Fun classroom activities - or should I say potentially fun - can sometimes go awry. That's the case with Valentines Day celebrations. Let's look at it this way...can we design an event that has maximum potential to hurt children's feelings? I think so. This unfair event would have:
Package Valentines right
and see the benefit to
your classroom team
Of course, that's what we already have available to us in Valentines day...a classroom behavior management time bomb wrapped up in red-and-white bows.
For the reasons outlined above, this is a holiday classroom party that absolutely cannot be left to run without teacher oversight. Do you remember any not-so-fun classroom activities from Valentines trauma in elementary school? Let's save our kids from that...and build up our classroom community at the same time.
As you have seen on the school birthday party page, rules of conduct, firmly enforced, can turn any event into an extremely valuable lesson on politeness, sharing and gratitude. The same is true of your school Valentines party. And, as you'll see, we'll even be able to slip in some points of our spelling lesson plans!
Let your students and parents know the ground rules:
Obtain or create Valentines "mailboxes." These may be be as simple as paper lunch sacks with names and a little decoration or something a bit more elaborate such as origami boxes. Let students individualize their mailboxes with anything you have on hand, but limit the time spent on this; mailboxes don't fit into any curriculum of which I'm aware!
TIP: See if you can coordinate with your art teacher.
Notice that no one gets a special container and no gets to decorate their container in a special way.
Place the mailboxes or containers in alphabetical order around your room. Have the students take care of this organizational step.
As with all classroom parties, this one doesn't start until the last half hour of the day. The first step is for all students to sort their school Valentines party cards into alphabetical order...great skill practice and a touch of curriculum.
A few students at a time go down the alphabetical line of mailboxes and put a card from their alphabetized stack in each, then return to their seats. Other students continue to work on other standards-based work that is Valentines-themed.
Students bring their mailbox to their desk and, while enjoying a thematic and healthy snack such as strawberries, open up their cards one at a time.
Tip: Teachers should also call out "thank you's" when opening Valentines (you'll get a bunch of them).
Take some time to roam around during the classroom party because students will want to share Valentines they like. Remind students that Valentines are a special gift and we always say thank you for gifts.
In addition to the healthy snack, each child may have one or two candies from one of the cards; the rest of the candy goes home with them.
Fun classroom activities can be challenging to arrange in ways that benefit every child in your room and build up your community. But this process, with its equality of sharing and thankfulness, will create a Valentines day that all of your students will savor.
Click above to like this page. Click top-left button to like entire site. Comment below!