Hot Tips & Topics

We are dedicated to providing you with a comprehensive collection of relevant and up-to-date K-12 education news and editorials. For teachers, by teachers.

How Do Holidays Always Sneak Up on Me?

Mrs. Mimi's Chalk Talks

How Do Holidays Always Sneak Up on Me?Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and if you’re like me, major holidays sneak up on you out of NOWHERE! 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written the date on the board and thought, “I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is tomorrow?!! What am I going to do?” Maybe you’re a better teacher than I, you love celebrations and are on top of your holidays. (And if you are this teacher, can you just give me a heads up on some of this stuff next year? That would be swell.)

Holidays have always been hard for me to reconcile. Nine times out of ten, they are related to nothing we are currently studying. However, ten times out of ten, my students view the upcoming holiday with excitement, anticipating a day of...well, a day of celebrating.

Call me a Scrooge, but a sugar-filled day of cupcakes, party hats and general unscheduled “fun” does not sound like a great day to me. Even though I may unintentionally leave celebration planning until the last minute, I always tried to make it somewhat tied to what we were learning or something educational without taking all the fun out if it. Sure, I can do a 30-minute party at the end of the day, but partying the whole day? No. There’s not enough Advil in the world. 

I feel like I’m always complaining that I don’t have enough time with my students. The year seems to fly by and I’m racing to get everything covered, to ensure that they make enough progress. 

Related Articles
Students only know enough about tech that they need to survive – but they don’t quite know all that it make take to thrive.
Students only know enough about tech that they need to survive – but they don’t...
Whether in your grade, within your building, or across the country, teachers share the same responsibilities. The more we adopt “We’re all in this together” teaching strategies, the more we (and our students) will grow.
Whether in your grade, within your building, or across the country, teachers...
If parents are curious about how they can help with struggling students, there exists some very helpful advice and teaching strategies that they can take into consideration at home and in conjunction with school faculty.
If parents are curious about how they can help with struggling students, there...
Here are eighteen digital resources that will keep children happy and...
Thanksgiving activities for kids
Fed up with building pilgrim hats out of paper bags?   Try one of these...

So then how can I rationalize basically an entire day off that serves no educational purpose?   But how can I consider myself an elementary school teacher who is supposed to love fun and embrace childhood excitement if I just let the day go by unmarked? 

This year I was prepared! (One of my colleagues took me up on that whole reminder thing.) 

My Valentine's Day Lessons

  • intriguing Valentine’s Day read alouds,
  • bags of candy hearts for children to graph,
  • a Valentine’s Day art project planned,
  • a fun shared reading about the history of Valentine’s Day complete with some words that are directly related to my students current learning in word study, and an idea for a Valentine’s day inspired shared writing. 
  • As to not be a total Holiday Downer, I’m even letting small groups of children mix cupcake batter as a nod to math and fractions.
  • To top it all off, I have some time left over for a card exchange and a wee bit of a party. (Those cupcakes are NOT coming home with me!) 

So yes, I am taking a bit of a break from our normal routine, but I am trying my hardest to keep focused on our learning. 

I’m not going to lie to you. Getting this day together was a TON OF WORK. I tried my best to make some of my activities replicable so that I can use them next year. But I feel good about what I’ve created. I stuck to my guns and am squeezed as much learning as possible out of the day, but my plan was also celebratory and fun.

 

What did you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day in your classroom? Share in the comment section!