Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day with a Twist!

Every year Valentine's Day comes and goes... and we as educators feel exhausted by the end of the day! This year as we reflected on how to support the children in handing out their cards, candy, and treats we decided to focus on keeping things simple.

During our first focused learning, my partner read the book Words Are Not for Hurting. They had a conversation around "put ups" - who can give them, what they sound like, and they tried to think of put ups for each other.

Knowing that we would begin our discussion around positive language in the classroom - our team made homemade Valentine's for our children. On them we wrote "Put Ups" for the children that were personal and hopefully meaningful!

We will continue the discussion around positive language and using our words by focusing on tone of voice in the next few days. We already discuss volume and tone with children when working through problems in play, but we will take the time to model, role play and discuss the importance with the children.

When it came to handing out Valentine's cards and treats we had the children sit in a large circle with their Home Communication bags (we use them for daily home/school communication - so we didn't have to make paper bags with their names on them).

Two or three children at a time would take turns handing their Valentine's out to the children in the circle. We were so proud of the children and their patience as they waited their turn. It was so great for them to see the cards that their friends chose to make for them.

We saw some evidence of our discussions around gender surfacing as well. The little girl who said she was going to buy "girl" and "boy" Valentine's cards decided to just use one type of card. She told us that anyone would like her cards because they were special to her. The boys were just as excited to get princess cards as they were to see superheroes. It was truly beautiful.

Handing out Valentine's in this way was so much more personal, effective, and the chaos that normally comes with Valentine's Day seemed to simply disappear.

Our day was full of learning, love and laughter....just like every other day!

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