Teacher’s Brain

How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day In Your Classroom Online or In Person

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away! February is such a jam-packed month with lots of things to learn about. We get to celebrate Valentine’s Day (of course), Chinese New Year, and this year, the Winter Olympics! 

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day traditions from when I was in the classroom. Valentine’s is one of my favorite days to celebrate because it’s so fun to show our love and appreciation for each other. I love seeing the little cards that students bring in for their friends and their teachers. 

Here are some fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in your elementary classroom

  1. Decorate your classroom. This one goes without saying but decorating your classroom or even just your classroom door for Valentine’s Day is so fun! A great place to find cute and festive decor on a budget is Dollar Tree. They have tons of heart-shaped banners and other decorations. 
  2. Have a Valentine’s Day party. This is a great time to break out the Valentine’s Day candy and activities. I love doing this escape room with my students. It is an activity that is guaranteed to get their engagement. Another very popular activity is the Love Monster Writing activity! 
  3. Exchange Valentine’s Day Cards. You can have your students decorate a paper bag or a shoebox with Valentine’s Day-themed supplies to collect their cards! This is such a fun way to get creative in the classroom and it’s so exciting to see what students come up with. 

If you are teaching online this year, don’t worry! You can still have tons of fun with your students, even digitally. 

Just host an online Valentine’s Day party! You can decorate your Google Slides with cute Valentine’s Day clip art. I created a digital Valentine’s Day escape room activity for teachers who need virtual activities that you can check out here.  

As for exchanging Valentine’s cards, I have you covered there too! 

This digital Valentine’s Day card resource was created with the needs of teachers who are doing virtual lessons in mind. 

celebrate Valentine's Day

These digital google slides make it easy for your students to personalize and move editable conversational hearts to give virtually or in person. There is even a name grid provided so students can keep track of who got one and how to spell classmates’ names!

celebrate Valentine's Day

Included with this resource you’ll get 27 Colorful Google Slides with premade titles, editable text boxes, directions, movable conversational heart parts, and a video tutorial that you can check out below.

You can delete slides you don’t want to send to students, add your own directions or images to the sides of the slides to personalize.

celebrate Valentine's Day

Are you celebrating in person or online this year? Let me know in the comments!



Stop Motion Animation Activities To Encourage A Love of Creative Writing

One of the most universally loved things right now is Disney movies. Frozen, Luca, Encanto… parents and kids alike love these movies. Which makes sense! The animation capabilities of these Disney creators are incredibly impressive. 

Since it is something students love so much, naturally, I tried to think of ways to make it educational so they can enjoy it in the classroom as well. I found that stop-motion animation is a great introduction to animated movies and the enormous amount of skill, creativity, dedication, and art that goes into each movie. 

It all starts with a good story! I found this way of approaching narrative, creative writing to be an extremely effective way to hook students into the concept because they want to create their own masterpieces. 

With that in mind, I created a winter resource that will teach students about animation from a REAL Disney animator. How cool is that?! 

This Stop Motion Animation Creative Writing three week unit is jam-packed with activities to get your students fully engaged in the creative process. 

stop motion animation

The focus of this resource is creative narrative writing through the integration of beginning animation concepts. The real Disney animator will get your students inspired and get those creative juices flowing. 

The Animator Spotlight and Animator Interview will teach students everything they need to know to complete an animator study report. 

stop motion animation

Teaching students about short animation will help them better understand sequencing events and how to make their own creative endings. After that, students can use the printables provided to design their own book covers! 

You’ll get everything you need with this resource. This includes lined paper along with writing toppers to make displaying your students’ work in your classroom easy and cute. 

stop motion animation

In addition to these activities, you’ll also get narrative writing choice boards, narrative lead ideas, creative writing story elements, a snowman flip book, and so much more. Furthermore, the stop motion animation directions will teach you how to create an animation with your students easily with tools you already have. 

I included lots of extras with this resource for centers like the snowman drawing instructions and comprehension checks. 

Interested in learning more? Check out my video here! 

Looking for more winter activities? Check out these Winter Olympics activities!stop motion animation



Valentine’s Day Escape Room Students Will Love

One of the latest trends making waves in the education world (and in the outside world too), is escape rooms. If you don’t already know, escape rooms are a game where people (or in our case students) work together to solve clues, puzzles, or complete designated tasks in order to “escape the room” in a set amount of time. Sounds fun, right?!

These games are so exciting because they are very immersive. The interactive aspect really makes you feel like you are living the story of the escape room! 

In the classroom, escape rooms can include puzzles or tasks related to the skills you are working on in your lessons. This makes it an educational activity for students that feels like fun, not work! 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted an escape room that had a fun and festive Valentine’s Day theme while still being an engaging way to work on skills in the classroom. 

So, I created this Valentine’s Day Escape Room! 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

This Valentine’s Day mystery requires little prep and includes detailed directions, 3 clues to solve, a video hook, and set-up photos to help you put it all together. The set-up checklist will help you ensure that everything runs smoothly for the activity. 

To start, students will watch the video hook or introduction to learn about their mission. Then they will be tasked with solving 3 clues using comprehension skills. If you find that any of the activities are too easy for your students, there are additional activities included to differentiate. Students will practice teamwork skills while solving clues to help learn about holiday vocabulary and number patterns. 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

The clues will help them unlock the box and claim their prize. For prizes, you can use candy, homework passes, or bookmarks. Whatever you choose! 

The supplies needed are simple. You’ll need a box , some surprises to put inside the box (homework passes and bookmarks are provided), pencils, 6 large file folders (or regular folders), candy hearts (paper ones are provided if you don’t want to use real candy) and magnifying glasses (2 or more). 

Valentine's Day escape room

This activity is so engaging! It’s so fun to see how excited students get to put their detective skills to work so they can solve the clues. 

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day activities for elementary? Let me know in the comments!

Valentine's Day escape room

The Best Winter Writing Activities For Elementary

Around the holidays, I usually like to try and come up with some really unique holiday or winter writing activities that will be different from the stuff that students have become used to. Adding in a variety of lessons, crafts, and activities never fails to get students excited and engaged in our writing practice. 

With many teachers and students still learning virtually this year, I have been thinking about winter writing activities that students can get really engaged with whether they are learning in person or online. 

winter writing activities

This Trapped In A Snow Globe writing activity has to be my favorite this year! 

Students will get to create a photo of them trapped in a snow globe and write about it. It comes with 14 background slides to choose from and 4 slides of movable parts to add. Just choose a background, palace a picture of your student “trapped”, and then add your accessories! 

After that, there are 6 slides for students to brainstorm, organize thoughts, and write a story about their snow globe. What I love about this is that it is designed for distance learning so you can easily add gifs in place of photos. 

You’ll also get black and white slides for students to digitally or handwrite their stories. You can choose from narrative, persuasive, or opinion writing. You’ll get 4 writing prompts to choose from or 2 pages that are left blank so you can create your own prompt. 

There is also a Google Form so you can do a “Favorite Design Contest” with your students! 

Step 1. Choose a background

winter writing activity

Step 2. Add your photo or gif

winter writing activity

Step 3. Add your accessories

winter writing activities

Step 4. Write about it! 

winter writing activities

Afterward, you can create a slideshow with music that includes all of your students’ creations! 

Another fun twist to this activity is that students can all trap the teacher! Add your photo to each of their designs and they can write about how you got trapped. 

Check out the video here

What are your favorite winter writing activities? Let me know in the comments!