer programming skills.

“Your kids were amazing and impressed a lot of people,” said Mollock.

So, Mollock’s class along with Amy Dolan’s class came up with this new project to incorporate what they learned about programming and writing sentences to create something special for mom. Mollock explained that each student wrote their own sentences, put them into the presentation, selected family photos or found Google images to include, and made the slideshow work. They had been working on the project once a day for three weeks, and could not wait to show off the final product.

“You should know your kids did everything,” said Mollock. “We just went in and maybe fixed a few spelling errors.”

As the videos played, it was easy to see the pride beaming from both students and parents.

“This is fantastic,” said Laura Williamson after seeing her son Ben’s video for her. “It’s amazing to see how much they do in these classes with computers and the technology.”

“This is wonderful,” said Dawn Robinson, who filmed her son Cole’s entire video on her smart phone while it was being shown.

Mollock said one of the best parts of the final product is that even though many of the students chose the same song or the same sentences, each video is still unique.

“They’re all different, but each one has the student’s personality in it,” she said. “Some have funny songs cause they are funny kids. Others are more sentimental.”

Mollock added that it was a “labor of love” on behalf of her students, who put everything they could into the videos, wanting them to be perfect for mom. When one student’s video was accidentally deleted, her classmates rallied around her and helped her redo it.

“They really put in all the love for their mommies into this,” said Mollock.

In addition to the video presentations, the Mother’s Day Tea kicked off with the first-graders singing two special song and dance numbers for the audience.


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