What better way to celebrate Valentines Day, right? No, not for the kids, for ME. You really think I’d let my babies eat a whole bunch of sugar on MY watch? No way.
My own blood sugar level is skyrocketing because I:
- Devised a plan to get every child in the class to send in a bag of candy under the guise of materials for a math game.
- Began collecting the candy several days before the planned math games.
- Allowed myself to be left unattended in my classroom with said bags of candy.
- Brought all my edible Valentines gifts home so that I can consume them in the course of a single long weekend.
That’s right, the mound of candy you see pictured above was JUST the crap my kids brought in for our candy math game centers.
This pic shows the fractions game with M&Ms. There was also a mean/mode/median/range game with conversation hearts, and a division game with Skittles. When the kids weren’t looking, I snuck some graphing practice in there, too. These activities were a huge hit and most of the kids used them as legitimate math practice. UPDATED 2/6/10: I had planned to upload the games here for you but can’t find this particular one. I do have a candy hearts math activity I used on Valentine’s Day the previous year.
Only one of the centers was not math related: Compliment Hearts. We brainstormed some specific compliments beforehand, and then the teams set themselves up assembly-line style to write something nice on each person’s construction paper heart. This creates a wonderful keepsake and really does a lot to contribute to a sense of classroom community and a supportive learning environment. We always have a talk before this activity in which I threaten death upon anyone who dares write something rude, but this was the first year in which no one did. WOW. The activity also works well whole-class (give a minute per card, and use a clicker or other noise maker to indicate when to pass to the next person).
The kids decorated these bags for morning work (an assignment far preferable to the typical expository essay practice). We ate lunch in the classroom and watched a movie (usual Friday routine for those who do their homework all week), and I let the kids deliver their valentines into the bags at a back table while the others munched. Right before dismissal, I had a student helper staple all the bags shut and distribute them. That’s right, the reading of valentines was not to commence until after dismissal. This was the first year I’ve done that, and I feel a little bad about taking some of the fun out of valentines, but my patience expenditure was in the red from the candy centers.
Here’s my personal haul. You can see my own compliment heart in the middle. Most of the kids asserted that I was the “best techer ever” (debatable, judging by their spelling skills), but one child wrote “You’re the best teacher I’ve had so far.” Well. At least he’s not making any hasty proclamations. It must be pretty hard to determine who’s the best teacher ever when you’re only 9.
Overall, a successful day. And you get to read about it directly afterward because I’m stuck at the airport waiting for my delayed flight to New York. Don’t worry–I tucked some Starbursts into my bag in case my blood sugar level gets too low.
Happy Valentines Day!
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