With my school going from pre-k – 8th grade, I have always felt kind of bad for the “big kids” on Valentine’s Day because it is business for them as usual while the lower grades are having parties. That’s why I always try to do something a little different than a normal math class, but still academic. I thought I’d share a couple of the things I have done with my students on Valentine’s Day for other teachers who are looking for easy, free, no-prep ways to bring some holiday fun into their math classes.
I have shared before that I LOVE problem-solving and give my students word problems daily. (You can read about my daily problem solving here). On Valentine’s Day I use a set of Valentine’s word problems on fractions that I made a few years ago instead of the normal problem of the day. (Download them free from my TpT store by clicking on the picture below). The word problems are a great challenge because they combine two areas students typically struggle with – fractions and word problems.
I break the class into groups of 4 and have them work together on the problems. I make it a contest – either the first group to get all the problems correct wins, or any group that gets at least 5 problems right within a set time limit wins, etc. Students don’t necessarily love working on word problems (the understatement of the century), but working as a group and making it a contest definitely ups the fun-factor!
After the word problems, play a game of “Attack”, reviewing whatever concept you are currently studying. On Valentine’s Day I have them draw hearts as the thing they are attacking and have them attack by drawing arrows on the hearts. (If you missed my post explaining how to play, you can read it here – trust me, it’s worth the read because students absolutely LOVE this game!)
Finally, show your students some love by giving them a homework pass. You can download mine free by clicking on the picture below. (Write the student’s name on the 1st line and sign the 2nd line.) Either give one to every student as a Valentine or use them as a prize for the groups that won the word problem race and “Attack” game. (I use the point system of grading, and homework counts as 2 points a day in my class, so I personally allow my students to either use the homework pass to get credit on a night where they didn’t do their homework or they can turn it in at the end of the marking period for 2 extra credit points.)
I hope you are able to use some of these ideas in your class. Please feel free to share what you do to have fun with your students on Valentine’s Day in the comments below!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for reading,