Yesterday was not Valentine’s Day – unless you were an elementary school student or elementary school teacher.
The first week of February the students cut out construction paper hearts and wrote on them who their favorite book character was and why. That became our as-you-enter-the-room bulletin board (note for next year either use a different color paper in the background or don’t use dark red for the hearts.)
As a gift to my students I wanted to give them something fun, useful, and sugar free. I perused Pinterest and came up with the multi-colored heart shaped crayon. So last Friday I collected all the broken crayons and took them home (what the heck – why so many broken crayons?!?) I soaked them in cold water to help with the label removal process. Cody and Carter were great helpers with this.
Next we broke the crayons down even further and put the pieces into a silicon Wilton 24 count mini heart pan Husband found for me on Amazon.
I don’t remember now, but I think I put them in a cold oven, set it to 250 degrees, and baked it for about 15 minutes or until the crayons were all melted.
Once they were cooled and hardened, I popped them out of the pan.
I used festive red saran wrap, a label I found on Pinterest, and some curling ribbon.
Yesterday was not Valentine’s Day – but for me and my students it was. The morning and the majority of the day was business as usual: morning work, morning meeting, Writer’s Workshop (but with cute Valentine writing paper), spelling test (but with a cute Valentine theme test paper), reading groups, reading activity, snack and sharing (birthday celebration for one of the students who could not afford to bring in a birthday treat so I surprised them with Oreos), P.E., lunch and recess, math (place value coloring activity involving hearts and skip counting in heart shaped boxes), and then free choice centers and our Valentine exchange and party.
I am sad that I was so busy that I completely forgot to take pictures of the party (not that I would feel comfortable posting them here, but I am compiling pictures from throughout the year for some, as of yet, undetermined end of school thing). All the kids’ Valentine mailboxes were filled to overflow. At the end of the day I got many sticky handed hugs and frosting tinted smiles.
And they made sure I did not go home empty handed either. Wow! (Can you tell my students know I love owls?)
It was a great day. The excitement, joy, and energy my students wiggled with helped me keep at bay the thoughts and tears lurking in the back of my mind.
Yesterday was not Valentine’s Day. It was the day before Valentine’s Day – the day my dad passed away just three short (or sometimes long) years ago. The hearts and sweet candies of Valentine’s Day will forever be associated with those last moments filled with sorrow and relief for me. Love and loss and life. I am glad I had my family and my students to remind me of the good and to lessen the sad of yesterday.
I, too, am glad you had those joyful energetic students and your loving family to get you through this day.
Keeping busy doesn’t totally push the sadness away on a day like that, but it helps a little. It’s good to lean on your friends and family at times like that.
Thanks for sharing your creative ideas with us. I love the heart-shaped crayons.