Tag Archives: Valentine

Valentine Resources for the Young at Heart

I’m not actually a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, believe it or not.  If you search “Valentine” on this blog, though, you would suspect otherwise.  I’ve collected quite a few resources to use in class based on this holiday – mostly because my students seem to love it so much.  In fact, I’m pretty sure kids get a lot more of enjoyment out of it than adults!

In case you missed it, here was my 2016 Valentine blog post – which pretty much linked to everything I had curated so far.  Since then, I’ve added:

Some new ones that I’ve just discovered:

I imagine a few more will pop up in the next couple of weeks.  If so, I will be sure to share them with you!

UPDATE 2/13/17 – Here are a couple Valentine’s Day Breakout EDU activities!

heart
image from Pixabay
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Virtual Valentines

I asked my 1st grade gifted students today to try to think from their parents’ perspectives of what they would like for Valentine’s Day besides food or flowers.  The first student said that her parents would want, “my sister and I to stop fighting,” which seemed like a pretty good response.  Then the next student said, “Yeah, my mom would want to rest in peace.” I think I know what he meant, but you can never be sure.  Then another student said, “Beer!” which brought up an interesting discussion as to whether or not that could count –  because “it’s a food!” as some of the students declared…

Sometimes my job just makes me smile 🙂

Anyway, this all started because we are studying different countries, and learning about the Depth and Complexity icon, “Multiple Perspectives.”  I signed our class up to participate in a Virtual Valentines project, and we will hopefully be exchanging Valentines with a class in another country.  It occurred to me that are probably very few countries that actually celebrate this holiday, but I did some research and found out that several places around the world either have Valentine’s Day traditions or other similar variations. (I’m still trying to figure out why “Love Spoons” haven’t caught on yet in the USA.)

I signed us up for Level 2 of the Virtual Valentines Project, which means that we will not only make virtual Valentines, but try to exchange them with another class.  If that is too much pressure, you can also choose Level 1, which just legally binds you to having your class create virtual Valentines.  Which I read to mean, “I am putting my name down, but my life is crazy and it’s quite possible that by ‘virtual’ Valentines I mean that my students will just create some in their imagination, so I refuse to commit myself to them doing anything that isn’t somehow tied in to standardized testing.”

The Virtual Valentines Project has a resource page, which gives suggestions for tools to use to create your digital cards.  I would add to this list the Quiver App’s free augmented reality Valentine’s Day page, which you can find here.

For more Valentine’s Day ideas, you can look at last year’s blog post.  I’ll probably update and re-blog it in the near future.

valentine

Creative Thinking with Hearts

And another bonus post for today!  (Some things just can’t wait to be posted!)  Joelle Trayers gave me this idea on her blog, and if you don’t already read her blog you should!  Her depth and complexity ideas for primary aged children are awesome!!!!!

Anyway, I showed my 1st grade GT students a die-cut heart, and asked them to turn it around and look at it different ways to see what else it could be.  I showed them some of the examples from Ms. Trayers’ class, and told them they could NOT use any of those ideas, even though they were fabulous. To be creative, their drawings would need to be different , not copies.  Then, I let them brainstorm as many ideas as they could – even though many of them said they already knew what they wanted to draw.  And here is where I think I might have improved on the last time I tried this activity – I told them to go around the room to look at everyone’s ideas.

“What does it mean if someone else had the same idea as you?” I asked.

“It isn’t unique!” one girl answered.

“So, is that the idea you want to use today?” I asked.

They all agreed that no, it was not, since we were focusing on creativity. They finally got to start their designs, and I was really impressed that most of them were so different.  Here is what they drew:

Hockey Puck
Hockey Puck
Shining Heart
Shining Heart
Purse
Purse
Air vent in the wall with a picture hanging on the wall on top left. The air is coming out of the vent (squiggly lines) and blowing the girl's hair.
Air vent in the wall with a picture hanging on the wall on top left. The air is coming out of the vent (squiggly lines) and blowing the girl’s hair.
Pencil Top Eraser
Pencil Top Eraser

Paper Circuit Valentines

This is a bonus post for those of you who keep track of my daily posts!  Our Maker Club made some paper circuit Valentines, and here are some of the results.  For instructions on making paper circuit greeting cards, you can check out this post.  If you are interested in more Valentine ideas, here are many that I have collected over the years.

The orange
The orange flower lights up.  I think the words say, “Disguised licorice penguin,” and “Squawk!”

Photo Feb 08, 3 54 31 PM

Sorry - this photo came out a bit blurry!
Sorry – this photo came out a bit blurry!
Can you figure out where the light is? (If you can't, that's because of my terrible photography skills!)
Can you figure out where the light is? (If you can’t, that’s because of my terrible photography skills!)

Maybe I Should Have Asked If You Would Rather Make Valentines or Eat Chocolate-Covered Ants

Around this time last year, I wrote about using the “Would You Rather?” format for math problems.  This idea was brought to my attention when Richard Byrne posted about John Stevens’ awesome site where he regularly publishes these challenges.  If you have middle-high school age students, I highly recommend that you check out John’s blog.

Because my students are younger, I made a series of my own “Would You Rather” questions last year.  A few of them tied into Valentine’s Day.  You can access the problems and download the slides for your own use here.

Click here for more "Would You Rather" problems!
Click here for more “Would You Rather” problems!

I rolled out the set a couple of weeks ago for new groups of students to try.  I decided this year to give them a format for their answers.  I wanted to make sure they not only answer the question, but show their math and cite any resources they used (we haven’t worked on formal citations yet, as you might notice).  As you can see from some of the examples below, the sheet the students fill in has evolved a bit to make it a little more visually pleasing.

The students are allowed to choose any of the problems they like to work on.  It can be interesting to see their preferences.  What’s fun is that even the students who choose the same exact questions can have completely different correct answers.

I’ve been meaning to make some more of these because I like the multiple steps necessary, what the students learn about searching the web for information (they are working on finding reliable sources right now), and the writing needed to describe their thoughts.  However, I haven’t had the chance to add to the collection.  In the meantime, feel free to use the ones from last year and let me know if you have any suggestions!  And here is a link to the PDF for my latest iteration of journal sheets for these challenges.

Meet the Doodler

4th grade students giving
4th grade students giving Sophie Diao their full attention

Last week, I posted about this year’s Doodle 4 Google contest with the theme, “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place.”  I mentioned that one thing that I am particularly excited about is the page of Classroom Activities that complement the contest this year.  Included in this are three live events where students can “Meet the Doodler” online.  Fortunately, my 4th graders got the chance to view the first event yesterday, and it was a great experience.  If you were unable to participate, you can see the archive here.

Two elementary schools were able to join the Doodler in the Google Hangout.  You can apply to be included as one of the video guests by signing up here for the two remaining events (2/19/14 and 2/26/14 at 1 PM EST).  Or, you can just do what our class did, and watch the video while posting some questions in the chat window.

Yesterday’s video (less than 40 minutes) featured Sophie Diao, one of the ten Google “Doodlers” that create the fabulous specialized logos we see periodically.  She explained the process for creating a Google Doodle, how long it generally takes, and what she does when she can’t think of any ideas.  A neat part of the presentation included an assignment for everyone watching to try to design their own Valentine doodles.  I’ve included some of the ones my students did during the short presentation, and you should watch the video for some outstanding ideas from the 2 elementary schools that participated.  If you are looking for a fun, last-minute Valentine activity, throw this challenge at your students! (For more Valentine ideas, check out this post.)

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Would You Rather Be My Valentine or Do a Few Math Problems?

Would You Rather Be My Valentine

Earlier this month, I saw a post by Richard Byrne that led me to this great site of mathematical “Would You Rather” problems.  John Stevens (@JStevens009) is the clever man who creates these mathematical challenges, and I love the thinking that is required to solve the questions he poses.  I tried a few with my 3rd graders, and they were hooked.  Many of the problems, though, require a little more advanced math knowledge than generally possessed by 8-year-olds, so I thought about penning a few of my own.  Since Valentine’s Day is closing in, I decided to go with that theme.  I asked John if he minded me borrowing his idea, and he generously gave me the go-ahead.

The rule I give my students for these problems is that they must prove their answer using mathematical reasoning.  They are allowed to use the internet to research and/or do some hands-on measurements.  It’s possible that they may be able to justify completely different answers.  For example, on the one about the pound of chocolate, they might choose the lower amount instead of the higher because they are not huge fans of chocolate – though that seems to be rather rare.

I don’t know if you have ever heard kids playing the actual “Would You Rather” game, but it can get a little disgusting.  They seem to enjoy the gross questions, so I threw one into this series for the sake of low entertainment 😉

Feel free to use the Google Presentation, this Powerpoint file, or this PDF.

UPDATE 2/8/16: Here is a link to my post that includes a printable sheet for students to record their Would You Rather responses.

For more Valentine-related links, check out this post!

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