With Valentine’s Day almost a week away, I am excited to host our book exchange, pass out Valentine’s Day cards and celebrate with some skinny cow ice creams. I am always surprised when parents ask me if upper graders (4th & 5th) still pass out cards. YES! They love it!
For many students participating in our book exchange is a new experience for them. I ask each student to bring in an age-appropriate wrapped book. I remind them to use leftover Christmas wrapping instead of buying new wrapping paper or put into a gift bag. TIP: Make sure that gift bag is stapled or taped shut!
I start asking for books around the second week of January. I send home a note explaining the Valentine’s Day celebration and staple a Scholastic book order to give parents an opportunity to order a book. It also helps me earn extra bonus points!
I always have extra books just in case some students are unable to bring a book in. In addition, students donate $1.00 to help offset the cost of the Skinny Cow ice cream. Our school has a strict health and wellness policy so Skinny Cow ice cream tend to make the cut and are so delicious!
I have a parent prep and cut mailboxes for my students. I stopped doing the “decorate your own shoebox” because it almost always leads to stress and tears for some families especially when trying to find supplies. My students get to decorate the mailboxes my parent volunteer has prepped several days before Valentine’s Day. We use GLITTER…LOTS OF GLITTER! They love it!
Download copy of Valentine’s Day Leftover Family Night LEFT / RIGHT GAME Story
On Valentine’s Day for the book exchange, I read Valentine’s Day Leftover Family Night LEFT / RIGHT GAME Story. I have students sit in a circle and hold on to the book that they brought in. I discuss that the books stay wrapped and that as we listen to the story whenever the word LEFT or RIGHT is said we must pass the book according to that direction. Lots of giggles at this point and some that look nervous! I also remind them that at the very end of the game, whatever book they are holding on to they will unwrap. Students are reminded to be kind and thoughtful about the book they end up with…no rude comments. Once everyone has unwrapped their book, they can trade with each other.
My students have such a great time! We then continue to finish our Valentine Emoji Rebus Stories and Magnetic Poetry. Before we go to lunch, we will eat our Skinny Cow ice cream. We pass out our Valentine’s Cards during the last hour of the day. Students are allowed to bring in candy if it is their “Valentine” but they must wait to eat any of it until they get home. So passing out the cards at the end of the day leads to fewer temptations. It is always such a great event. I would love to hear how you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your classroom!
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
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