Will you be my VALENTINE?

Valentine's Day is a fun, exciting, and sweet holiday in the classroom!  I have some ideas and a FREEBIE to help you have a great day with your kiddos.  This Love Bug bag is a quick easy project that kids can do independently.  I used Ellison die cuts in heart and circle shapes in lots of different colors.  Kids glued them onto the bag and added details with googly eyes, oil pastels, and stickers.  I buy these bags each year at my local craft store.  I consider them an investment for a smooth day at school.  They are big enough, sturdy enough, and EASY!  If it saves me time, it is usually worth the money. 

We are working on number bonds in the classroom.  When you do math on or around Valentine's Day, make it fun!  I used more heart die cuts and some washi tape to make some number bond mats for hands-on problem solving.  We used fun heart erasers too.  Here are a few ideas of ways to use them.

We are learning to use number bonds for the first time.  It is a great graphic organizer for numbers and math.  Above is how we used them with objects only to show the two parts making the whole number and visa versa.

This is a another way to use number bonds to compose/decompose numbers.

After kids have enough hands on experience with the concept, they can transfer this knowledge to the abstract using only numerals to show the relationship.  Using number bonds helps give a strong visual reference for the number concepts students are learning.   With young students, it is crucial to have the hands on along with the abstract.  Don't skip the manipulatives!  Some kids really need them to "get it".

Here are my kids using the heart number bonds to decompose 7 hands on and the partner is writing it with numerals on a dry erase number bond.  They make it one way and then trade jobs to make it another.  Kids keep switching until they have done it all 4 ways.  Yay!

Are you working on number bonds in your classroom?  You might want to check out this product - It's my Memorable Math Number Bonds, Addition, Subtraction. It's an absolute life saver in my classroom.  I made it to help my students with these big concepts and I hope it helps your students too.  Here's a peek:

This also helps make Valentine week go smoothly.  It's my Print and Go! Valentines pack.
Here's a peek:

Great books are a must have in the classroom.  These books all have affiliate links to Amazon so you can grab them for your classroom too.  Here are some of my favorites for Valentine's Day:

This book is so adorable!  My kids LOVE it and it has a sweet message about fitting in and the need to be loved unconditionally exactly how we are.

This is a fun sequel to Love Monster.  It is about being kind and generous to your friends and doing the right thing even when it's hard. 

This is a sweet story about a lovable dog who wants nothing more than to be loved by the people in her life.  She makes mistakes, though... just like kindergarten kids, but her owners love her anyway.  A good story for kids who may make mistakes now and again.

This book also addresses the idea that love is big enough to forgive every day mistakes.  My kids love the dinosaur books.  This is a sweet one.

This is an oldie but goodie!  Such a sweet simple story about collecting hearts when they rained and using them to make valentines.  There are so many fun ways to extend this story and inspire kids for creative projects and imaginative writing.

Just one more thing...

I am PROUD to teach in a public school. My school is a model for how public education should look.  The community and the school work together to make our school great.  I feel well supported and have the tools I need in my classroom.  Teachers work hard to do great things in the classroom, and parents work hard to raise money for the extra programs we want to provide to our students.

The image and hashtag above were going around on social media the day Betsy DeVos was approved as Secretary of Education.  You can see my post here on Instagram.  Many teachers were sad and frustrated by this choice.  I believe the secretary of Ed. should want to work within the system to improve it, not undermine it.  DeVos is not a supporter of public education.  She is one of a small group in our country who support ideas that would minimize public education.  This is a VERY dangerous proposition.  Just think about it...  who would benefit from an uneducated electorate?

There is a reason that most folks in our country value a free education for all children.  We need educated independent thinkers to question authority and hold those in power accountable for their actions.  Our country was founded on these values and I will speak out to preserve free education for all.

I know that many public schools are in desperate need of repair and reform.  The larger social issues that impact education are complex and will require hard work and creative solutions to overcome.  Teachers are an amazing, resilient, and talented group of professionals.  I have HOPE that we can work together  to improve public education for the future of our children and our country.

Oh my goodness!  I just had to get that out there and even though I don't want my blog or business to be political...  I just can't sit by and say nothing.  This is the one place I have a voice and an audience, so THANK YOU for reading my little rant. 

Ok, you came here to grab a freebie...
The truth is I am all about spreading the LOVE.  I hope you will be my valentine even when I feel the need to speak MY truth.  I also hope this helps you spread the LOVE in your classroom.  Just click on the image or link below to go grab your freebie:

This is a simple printable and it makes a great independent art project for your kiddos.  The week before Valentines day, we had an emergency school closure due to a storm, and I had half my class out absent on another day.  So, I needed something quick and easy for family valentine cards!  I printed these on card stock.  Kids wrote a message to families on the back and then glued ripped construction paper inside the heart to decorate.  This idea is not new... just my take on it. 

The freebie also has two cute valentines you can use to give to your students.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy teaching!

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