For every teacher that was distressed that Valentine’s Day landed on a Tuesday, don’t worry in 2020 it will fall on a Friday! I truly wish that was more comforting.
But hey, you survived.
I mean, no one is surprised that you survived because super-human and teacher are synonymous.
Valentine’s Day is not an official party day. That means, THE TEACHING MUST GO ON! But the hype is very real… as it should be! With increasing standards and pressure, our kiddos need a day to step out of the routine and learn through new, relevant, and engaging ways. Of course, the beloved V-day has already come and gone, but here are a few V-day activities that you might be interested in storing for WEDNESDAY, February 14, 2018 or THURSDAY, February 15, 2019.
Good Ol’ V-day Books
We started our morning by reading two different Valentine’s Day books. I read, The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll and Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell. We used a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the two stories. Students shared their favorite parts of the stories and made connections regarding how they could implement ideas from the stories into their Valentine’s Day at school. Of course, we discussed the authors’ purposes in writing the stories, what makes a fictional text, and the story elements.
The students wrote about all the things that they love on the day before V-day. The emphasis of the lesson was on using the word “because” to explain their thinking. For example, instead of writing, “I love my mom.” I encouraged the students to write “I love my mom because…” They did a great job! In my class, we call because the “magical” word because it adds great pizzazz to their writing.
On Tuesday, the students wrote about Valentine’s Day. This was a free, independent write. Students were encouraged to write about Valentine’s Day: what they expect to receive, what they expect to give, etc. Kinder writing about Valentine’s Day was and is a blessing. Almost every student wrote about how excited they were to pass out their valentines to their friends, give their mom a gift, or show love to someone that they care about. Rarely, were they concerned with what they would be getting. I was truly honored to witness their selflessness and excitement in regards to giving.
Conversation Heart Math
Conversation Hearts are an excellent resource when it comes to math on Valentine’s Day. My husband thought a mistake had been made when UPS delivered a five pound bag of conversation hearts to our front door… No mistake, one MUST have conversation hearts in math during the week of Valentine’s Day.
We started our math block with an adding and subtracting lesson. The hearts were used as math manipulatives while the students used expo markers on their tables to write the equations. I allowed students to be the “teacher” and make up their own story problems for their classmates to solve.
After using the hearts as manipulatives, The kids transferred their knowledge to paper. The students drew the number of orange, yellow, green, white, purple, and pink that they had on larger hearts. Then they created their own addition problems by gluing the hearts on construction paper as pictured below.
Conversation Hearts are also useful to reinforce graphing concepts. The best part of the lesson was when I asked the students to compare and contrast their graph with their partner’s graph. I loved listening to the kids discuss and analyze each other’s graphs.
“You had three more green hearts than me!”
“Don’t forget the title-you know, every REAL graph has a title!”
Arts and Crafts
Of course, we had to decorate sacks. Where else would the insane amounts of sugar be stored? I gave the kids complete creative freedom, but many students modeled their sacks after what they had seen in the V-day books.
And, this “I Love You to PIECES” craft is always a hit. Plus, it gives the kiddos some good-old fine motor practice.
Valentine’s Day in the classroom can be crazy–cupcakes, cookies, candy, etc… But embrace the crazy-excitement, and channel it into engaging, rigorous lessons that your students will enjoy. I truly thought that my students would go home talking about all of the sweets, cards, and treats that they received from their classmates, but at the end of the day, I asked my kids about their favorite part of the day, and they said…
But, their second favorite part of the day was WRITING! Their third favorite was GRAPHING. Gasp. Who said learning couldn’t be a party?
Teachers, hopefully these ideas can help you in some way. Way to embrace the crazy on a Tuesday! Let’s do it again next year… on a Wednesday.