No Polar! No Circus! Just hearts and friends!

Today was the first week back after a CRAZY January! Hurray! We had a NORMAL Monday! No circus practice; no paper mache! I love to go the extra mile when it comes to doing something out of the ordinary, but when it is all over, it is nice to get back to a routine. It's kind of like when I go on a vacation - I love that I went away and had the opportunity to do something fun, but when it is all over, it's nice to be home! :)
So today my students practiced their rhyming words with a broken hearts game. Once or twice a week, I like to do some kind of rhyming word practice and I try to make it a little different every couple of weeks. In January we did a lot with mittens and snow. Now that it is February, we will be doing a lot of games that involve hearts! I created a free packet of heart rhyming games that you can see my students using here as well as my "It's All About Hearts!" literacy packet, too! !I also am going to brag on my students..... I am NOT a worksheet teacher. I KNOW that there is a place for them in the classroom and I DO use them. But on the average day, I believe that children learn and retain knowledge more when they are creating some type of project. The project does not have to be major. A lot of times, it just involves some sort of drawing or cutting and gluing. So.... at the beginning of the school year, I start out with simple instructions on how to draw and cut shapes to create a picture. I guess the proper term for this type of instruction is "directed drawing". But I call it "Listen and cut" with my students because I want them to concentrate on LISTENING! As the year progresses, I back away slowly and usually by this time of year, my students are creating amazing drawings/cuttings. I usually have step by step illustrations available for them to use and most choose to use them, but some do not. So today their project during a literacy center was to create a Valentine animal from hearts, write the name of the animal, and count and record the number of hearts that they used. Later in the week, they will be asked to write a story about their animal. I am posting a few of their pictures. I am really, really proud of how well they did! Unfortunately the pink paper that they used did not scan very well - it looks like a pale white! But I think you can get the idea..... This is taken from my "Valentine Sweeties" packet. I let the kids choose which animal they wanted to make. I also gave them the opportunity to create their own. Tomorrow another group of students will be at this center - we'll see what they choose! Click on the picture of the hen to get a free sample of the step by step directions I use with my students. The hen is the simplest of the animals included in the packet....

Also, I do NOT give them heart templates to trace! I show them how to draw a heart upon paper and then cut out their hearts. We do not cut out
hearts on the fold. I have found that my kids just don't get the fold vs the open area! :) Here is an image of the poem I say to them when making a heart. If you would like a copy, you can click on the image for a google doc. Please let me know if the doc does not work and I will try again! It is just one simple page.....


  1. Super cute! My daughter craves learning all the time and really seems to need to be educationally stimulated outside of school. I'm going to have her do her hearts for her homemade Valentine's cards this way.

  2. Oh good! I hope she has fun making the Valentine hen and her classmates enjoy her cards!