This Valentine's Day we invite you to take a look at how we creatively plan a standards-based Valentine's Day party. In a classroom with 30 students and little parental help, it can be a challenge to hold a class party that won't leave you with a mess of leftover junk food and a classroom turned upside down by overly excited little people. Here is how we prepare for the big day.
Prior to Valentine's Day, we assign family homework. Students and parents are given construction paper and a lovely mailbox printable and asked to design a mailbox. This allows us to save class time for the exciting activities we have planned. We also inform parents of the number of students in our class and ask that students not address their valentines to anyone in particular. As long as students sign their names on the cards, the recipient will know who the valentine is from.
Since writing a friendly letter is a standard in 2nd grade, it ties in perfectly with Valentine's Day. The project we are about to describe can take quite awhile to complete, but the setup is virtually effortless, with the exception of having to make a lot of copies.
For this project, we give the students the task of writing a friendly Valentine's Day letter to each of their classmates. We use a template so that students have a visual reminder of the letter format. They have to write just one or two sentences describing what they like about the student they address the letter to. It can be as simple as "I think you are nice." We write about two letters a day, so this requires some planning ahead.
Once all the letters are completed, we use a piece of construction paper to create a book cover and the envelope template to address the letters to each student. The students are so excited to get their book of letters telling them how awesome they are. It is quite the self-esteem booster!
We like to run our class party like a center rotation. We divide the class into equal groups, and each group spends 15–20 minutes in each of the six stations we set up. We got some of the craft ideas below by looking at photos on Pinterest.
At one station, students make a bee and place the Valentine's Day words in alphabetical order.
In another, students have the opportunity to make a Valentine's Day card and practice sentence word order at the same time. Students are given the mixed up words to the sentence, and they have to glue the words in the correct order to form a complete sentence.
To practice what they have learned about contractions, students receive two words and have to write the the contraction formed with them.
This math-based station requires students to decorate a headband. First graders have to create a pattern with the different colored hearts, and 2nd grade students use the colored hearts to practice fractions and show what they know about parts of a group.
Finally, we create a candy heart-graphing center that requires students to graph candy hearts according to their colors.
After students rotate through the centers, we spend about the last 20 minutes of our day passing out valentines and enjoying a small snack.
We would love to hear some of your ideas for Valentine's Day activities. Please comment below.