Valenswine and Valentine’s Day in the primary classroom

Happy Valentine’s Day, V-Day or Valium Day! I love Valentine’s Day for a whole lot of reasons.  I dislike it for a few reasons too. For example, the kids saying “ValentiME” drives me to drink.   Here are 5 tips and a few activities that helped me to have a valium-free V-Day:
Start the Day Off Right
Keep the kids in your class  busy while you take attendance- From Teacher to the Core
Little kids can be crazy! Taking attendance on Valentine’s Day can be almost impossible! Kids are running at you with candy, flowers, their valentines in bags and who knows what else!
So before entering the room, I ask them, “Who has something they need to give me this morning? Raise your hands.” Then, I tell them that I can’t wait to see what they brought to school. However,  before we can do anything, they get to color while I take attendance.
Just in case you forgot, I have MAJOR issues remembering to take attendance on party days.  I just get caught up with all their joy/mania and I forget. 
While they are coloring, I remind them that they are to stay seated and color neatly while I take attendance. The kiddo with the most hearts wins, and if it comes down to a tie, neatness will be the tie-breaker. If you win and it’s sloppy, you are disqualified.
After attendance I give them five more minutes to color. During this time,  I can collect what the students have brought to school. I do this one table at a time.
To download the attendance freebie click the button below
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Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity
Can I hear an AMEN for lunch time? We used to party the last hour of the day,  but then I am breathless and my room looks like a bomb went off in it as the kids leave.  No, thank you! After lunch we did some great Common Core Valentine learning, cleaned up the room, and ended our day like we always do. We read a story, packed and stacked, and had our daily awards ceremony. It was calm. It was beautiful, and it was calm. Wait, did I already say that it was calm?

Bag it up, Baby!
How do kids get all their stuff home? These bags! I batted my eyelashes at a box boy and he gave me 30 grocery sacks. Using grocery bags instead of making envelopes was fast, easy, and cheap. Are those words music to your ears?   Plus, the bags stand up straight for the easy “dropping in” of the valentine cards. To get this darling Valenswine art freebie click {here}
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (3)
Valenswine Close Reading!
I love this book! It is a sweet and easy read for your little darlings! You can grab it from Scholastic or Amazon (From 3rd party sellers)
Great book for Valentines Day- Valenswine- Teacher to the Core
The rhymes are precious and the story leads young Polly Pig to her family to find love. I think that “family love” is important at this age. The Disney Channel teaches kids too early to look for love in their peers. Let’s keep them loving their family for as long as possible.
If you don’t have time to buy the book and have it delivered, you can show your class this story time YouTube video.
My friend Fran told me about ViewPure and it’s been amazing for cleaning out ads and comments from my You Tube Videos! Click here and see how the video above was purified! It so easy and free.
Freebie- Valenswine movies and book activities plus ways to clean up your You Tube using View Pure
I love this book so much that I have created 3 activities to go along with it. The 1st activity is a close read printable.
Close reading for the book Valenswine- Teacher to the Core
I also created a summarizing activity for another day this week.
Summarizing for the book Valenswine- Teacher to the Core
Here is the story elements page with emphasis on problem and solution.
Story Elements for the book Valenswine- Teacher to the Core
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Dance and Drop
I am the mean teacher that does not allow the kids to address valentines to their friends. I only allow them to sign their names.  This is because we dance Conga line style through the room and drop a valentine into every bag. It’s easy and FUN! This year 29 kids handed out valentines in under 10 minutes! I kid you not! I played Gloria Estefan’s Conga Song and we were done is a snap. The quickness also allowed us to spend time doing other fun things during our party. I was leading the conga, so I could not take pictures- Sorry. The LAST thing you want to see is me doing the conga! Here is the song if you want to play it during your own class conga line.
Valentines = Academics
I skipped categorize and classify in my HM story a few weeks ago because I knew I was going to do this with the kids.
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (2)
I am telling you the kids learned a lot, and they had a great time negotiating where each valentine should be classified? Should the Hello Kitty with Dove chocolate go on “Characters” or “Candy”? We ended up separating them so that they could go in both places. It was a perfect way to teach that sometimes a question can have more than one correct answer. 
If you want to do this, have 4-5 blank hearts ready.  Then as the kids are opening their cards, walk the room and look for the most common categories. Be sure to make an “other” category to cover the random valentines that don’t fit any category.  “Where did I get the valentines to glue on?” you ask. Oh every kids always has one left over because I ask the parents to send in 1 extra. It is usually not a problem since I have 29 kids and valentines tend to come in packs of 36. Usually the kids have  6-7 extra!
Staple the Bag Shut
If you stop the candy intake, you can avoid the candy-induced freak out {maybe}. I let them look through their goodies and cards and then I hand out a plate. I ask them to set one treat from their Valentines Stash onto the plate. Everything else is going to go into the bag.
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (4)
While they are eating their treat, juice, and whatever else was sent in,  I run around stapling the bags shut. I still saw little hands try to sneak into their bag, but they had a hard time getting through 5 staples.

Valentines = Academics
My final fabulous, fun, and academic idea comes via Curriculum Castle! Seriously, friends, this is a real winner! I bought a bunch of plastic test tubes from the Dollar Tree. I put 3 test tubes on every table in order to keep Valentine’s Day as academic as possible!
Super fun Valentine Candy Heart science experiment from Curriculum Castle via Teacher to the Core
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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Sending you Hugs and lots of love!

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