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Valentine's Day & R.A.K. Week: 8 Fantastic Language Arts Ideas!

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Show Notes:

I love featuring and supporting my fellow teacher creators because I think that most often, the products created for teachers by teachers are among the very best because teachers really know what works in the classroom.

And, Teachers Pay Teachers is a fantastic platform because there are so many great ideas there. However, it also can be pretty overwhelming because there is SO much choice, and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to search through everything to find the cutest, coolest ideas. So, I’ve done that work for you and I can’t wait to share some of the treasures I found with you!

I’ve chosen these resources because they are reasonably priced ($10.00 or less), they’ve been tried and really well rated by other teachers, and they have that super fun kid factor that I know makes kids squeal because many of these ideas incorporate art into language arts – which is one of my favorite things to do in the classroom - so I hope you are going to love these ideas and resources as much as I do!

First, let’s talk about a few fun ways to help your students to show kindness to each other during the entire Random Acts of Kindness week. 

  1. Superhero Bucket Filler Kindness Activity - $3.75 by Linda Kamp


    I think your students are going to love this activity! It reminds me a lot of the Kindness Envelopes activity I do with my students at the beginning of the school year (available in my 14 Fantastic First Week of School Activities packet – just click here to check it out)! 

    This Superhero kindness activity and craft is a variation on bucket fillers and they make super cute Valentine’s Day mailboxes.

The idea is that kindness is stronger than Kryptonite, which of course was Superman’s downfall because it took all of his power, but he couldn’t resist it. Wow, that sounds a lot like me with cookies. They take away all my power to stick to my diet but I just can’t resist them... anyways...

Kindness uplifts and empowers both the giver and the receiver. Kindness is a superpower and its’ strength is unparalleled.

So, for this activity, students create a mailbox using a piece of black construction paper to create a black silhouette of city buildings, and then overlay that onto a piece of blue construction paper to make the sky, and then they can decorate their “cityscape” using all sorts of bright and colorful superhero themed accents. Then, they use these super cute notes to their classmates which they can tuck amongst the black buildings on their friend’s boards, making a creative version of the traditional Valentine’s Day mailbox. So much fun, and it gets students writing for a real purpose, which I love.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness Cards & Ideas -  $3.25 by Wise Guys

I love this resource because of its variety and flexibility and because there is very little prep involved.

The activities will help your students to get more engaged and excited to perform many random acts of kindness in your classroom, and in your school.

This resource includes:

→Acts of Kindness Activity Board (1-page) 

→Acts of Kindness Task Cards (16 total; 4-pages)

→Acts of Kindness Student Tracking Board (1-page)

→Acts of Kindness Teacher Tips (2-pages)

Students are asked to perform 16 acts of kindness (sit by someone new at lunch, pick up after someone, help out a classmate, introduce yourself to someone, etc.) and it gives you as the teacher very practical and fun ways to help your students to actively participate in random acts of kindness.

  1. Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! $3.00 by Erin Morrison



    This is a 10 day random acts of kindness challenge, so you can either start the week before the official RAK week and do this for 10 days, or just choose 5 and do one each day of RAK week.

    From Erin Morrison:

    Included in this product are:
    *10 R.A.K. hearts (each heart has a different R.A.K. for students to complete)
    *A list of 10 read-alouds to read during each day of the challenge
    *8 blank hearts in different colors (so that your can add your own R.A.K. to your classroom challenge)
    *Kindness poster to display in your classroom during the challenge
    *Links to websites with more ideas of R.A.K.
    *Small thank you note for custodians (students write a quick thank you note to the custodian and leave it on their desk at the end of the day)
    *Letter template (students will write a letter to someone on the classroom telling them why they are special)

    There are many different ways you can hold the challenge in your classroom: one R.A.K a day starting February 1st and leading up to Valentine's Day, one R.A.K per month for the entire school year, one R.A.K. per day for a couple of weeks, or any other ways you wish to hold your challenge. You can also use the blank hearts to "catch" a child doing a R.A.K. and then write it on the heart and post it in the classroom.

    This challenge is a fun and easy way to teach your students about kindness and how to "pay it forward"!

  

  1. Kindness Calendar – Random Acts of Kindness for the Entire Year - $5.75 by Mrs Potts Cupboard

If you really believe in random acts of kindness being infused into the fabric of everyday relationships in your classroom, you are going to love this!

From Mrs. Potts Cupboard:

The Kindness Calendar is a yearlong calendar that includes 120 random acts of kindness and is a perfect way to incorporate character education into your classroom! Teachers are great role models, so let's teach our students how to be kind by doing acts of kindness in the classroom! The calendar comes jam packed with great ideas on how to spread kindness around your school, and even includes certificates and resources to assist with the calendar. The best part, this calendar is EDITABLE and there are FREE UPDATES FOR LIFE!

I update the calendar every June for the next school year! I it all ready and set for the 2019-2020 school year.

This product includes:

*EDITABLE kindness calendars that run from August to June with 120 acts of kindness

*Goal sheet to set a weekly kindness goal

*Reflection sheet

*Kindness bookmarks and certificates for students to use to spread kindness around your school!

This just looks like such a fantastic resource to help students to be kind throughout the year – and for only $5.75 it feels like a no-brainer investment to me!

 

  1. Love Notes for Your Kiddos: Positive Certificates & Surprises $4.00 by Lori Friesen


Because we are such important role models for our students, I wanted to include this idea for you – I talked about this a few weeks ago on the podcast when we talked about 10 Ways to Love Up Your Kiddos, but these are essentially simple, easy to prep, and thoughtful Random Acts of Kindness that you can do for your students throughout the year. I really believe in modeling for our students what it is we want to teach them, so I love to give my students little surprises and kindnesses throughout the year.

So, what I did was I bundled 10 of my favorite ideas and designs that you can simply print and surprise your students with them. Little certificates with notes like, “A sweet for a sweetie!” with a little poem that says, “There is no special reason for this little sweet; Having you as part of our class is such a special treat!” along with a little goodie – or even just a piece of sugar-free gum if your school doesn’t allow treats – is a small thing but they go a long way towards your students feeling loved and appreciated.
 

  1. Valentine’s Day Agamographs - $8.49 by Art with Jenny K.


    I hadn’t even heard of an agamograph before I found this resource, but they look SO cool and I really hope that you try this activity. If you try this in your classroom, please reach out and let me know because I want to see them! They look amazing. 

Now, this agamograph packet includes designs not just for Valentine’s Day, but also for Father's Day and for Mother's Day, which – once you see them, I think you’re going to see what a great gift they would make for Mom or Dad.

What's an Agamograph? According to the amazing Jenny K., "It's a picture that morphs into another when you look at it from a different angle. It's hard to say but easy to do!"

There is a lot of "wow factor" in this activity--the students love the surprise, and I can see how proud they would feel when they create these.

Now, one of the best parts of this kind of art activity is that you can combine it with a writing project. You could easily combine this with writing acrostic poems for Valentine’s Day or for Mother’s or Father’s Day.

I promise that once you check this out, you’re probably going to want to try it. They really are beautiful, and based on the more than 1500 four star reviews this product has with teacher after teacher raving about how much they love this product, you probably will, too!

 

    1. Valentine’s Day Craft: Flapbook $3.75 by “What I Have Learned”

If you want a simple and cute Valentine’s Day project that isn’t quite as involved as an agamograph, then you might prefer this activity instead.

Flapbooks are hugely popular in elementary, and this one is super cute because it’s heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day, and it is designed to help students to reflect on and write about what makes the people they care about special.

This teacher describes this activity as “a fun, easy prep, Valentine's Day Activity where students can describe what they love about themselves, their family, and their school,” and it’s one of those great activities that you can just print and keep on hand to create with your students whenever you have some extra time around Valentine’s Day.
 

  1. Valentine’s Day Coloring Sheets & Writing Prompts - $5.29 by Art with Jenny K.


I’m having so much fun exploring some of the products by Art with Jenny K. She has some great ideas, so I hope you’ll check out her work!

Here’s a second Valentine's Day idea of Jenny’s, featuring interactive coloring sheets.

As described by Jenny K.:

This set of “pop art” coloring sheets features a variety of Valentine's Day images that make a great accompaniment to your Valentine's Day celebrations. There are 9 interactive pages and 6 pattern-filled pages included in this Valentine's Day activity - appropriate for all ages!

Writing Prompts Included:

"What do you love about your mom?" (with teddy bear design)

"What do you love about your dad?" (with teddy bear design)

"What do you love about your parents?" (with envelope design)

"What do you love about your grandparents?" (with envelope design)

"What do you love?" (with envelope design)

Blank teddy bear design - make up your own writing 

Blank envelope design - make up your own or have kids use to write a letter. 

So, after completing the coloring sheet for the leaves you could ask, “Why do you love your parents?” I have included writing prompts in this product for you to use.

Such a fun Valentine's Day writing activity to try with your students!


Have You Joined Our Community Yet?

So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some super fun and creative ideas to do during Random Acts of Kindness Week and Valentine’s Day, and I’d love to hear what your favorite idea is! So, if you haven’t already joined our Beginning Teacher Talk private FB group, just click here to ask to join now. It’s a great way to get connected with other new teachers and share your very best ideas and resources.

Do you Want a $25 Amazon Shopping Spree? 

Also, if you’re feeling extra loving, please be sure to leave a review for the Beginning Teacher Talk podcast and your name will be entered into the draw for a $25 Amazon gift card. Who doesn’t need a little extra shopping money, right?
Just click here to leave your review now!

Until next time, I hope you have a fabulous week, and remember: Just because you are a beginning elementary teacher, there is no need for you to struggle like one. 

xo Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.

 

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