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Valentine critter carrier

Valentine Critter Card Carrier

IMG_5950I love Valentine activities in my class! My kinder cubs get almost as excited about this day than Christmas!!  They absolutely love bringing in cards and distributing them to each other. For several years now, I have had the children create these fun card carriers to hold their Valentine cards. These card carriers are not my original idea. I got the directions from a popular magazine, and I even pinned it a couple of years ago. However, the magazine has taken the instructions to make them off their website. So….I thought I would scan the patterns and post them today just in case you might want to try to do this in your class. Cutting out enough pieces for a class set does take time, but trust me…..they are worth it! The kids love them! Their favorite part is when they get to “feed” the cards into the critters’ mouths.

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Here is what you need to make these bags:

1. Colored gift bags: I get mine from Michaels- I like getting different colors. They are sold in sets of 13 for $6.99. I try my best to have a coupon when I buy them, because they are seldom on sell.

2. Colored cardstock for the arms and legs- For the legs, I cut the paper longways (is that a word?) 2 inches wide, and for the arms, I cut them shortways (again….I don’t think that is a word…but you understand…don’t you??) 2 inches wide. I like the sturdiness of the cardstock over construction paper.

3. Construction Paper for the Heart Faces- I only cut out red, pink, and purple- I print the pattern that I linked up below. Next, I cut it out and then I trace the pattern on the pieces of construction paper. You can also copy the pattern on the construction paper. I honestly trace 1 on a sheet and then I cut out 4 to 5 at a time. However, I do have to trace the mouth on each heart if I cut them out this way.

4.  Click here to get to the link for the Eyes, Hands, Boots, and Heart Face Patterns

5. White cardstock- enough to make copies of the eyes, hands, and boots

6. Glue Sticks

7. Scissors

8. Stapler

9. Sticky Back Foam Letters for the Names: I always keep a box of these in my art cabinet. Any style will do. Or you can just write their name on the front.

Instructions:

Print and cut out enough sets of eyes, hands, feet, and heart faces to make the number of carriers you need. Now, right here I have to say that my room parent did this for me this year. I couldn’t find my original patterns, so she made her own patterns and cut enough out for the students to use. So, when you see my pictures, you’ll notice that the eyes are white circles with black circles. The hands are actually small white hearts she cut out and she made the boot pattern herself. Also, I think the arms and legs are a little skinnier than what I usually do. However, I still think the carrier is really cute!! The day after she did this, I found my original patterns! Oh well….

Then, have the student choose the color of bag he/she wants to use. Next, have him/her glue on the heart face. Be careful that you help the student glue it where the mouth will be right below the ends of the handles that are on the bag. Then it is time to glue on the eyes. After the face is completed, take 2 “arms” and have the student accordion pleat (or fan fold) them. Take the arms and glue each one behind the face. Then, glue a hand on each arm. Next, once the child picks out 2 “legs”, he/she accordion pleats those and glues each one onto the bottom of the bag. Then, the students can glue a boot on each leg.

After everything has been glued on the bag, the student can find the letters for his/her name and stick them onto the carrier. I like to place our kinders’ names right below the heart face.

At this point, you can cut the mouth out of the Valentine face and through the bag. Be careful that you don’t cut into the sides of the bag. Honestly, I wait and do this after all of the bags are made into Valentine Critters.

Lastly, I open the bags and close the tops of them by stapling them with 2 staples.

Now the carriers are ready for cards and treats.

This year, I put the carriers at each child’s place on their table. They honestly squealed with delight when they came in on Friday and saw them. Once the kiddos unpacked, I had each child bring out his/her card carrier and I put them in order against our classroom wall.

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When it came time for our Valentine centers, I had small groups come out and distribute their cards by putting them in each child’s carrier. They absolutely loved doing this! It was also an engaging activity as they matched up the name on the bag to the name on the card.

By the end of the centers, the carriers were packed full of wonderful cards, candy, and treats from all of the students. They waited until they got home before they opened up their Valentine Critter Card Carrier. It was such a cute sight to see them leave at the end of the day holding their carrier.

I hope you’ll try these carriers out for your class next year. I promise you they really are not difficult to create and your kids will love them!!

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!!

Valentine Bliss

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Valentine week! Aww…..the bliss of it all! Red, pink, purple, and neon green hearts….yes green….my boys like green and I want them to be blissful too! It is one of my favorite weeks. I fill it up with lots of HEART filled learning!

I begin with loading my book display case with all my Valentine books.

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Then, I like to start the week off with showing them a video on how Valentine’s Day began. BRAIN POP JR. has a terrific movie about it.

I love beginning my weeks with thematic poems. For this week, I showed them my Monster Love poem that I have from Deedee Wills Poetry station packet. I adore the poems in her monthly poetry resources. Monster Love is one of my favorites! Click HERE to find Deedee’s February Poetry Stations and Shared Reading Packet.

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If you are a fan of Teachers Pay Teachers in early primary grades, then I know you are aware of Deanna Jump. Well….last year, I got hooked on hers and Deedee Wills’ resource called Guiding Readers. I. Love. It! It is an essential part of my curriculum in kindergarten. There are so many choices of books that you can easily adapt  to fit what you are teaching each month. For my Valentine unit, they have lesson plans for Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane DeGroat. There are 5 days of plans for each book. Lots of writing ideas. A craftivity to complete that goes along with the book. Sentence activities, vocabulary and phonics activities. It is packed with lots of great ideas and ways to keep your students engaged in their learning. If you’d like to look at this awesome and I can’t say enough about it resource then click HERE

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Candy Heart Science observationsI ended the first day of our Valentine week with a Candy Heart Science Experiment. I found a REALLY good freebie that I used. My kinder cubs loved it!! I thought I had pictures of how I set it up, but I couldn’t find them (sad face inserted) . But the gist of it was to place candy hearts in water to see if they would sink or float. Then, you put them in water, clear soda (like Sprite), and vinegar to see what kind of reaction occurs. There are cute recording sheets on this freebie. You can click HERE  or on the picture above to find this experiment to use.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I have 6 literacy centers in the morning and 6 math centers in the afternoon. I rotate 2 times a day. Then, by Friday, we have completed all of our literacy and math centers for the week. That way, in case I want to have a special celebration like Valentine’s Day, I have time to work that in on a Friday.

My literacy centers for my Valentine Week consisted of:

  1. Sensory bin with matching CVC words with the picture. Then, they wrote the word they found. Lastly, they each wrote a sentence using one of the words. IMG_4126[1]2. Alliteration (well….sort of) writing. Using the child’s name and something he/she loves that begins with the same letter as his/ her name. An example would be: Daniel loves doughnuts.IMG_4155[1]

3. Tech Time

4. Writing Work Station: This is another one of my favorite Deedee Wills resources. This week the students had a sheet with Valentine Day related pictures and they had to label the pictures using the right words.

5. Word Family Matching. The students had heart shaped cards with word family pictures and they sorted them onto a Valentine themed work mat with that ending on it.

6. Art Smart: This week’s art smart project came from the Guiding Readers resource. The students made Valentine selfies. IMG_4227[1]

They worked so hard in each center. It does my Valentine heart good to see them so engaged through the week.

Here is what went down for our Math centers:

  1. They picked a Valentine themed Domino and wrote the equation that fit the domino on Valentine themed paper.
  2. Geometric Valentines: took shapes and formed them to create a Valentine. Click HERE to get the resource. It is not free, but it is definitely cheap. I had the pieces copied on different colored paper. My parapro (BLESS HER HEART) cut out all of the pieces and put them in sets…yes it was a lot of work! At the center, each kinder cub got a set and looked at the key that I had made and created one of their own.
  3. Tech Time
  4. Fine Valentines graphing work sheet. Even though I am not a fan of using a lot of work sheets, I like to use one in math that makes them practice their cutting skills and is somewhat interactive. This one fit the bill perfectly.
  5. Valentine making 10 sheet. We used 10 frames to make a number and then added more to make 10. Then we used a recording sheet to see the different ways we could make 10.
  6. Number word writing practice.

Last year, I found the absolutest cutest VALENTINE for the kinder cubs to make for their parents. This year, as I was explaining it to my kinders, I even made one of them cry because she thought it was so sweet!!

This is what the finished product looks like:

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You need the copy of the phrase printed in color on white cardstock. Get it HERE

The rest of this activity is from Kinder Alphabet. If you scroll to the end of the post, you will find the instructions. Click HERE to find her ideas and the instructions to this card. I made my own sheet for it, because I didn’t want the words in script. I wanted it in print. So you can have a choice if you decide to do it.

Friday was the GRAND FINALE of our week!! The kiddos were so excited, that I had to bribe encourage them to make good choices all day so we could get all of our LOVELY activities completed.

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During our spare time throughout the week, the kids made these Critter Card Carriers. Click on the picture above to find my post on how to create these little cutie patootie things. I’ve used them for years. My students love them and have such a great time putting their Valentine cards in them.

On Friday morning, everyone brought in their Valentine cards. I found some freebie Valentine coloring sheets for them to work on during the morning.

When we got ready to have our Valentine’s Day Celebration Stations , I had a parent helper, 2 parapros, and me at each of 4 stations. We took about 15 minutes at each station. Here is what we did.

  1. IMG_4192[1]Add and Cover a valentine. The students had a card stock half paper that had numbers on it from 2-12. I happened to have Valentine themed dice. The kinder cubs would take turns rolling the dice and add the 2 together. Then, that kinder would cover the number on his/her sheet. Whoever covered their board first was the winner.
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Colorful Candy Heart Graphing- The students took candy conversation hearts, and graphed the colors. The boxes of conservation hearts had blue hearts and no white hearts. So I decided to make a Freebie for my TpT store. Click the picture below to get this freebie.

Slide13. Valentine Bingo

4. Valentine Delivery: We found that it was much easier to take a small group at a time and let them take their Valentines and put them in the bags themselves. If a child got done before the center time was over, he/she would just go over to the butcher paper we had set up for coloring.

After our Valentine Celebration Stations were over, it was time for lunch!!

Then, in the afternoon, we had rest, recess, Valentine writing stations and then about 30 minutes before the day was done, we had frozen yogurt sundaes complete with strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries.

Yes!!……. I was SLAP WORN OUT and when I put the last child on the bus, I packed up and went and got a mani and pedi!! It was heaven!!

See you soon!!

 

It’s Five For Friday and a TIEKS Giveaway!

Goodness gracious!! What a week!!

 

These past two weeks, I’ve had to be out of the classroom for some pretty important professional events.

It will feel good to be back on a regular schedule next week!

When I’m out like that, I realize how important it is to keep my students on a regular routine, because that is what I like as well.

Being on regular schedule in my life is just….well….comforting….and we all like to be comforted….right?!?!

Now I’m here in Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching to not only discuss 5 things but to also give you a chance to feel comforted with a pair of (DRUMROLL PLEASE)

TIEKS!! Yes !

Several of us have gotten together and are offering a giveaway for a free pair of TIEKS shoes!!

So…

stick with me here and then go to the  Rafflecopter to enter!!

You have 27 ….yes …..27 chances to enter!! So please enter!!

During the month of January, we did a lot of informational reading on Martin Luther King, Jr., penguins, and polar bears. Part of my writing activity for this is to write using a graphic organizer with Can, Have, Are. For Martin Luther King, I made up an organizer using Had, Was, Helped.

After we completed the chart, then the students wrote an informational piece in a mini book.

Here is a picture of the organizer I created for our kindergarten teachers to use with their kinder cubs.

If you click anywhere on the pic, it will take you straight to the freebie to download. Also, in that set is a Had, Was, Helped organizer.

This week, while I was gone, the kinder cubs worked on many things Valentine!! Our focus book was Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat using the Guiding Readers Series from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills (LOVE them!!) . In this unit, the kids learned about problem and solution in stories. In their writing they connected to the story by writing about a time they did something nice for someone. I love the sentence study in any of the Guiding Readers Series. We talk about the sentence: How many words?, What are the verbs?, What are the nouns?, What are the adjectives?. Then, we chat about the punctuation. Then, they take the mixed up sentence and put it in the right order and illustrate the main idea of it.

 

For Valentine craftivities they created a Valentine Selfie (from the Guiding Readers February Resource), a Valentine alliteration writing piece, and their Valentine Critter Carriers. When I came back on Friday, my classroom looked just LOVEly!!

I have made these Valentine Critter Carriers for years!

I put them outside the classroom and then on Valentine’s Day, the kids bring their cards and “feed” each child’s critter the card that is for that child.

Then, they take their critter home and open the bag and enjoy all of their cards and goodies they received!!

Click HERE to find my post about how to make these super cute bags!!

One of the math stations this week was to put shapes that were cut for them into a Valentine’s Day picture. I love doing these! However, for kindergarten, it is best if we cut out the shapes for each child and keep them in sets. It is difficult for them to cut out the shapes and take on the spatial relationship work it takes just to put it together! They all did a great job with it this week!!

This resource comes from, Christine Maxwell Hand to Heart! Click HERE to get to this awesome resource.

On Valentine’s Day, I plan on using conversation hearts or a graphing activity.

Even though you have probably seen a million jillion of examples of this graphing activity, I have one that is geared towards kindergarten that is FREE!! Click on the image below to download a free one for your file!!

And now to finish out my FIVE FOR FRIDAY, I want to offer you the opportunity to try for a FREE pair of TIEKS!!

Go to the Rafflecoptor below and enter!! This giveaway will run from February 11-16th!! So go for it!! A new pair of TIEKS would be an awesome gift for YOU or someone you love!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you would like to link up with this fun linky, then please go to Doodle Bugs Teaching: Five For Friday !!

Please enjoy your weekend and I wish for much love to come your way on Valentine’s Day!! God bless you!!