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February 8, 2016 A Valentine Week You and Your Kids Will LOVE! By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Valentine’s Day (and the days that lead up to it . . .) can be very exciting for little ones! For kindergartners, it’s likely their very first Valentine’s Day party and my sweet kinders CANNOT wait to pass out their cards! With that said, teachers have to be ready to channel all that energy — and boy do they have a lot of it!

    I love holidays and the opportunities they provide for me to teach my students using wonderful themes. Although I attempt to stay on our regular schedule as much as possible, I try to plan engaging and fun activities to ensure this exciting week is as enjoyable for me as it is for my students. Here are a week's worth of activities for you to use as you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your own little sweethearts!

     

    A Crankenstein Valentine

    You are going to love A Crankenstein Valentine. Be warned though — this is not your ordinary valentine story! Crankenstein is back and is as cranky as ever on this Valentine's Day. Your kids will laugh uncontrollably as you read this story, but just wait until you see what happens when Crankenstein's mother gives him a brand new pair of heart undies: hilarious!

     

    We made these cute little Crankensteins and had a great time writing about and sharing things that make us feel cranky. If you would like your students to write about times when they feel cranky, you can use this Crankenstein template to get started.

     

    “Bee” Mine Craft

    I have to say that I am pretty much in love with these cute, little valentine bees! They are adorable, go perfectly in my bee-themed classroom, and the best thing of all: they are so quick and easy to prep and make! All you need is construction paper, die cut hearts, pipe cleaners (antennae), Sharpies, and googly eyes and you’re ready to go!

     

     

     

    Valentine Bags

    A couple of years ago I had an owl-themed classroom and we made these darling owl bags for collecting valentines during our class party. They took a lot of time to make, but the end result made it totally worth the effort. To make them, I cut the bodies out by hand, used a circle cutter for the eyes, die cut hearts for the wings (which also had to be painted), and valentine scrapbook paper for the heart in the center of the body. The students added their handprint wings. I thought they were the cutest owls ever!

     

    You can hang those festive valentine bees in your classroom or you use them to make valentine bags for your students to collect and take home all their valentine cards. I love using the sturdy bags you can find at your local craft store. They easily hold all the valentine cards and treats and you don’t have to worry about them tearing before the kids make it home. They are a bit spendy though, so if you want to save money, just buy white paper lunch sacks and those will work well too.

     

    Hugs and Kisses Math

    I always love an opportunity to graph in our classroom. In this activity, each child is given a Hug and a Kiss. After tasting each, they decide which one they like the best. As a class, we have a ton of fun collecting data, creating graphs, and analyzing the data we collect. Looks like the Hugs were the winner today!

    Another fun math activity I use often is called The Estimation Jar. My kids always get so excited when I fill it up. They look forward to Friday Funday when we usually have activities such as this. Since I already had Hugs and Kisses, I filled the jar with those. The kids get an opportunity to make an estimate of how many they think are in the jar. I record each child’s prediction for after we finish counting. They love to see who is the closest to the actual number, and every once in a while, I actually have someone guess the number!

    When we count the Hugs and Kisses, we count by ones and when we get to each ten, we make a group and label with the corresponding number. It is a great way to reinforce counting the relationship between numbers and quantities.

     

     

    Love You to Pieces Writing and Art Project

    This is a super easy craft that the kids love. Additionally, it is a really great way to improve control of the small muscles in their hands and develop fine motor skills. I love how colorful the hearts are and that each one is so unique, but what I love even more, is reading about the things they love the most: priceless!

    To make these hearts with your students, you will need one-inch strips of construction paper (variety of colors), heart template, and copies of my writing paper template. Have your kids use scissors to cut out the heart and then begin tearing the strips into little pieces to create their one-of-a-kind hearts! I just love how they look on our bulletin board in our hallway. Thanks to Mrs. Orozco’s class for helping us create such a fun and colorful display!

     

    Hearts and Handprints

    My daughter made this for me many years ago and I still LOVE and cherish it! Having attended the same school I teach at, she has spent many hours in my classroom after hours and on weekends when I had extra work to do. I cannot begin to tell you how many art projects she created as she patiently waited for me to finish my work so we could go home.

    This was the product of one of those times. Ally used watercolor paints on the background and when it dried, she painted her hands with tempera paint and stamped one handprint in each box. Lastly, she added hearts that she had previously watercolored to each of the hands. I love it, and I love her even MORE!

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite valentine activities. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and a week that’s filled with lots of fun, love and happiness!

    Please read my fellow Top Teaching bloggers' posts for more valentine fun:

    "Semi-Homemade Valentines for Busy Teachers"

    "Cupful of Valentine Fun: Stem Kits to Challenge Your Class"

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Hugs,

    Shari 

     

     

    Valentine’s Day (and the days that lead up to it . . .) can be very exciting for little ones! For kindergartners, it’s likely their very first Valentine’s Day party and my sweet kinders CANNOT wait to pass out their cards! With that said, teachers have to be ready to channel all that energy — and boy do they have a lot of it!

    I love holidays and the opportunities they provide for me to teach my students using wonderful themes. Although I attempt to stay on our regular schedule as much as possible, I try to plan engaging and fun activities to ensure this exciting week is as enjoyable for me as it is for my students. Here are a week's worth of activities for you to use as you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your own little sweethearts!

     

    A Crankenstein Valentine

    You are going to love A Crankenstein Valentine. Be warned though — this is not your ordinary valentine story! Crankenstein is back and is as cranky as ever on this Valentine's Day. Your kids will laugh uncontrollably as you read this story, but just wait until you see what happens when Crankenstein's mother gives him a brand new pair of heart undies: hilarious!

     

    We made these cute little Crankensteins and had a great time writing about and sharing things that make us feel cranky. If you would like your students to write about times when they feel cranky, you can use this Crankenstein template to get started.

     

    “Bee” Mine Craft

    I have to say that I am pretty much in love with these cute, little valentine bees! They are adorable, go perfectly in my bee-themed classroom, and the best thing of all: they are so quick and easy to prep and make! All you need is construction paper, die cut hearts, pipe cleaners (antennae), Sharpies, and googly eyes and you’re ready to go!

     

     

     

    Valentine Bags

    A couple of years ago I had an owl-themed classroom and we made these darling owl bags for collecting valentines during our class party. They took a lot of time to make, but the end result made it totally worth the effort. To make them, I cut the bodies out by hand, used a circle cutter for the eyes, die cut hearts for the wings (which also had to be painted), and valentine scrapbook paper for the heart in the center of the body. The students added their handprint wings. I thought they were the cutest owls ever!

     

    You can hang those festive valentine bees in your classroom or you use them to make valentine bags for your students to collect and take home all their valentine cards. I love using the sturdy bags you can find at your local craft store. They easily hold all the valentine cards and treats and you don’t have to worry about them tearing before the kids make it home. They are a bit spendy though, so if you want to save money, just buy white paper lunch sacks and those will work well too.

     

    Hugs and Kisses Math

    I always love an opportunity to graph in our classroom. In this activity, each child is given a Hug and a Kiss. After tasting each, they decide which one they like the best. As a class, we have a ton of fun collecting data, creating graphs, and analyzing the data we collect. Looks like the Hugs were the winner today!

    Another fun math activity I use often is called The Estimation Jar. My kids always get so excited when I fill it up. They look forward to Friday Funday when we usually have activities such as this. Since I already had Hugs and Kisses, I filled the jar with those. The kids get an opportunity to make an estimate of how many they think are in the jar. I record each child’s prediction for after we finish counting. They love to see who is the closest to the actual number, and every once in a while, I actually have someone guess the number!

    When we count the Hugs and Kisses, we count by ones and when we get to each ten, we make a group and label with the corresponding number. It is a great way to reinforce counting the relationship between numbers and quantities.

     

     

    Love You to Pieces Writing and Art Project

    This is a super easy craft that the kids love. Additionally, it is a really great way to improve control of the small muscles in their hands and develop fine motor skills. I love how colorful the hearts are and that each one is so unique, but what I love even more, is reading about the things they love the most: priceless!

    To make these hearts with your students, you will need one-inch strips of construction paper (variety of colors), heart template, and copies of my writing paper template. Have your kids use scissors to cut out the heart and then begin tearing the strips into little pieces to create their one-of-a-kind hearts! I just love how they look on our bulletin board in our hallway. Thanks to Mrs. Orozco’s class for helping us create such a fun and colorful display!

     

    Hearts and Handprints

    My daughter made this for me many years ago and I still LOVE and cherish it! Having attended the same school I teach at, she has spent many hours in my classroom after hours and on weekends when I had extra work to do. I cannot begin to tell you how many art projects she created as she patiently waited for me to finish my work so we could go home.

    This was the product of one of those times. Ally used watercolor paints on the background and when it dried, she painted her hands with tempera paint and stamped one handprint in each box. Lastly, she added hearts that she had previously watercolored to each of the hands. I love it, and I love her even MORE!

    I’d love to hear all about your favorite valentine activities. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and a week that’s filled with lots of fun, love and happiness!

    Please read my fellow Top Teaching bloggers' posts for more valentine fun:

    "Semi-Homemade Valentines for Busy Teachers"

    "Cupful of Valentine Fun: Stem Kits to Challenge Your Class"

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic Top Teaching if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, have fun with your kiddos, and I’ll see you here next time!

    Hugs,

    Shari 

     

     

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