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February 2, 2017

# 5 Fun Learning Activities for Valentine’s Day

When we polled our student body about their favorite holiday to celebrate in school, many of us were surprised that Valentine’s Day came out on top. In our school it’s a simple, low-key celebration highlighted by passing out Valentine cards, doing a craft, and getting candy so I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised — what’s not to like? Kids usually arrive at school on the day of the party, however, in a high state of anticipation and excitement. Because of this, I’ve found it’s fun to fill our day with engaging, heart-themed activities. This week I’m happy to share with you a few of the activities I’ve done in my classroom that have kept my students learning while they eagerly waited for party time.

## Story Element Graphic Organizer for Any Book

No matter your favorite Valentine book, this graphic organizer will fit. You can use it following a whole-class read aloud, small-group lesson, or just print and copy for use during independent reading time.

## Story Starter Writing Prompts

Each year I have students do some Valentine Day writing during our language arts block. I print a copy of the prompts below and give students about 35 minutes of writing time. You can also save resources by displaying the paper on the interactive whiteboard for all to see.

This Scholastic Printable stationery is perfect for these writing prompts! Just download and print and you are ready to go!

## Heart-y Graphing Activity

I never loved the taste of conversation hearts as a kid (or now) but their usefulness in the classroom can’t be denied!

Each year I normally buy my students the individual boxes of the candies. First, students write a survey question about their candies for their classmates. They then use the data to create two different graphs. The timing of this is perfect each year as we are just wrapping up our measurement unit in math. To get the complete instructions, check out my post, "Cupful of Valentine Fun: STEM Kits to Challenge Your Class."

Other ideas for using conversation hearts in your classroom:

·       Figure out the fractions each color represents in the box, such as 4/18 are yellow, 3/18 are green, etc.

·       Write a story using the sayings on the hearts in lieu of words. Share these silly stories with the whole class.

·       Make arrays to demonstrate multiplication facts and area.

·       Divide the sayings into parts of speech. Label each section noun, verb, adjective or adverb.

## Easy Valentine Bulletin Board

Each year during the first week of February, I create a simple love-themed bulletin board that brightens our room during the dreary winter. Whenever I do this activity, I am impressed with how reflective my students become while they decided what love is to them.  To get started, we share some of our thoughts and ideas about what fills our heart with love as a whole class. While some students always think initially that …when my mom buys me the toy I want is the true meaning of love, most quickly are able to dig deeper for more heartfelt responses.

After students complete the heart, they complete a sheet with one of our Visible Thinking routines, Color, Symbol, Image. This activity has students consciously thinking about what they wrote, then apply imagery and explanations.  When students have completed both sheets, display them on bulletin board for peers and parents to see.

## STEM PROJECTS

I normally like to do a day-long STEM project in February.  Two that I’ve shared previously on Scholastic include my all-time favorites, the Valentine Candy Catapult and the plastic cup STEM Kits I created, which led to a day of fun-filled science and math. Check out the links above for complete directions.

I hope these activities provide inspiration for some fun activities you can do in your classroom during those first couple weeks of February

Thanks for reading and have a LOVE-ly Valentine’s Day with your class!

Genia

When we polled our student body about their favorite holiday to celebrate in school, many of us were surprised that Valentine’s Day came out on top. In our school it’s a simple, low-key celebration highlighted by passing out Valentine cards, doing a craft, and getting candy so I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised — what’s not to like? Kids usually arrive at school on the day of the party, however, in a high state of anticipation and excitement. Because of this, I’ve found it’s fun to fill our day with engaging, heart-themed activities. This week I’m happy to share with you a few of the activities I’ve done in my classroom that have kept my students learning while they eagerly waited for party time.

## Story Element Graphic Organizer for Any Book

No matter your favorite Valentine book, this graphic organizer will fit. You can use it following a whole-class read aloud, small-group lesson, or just print and copy for use during independent reading time.

## Story Starter Writing Prompts

Each year I have students do some Valentine Day writing during our language arts block. I print a copy of the prompts below and give students about 35 minutes of writing time. You can also save resources by displaying the paper on the interactive whiteboard for all to see.

This Scholastic Printable stationery is perfect for these writing prompts! Just download and print and you are ready to go!

## Heart-y Graphing Activity

I never loved the taste of conversation hearts as a kid (or now) but their usefulness in the classroom can’t be denied!

Each year I normally buy my students the individual boxes of the candies. First, students write a survey question about their candies for their classmates. They then use the data to create two different graphs. The timing of this is perfect each year as we are just wrapping up our measurement unit in math. To get the complete instructions, check out my post, "Cupful of Valentine Fun: STEM Kits to Challenge Your Class."

Other ideas for using conversation hearts in your classroom:

·       Figure out the fractions each color represents in the box, such as 4/18 are yellow, 3/18 are green, etc.

·       Write a story using the sayings on the hearts in lieu of words. Share these silly stories with the whole class.

·       Make arrays to demonstrate multiplication facts and area.

·       Divide the sayings into parts of speech. Label each section noun, verb, adjective or adverb.

## Easy Valentine Bulletin Board

Each year during the first week of February, I create a simple love-themed bulletin board that brightens our room during the dreary winter. Whenever I do this activity, I am impressed with how reflective my students become while they decided what love is to them.  To get started, we share some of our thoughts and ideas about what fills our heart with love as a whole class. While some students always think initially that …when my mom buys me the toy I want is the true meaning of love, most quickly are able to dig deeper for more heartfelt responses.

After students complete the heart, they complete a sheet with one of our Visible Thinking routines, Color, Symbol, Image. This activity has students consciously thinking about what they wrote, then apply imagery and explanations.  When students have completed both sheets, display them on bulletin board for peers and parents to see.

## STEM PROJECTS

I normally like to do a day-long STEM project in February.  Two that I’ve shared previously on Scholastic include my all-time favorites, the Valentine Candy Catapult and the plastic cup STEM Kits I created, which led to a day of fun-filled science and math. Check out the links above for complete directions.

I hope these activities provide inspiration for some fun activities you can do in your classroom during those first couple weeks of February

Thanks for reading and have a LOVE-ly Valentine’s Day with your class!

Genia

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