Bright Ideas {Valentine’s Day}

Happy V day (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.  Another CRAZY maker is the parents (lovingly) sending treats we don’t need. This year I got thirty 4 inch by 4 inch brownies ( I am NOT kidding). I love brownies as much as the next guy, but the size was a little much.  Thank God for my room mom who cut them up for me, and I do thank God for the SWEET child that brought them.  He is an absolute LOVEbug.
Here are 5 tips that helped me to have one of the best V Days ever and I did not take any Valium!
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity
Can I hear and AMEN for lunch time? We usually 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? Well it was calm.
Bag it up Baby!

But the envelopes took a while for my room mom to make. This year I batted my eye lashes at a box boy and he gave me 30 grocery sacks. They were fast, easy, and cheap (words I never want anyone to use to describe me) But they are music to my ears for a classroom problem solver. How do kids get all their stuff home? These bags! Plus the bags stand up straight for the easy “dropping in” of the Valentines. To get this darling Valenswine art freebie click {here}
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (3)
Come on Shake Your Body, Baby Do the Conga!
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!
Make the Valentine Fun Academic
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 had a great time negotiating about 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, but it was a perfect way to teach that some questions have many correct answers. 
If you want to do this next year, 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!
If you stop the candy intake, you can avoid the candy induced freak out {maybe}
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (4)
While they are eating their treat, juice, and whatever else is sent in (4X4 brownies) 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 50 staples.  OK I really only used 5 staples, but was effective.
Now it’s time to snuggle up with the men in my life and enjoy pizza and peace and try on my new shoes. My kind of Friday night!