No Valentine's Party? No Problem! | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: No Valentine's Party? No Problem!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

No Valentine's Party? No Problem!

I love the enthusiasm of children when Valentine's Day rolls around. They *love* to love their friends, their teachers, and just about everyone else. Not kissy-face love, mind you. It's a bigger love, one that is pure and unconditional. Have you noticed how excited they get when you read their valentine? Precious!

In the spirit of love and Valentine's Day, I have created a set of Valentine's Day Math activities just for second and third graders. Even if your school says no to having a Valentine's Day party, these rigorous subtraction with regrouping, data collection and graphing activities will give your students a workout! The corny riddles are fun, too!

Valentine's Day math activities for second graders.

It's not difficult to integrate Valentine's Day activities into the day. It is important to make sure parents and administrators (even fellow coworkers) know there is an academic foundation to your activities. Two to three weeks before February 14, I send an email to parents letting them know the children may bring valentines; that we will be using our valentines enhance our learning activities. I also send home a class roster. The passing out of cards is easier if kiddos simply write the 'from' part on each one, but I think they enjoy writing their friends' names on each card. I am not going to discourage them from anything that gives them penmanship practice.

I use the valentine riddles as morning work on the days leading up to Valentine's Day. I like for my students to try it independently. Once they have tried it, I go over it and demonstrate how to crack the code. I model with think-alouds,  trial and error, and calling on my math toolbox skills (in my head).  It's important for students to learn to read directions and make mistakes. I believe this is one of the big learning hurdles in second grade -- growing more independent.

I follow up with the I Have, Who Has...? game. It gets my second graders up and moving. It also gets them thinking! Paying attention and processing the information on the card is brain-building! The children usually beg to play I Have, Who Has...? more than once. Who am I to deny them a chance to have fun and engage in problem solving! 

We wrap up our morning of math with the Valentine Treat. I give them a Little Debbie Iced Brownie and they begin data collection. (I found the Little Debbie Iced Brownies at Dollar General. [no affiliation]) Students create a replica of the brownie, tally-mark them, and answer problem solving questions about the number of sprinkles. Talk about sweet engagement! Our math lesson has been filled with love, learning, and sprinkles! 

2nd grade Valentine's Day Activities

How do you integrate Valentine's Day into your day? Leave a comment! I am always curious to know what other teachers do on this fun day.

Here's hoping your Valentine's Day is filled with love, kindness, and sweet treats!

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