Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whew! Goodbye to Valentine's Day and President's Day. I'm posting just a few things. I was absorbed with the holiday craziness going on and didn't even think about the blog - that's probably how it should be.

Valentine's Day is always huge with little ones and this year was no exception! We had a morning full of station activities that deceptively covered math and reading. Of course they did the candy hearts graphing activity and played a reading game called Broken Hearts where they pulled CVC words and sight words out of a decorated can (if you pull out a broken heart, you have to put all your cards back)! We broke some hearts... someone always feels sad having to return cards!

But the station I really wanted to share with you is one that I think may have come from Math Their Way (remember, I'm old) that our first grade teachers used to do for all sorts of occasions.
Because I have been using a money reward system (see one of my first posts), this was the perfect activity for my kids!

Each child is given a dime and a sugar cookie. We begin by spreading icing on our cookie (and faces) and then discussing all the yummy treats they can purchase. Dots and M&M's are a penny each, white chocolate chips are two for a penny, etc. It is really interesting to see them struggle (and negotiate-HA!) with their selections. Everyone must watch while their buddies figure out how much their items cost. Change is made as they work their way through the choices. All their items are placed in a little cup while they wait for the others to finish. When everyone has had a turn, it is time to decorate! They love these crazy looking cookies and place them at their snack seat for later. You can imagine that this is a big hit! You can do this activity with art projects too. It is a great way to reinforce names and values of coins.

I also have a different way to deliver Valentine cards if you don't mind noise (messes and noise have never scared me). This idea came from a friend who decided he wanted the Valentine delivery to be over quickly and who didn't want to spend his time reading all the names on envelopes and reminding his kids where everyone sat. He had them simply sign their names and not address the card to anyone special. My kids like addressing and picking out special valentines for particular friends - it makes it a little more difficult but not bad. Here's how it works:
  • Tie a ribbon on their classroom Valentine bags and place it over their head so the bag is on their back like a back-pack. (Next year I think we'll make our Valentine bags look like backpacks).
  • Define a space that they must stay in (I use my circle rug).
  • Have each kid take out ONE Valentine for delivery.
  • Model the activity!!!!!!
  • Let them WALK around delivering their Valentines into the backpacks.
It's fun to watch and it works! Of course, you are nearby to help for those who have addressed special cards to best buddies. I wish I had a picture...AND I hope this makes sense!

I included this picture to show how to make a hat that fits every size of head. I am sure most of you already know this trick but I thought it might help a new teacher. Simply attach two brads at either end of the strip of paper used for the base of the hat and stretch on a rubberband. Just be careful -  putting it on a head of long hair can be a tangle-fest. You can put tape over the back of the brads to get rid of this problem.

This is a picture of a very busy Valentine bulletin board that got a bit busier when we put up our love bug hats - (maybe too busy!) Before we added the hats, the kids did a quick recital of the poem in their full outfit - SO cute! Parents with phones recorded it and sent it on to loved ones.

Onward to dental health (I can't wait to show you some hilarious Tooth Fairies) and St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Found you through a comment on Heather's Heart's blog. I LOVE the money/decorating cookies idea. That is even great for my 2nd graders. And I didn't know the hat trick. Thanks for sharing!
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  2. Have fun! It would be great fun for St Patrick's Day or Easter!