Resident Teacher Laurel Bauer shows how we do Valentine’s Day here at UCDS. We take holidays seriously! -Ed.
This past Friday, Pre- K and Kindergarten students prepared for a special holiday by bouncing around classrooms decorating bags to receive their Valentine’s next week. Teachers decided to focus the next few days on ways to celebrate friendships in our community. On Monday, we learned about compliments: we talked about what they were, how they can be used, and how we feel when we give and receive kind words. In the classroom we practiced giving specific and thoughtful compliments to friends in the room. “You are very good at drawing,” one friend shared with another during a brainstorm about how to share a compliment with a classmate.
This practice followed into the next school day, where students arrived excited to share with friends the Valentine’s that they had decorated. One by one, they dropped a creation into each bag, and put them away until the afternoon. We worked on a Math Vitamin (math story problem) using Sweetheart Conversation Hearts as our math manipulative. The problem had students group and graph the hearts together by color and then write an addition equation that records the total hearts in their box. Once they finished their equation, they ate one heart of each color, and then recorded a subtraction equation, showing how many hearts they had leftover. “Do I get to eat them yet?” a students asks after finishing their first equation, then they carefully counted one heart from each color and enjoyed the treat with a smile.
During the day, we read a book titled, “The Best Thing About Valentines” and students reflected on different ways to show that you care. Ideas circulated around as kids shared “you can give a hug,” or “you can say something nice.” We all then shared with the group ways that we prepared for Valentine’s day. One friend shared, “I worked hard by making sure I had enough Valentine’s for everyone in my class.” We all agreed that we worked hard to make Valentines to share with all our classmates.
By the time the end of the day rolled around, we were excited to finally get to open up our bag of Valentines. Each student found their own space in the room and practiced reading or getting help from a teacher to read Valentines, and then finding each friend and thanking them for all the hard work that student spent making their valentine. “Thank you for the paper airplane, and the heart!” one student shared with another, “don’t forget about the chocolate!” the friend responded! Students had the chance to celebrate friendships, learning, and hard work for a fun-filled Valentine’s Day.