Valentine's Day In Kinder and First Grade!

Here are 5 tips and a few free activities that help me to have a Valium-free Valentine's Day:

Tip 1: Start the Day Off Right

Taking attendance on Valentine’s Day can be almost impossible! Tiny kids with BIG energy are running at you with candy, flowers, their valentines, and a tray of 32 cupcakes! 

Give them this activity and get your attendance and collecting done in a snap- no stress, no sweat, no problem.
This Valentine's Day Post is filled with free downloads and tips form Katie Knight at Teacher to the Core

So before entering the room:
1. I ask, " Who has something they need to give me?"
2. [Acting so excited] I say, "I can't wait to see everything you have brought to school!"
3. "Before I can collect anything! You get to search for and color hearts! You do that, and I'll take attendance."

While they are coloring, I remind them:
*  They are to stay seated and color neatly while I take attendance. 
*  The kiddo with the most hearts wins!
*  If it comes down to a tie, neatness will be the tie-breaker. 
*  If you win but your work is sloppy, you are disqualified.
*  After attendance, I will give you five more minutes to color. 
*  During this time,  I will collect what the students have brought to school. 
*  I will  do this one table at a time.

To download the attendance freebie click the button below.
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Tip 2: Time your party before lunch

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?

Tip 3- Keep it Academic! Video, Close Read, Write, Compare and Contrast

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) OR you can watch it on YouTube.
Great book for Valentines Day- Valenswine- Teacher to the Core
Perfect book/video to listen to or read because: 
*  The rhymes are precious.
*  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.

You Tube Link: Show a Video since they are crazed and you all need a moment to decompress.

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

Valenswine Freebies: Remember we are keeping it academic

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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Keeping it Academic continued: Categorize and Classify 

I ask the kids to bring in 1 extra Valentine for us to categorize and classify. We tape them to big hearts. 
Bright Ideas for Valentine's Day Sanity (2)

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.

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. 


Wanna Do it?

  1. Ask kids to bring in 1 extra Valentine.
  2. Have 4-5 blank hearts ready
  3. As the kids are opening their valentine cards and consuming sugar walk the room and get a vibe for the common themes or categories.
  4. Be sure to make an “other” category to cover the random valentines that don’t fit any category to cover the randos (random valentines that don't fit any category)
  5. Gather the kids in a circle and glue or tape as your kids decide where each card should be categorized and classified. 
  6. Super fun, time filler, academic, and they love it. 

Tip 4- Valentine Speed Drop

Handing out Valentines can take all day if you let it- so here is an idea: "Dance and Drop" them.
*  Do not allow the kids to address valentines to specific kids in class. 
*  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 30 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.

Tip 5- Bag it up and Staple it 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.

Valentine bags from Katie Knight at Teacher to the Core
       Grab this darling art project from Cara Carroll 


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.

Valentine Bonus Science Fun

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, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

I am NOT equating Valentine's Day in first grade to The Hunger Games, well actually I am. If you know, you know. I hope these ideas help save your sanity.