Feburary is filled with holidays and fun days for students to celebrate. With Groundhog’s Day behind us, I’m looking towards our next holiday, Valentine’s Day. Class Parties can be stressful, but with a little prep, a good plan, and some visuals, parties can be a success. Here’s what I’m planning for our party and activities in the classroom for Valentine’s Day.
My first focus is getting ready for the class party. My students join their general education classes for thier class party, but that doesn’t stop our room from celebrating, too! We pick a time when all of our students are present and celebrate. I use the Valentine Class Party Set-Up and it makes the prep and planning much easier. I ask parents for donations from the shopping list, and the list is very managable on my own if I don’t have parent donations. The materials needed are things I typically have on hand. I typcially pick 3 of the stations to do at the party and save the other 2 for centers leading up to the party. Directions and everything you need are at your fingertips, including student visual schedules!
Wh-Questions Valentine Edition
I’m a huge fan of working on wh questions year round with visual supports. The Count, Color, & Name series does just that. This low-prep adaptive book is easy to differentiate to your learners. For my learners just starting with skills such as color ID, I remove the how many and what choices from the adapted piece board. For students who are ready to do this independently, I add it to their independent work rotations. I’m using the Count, Color, & Name Valentine Edition book with my learners in centers leading up to Valentine’s Day. These books require laminating and a few pieces of velcro. Binding is optional, but that’s what I do. Other options are hole punching and placing them in a binder or using binder rings.
File Folder Skills
One of my favorite things to do is to use file folder activites for centers. You don’t have to add them to a file folder. either. That’s optional! You can really just print and go. Even laminating is optional. I printed some of the file folder activites from the 12 activites that come in the File Folder Activites for Valentine’s Day set and have them ready to go for centers. My students will be sorting big and little and matching hearts. This set works on sequencing, matching, numbers, letters, and patterns. I just picked a few to prep that align with the skills my students are working on.
Incorporating holidays can be a fun way to keep student engagement up. As always, I’m sensitive to my students cultural and heritage backgrounds. I have conversations with my students’ families before discussing holidays in the classroom. This year, all of my families celebrate and my students get so excited about holidays. We take time to decorate the classroom together and students take ownership of the space. By pulling in some simple and fun activities, holiday prep doesn’t have to overwhelm your planning, just accent it. Top it off with a stress free party and everyone wins!