Two Valentine's Day Graphing Activities February 08 2010

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Today I was going through a few files and found a card I had made for my kids one Valentine's Day a couple of years ago. Try not to cry when you read it. 

Roses are red, beans make you fart ~ I like you more than chocolate hearts! 

Precious, I know. 

I happen to like Valentine's Day. I make heart pancakes for my family in the morning and heart pizza for dinner. I give cards to family members and friends along with little gifts of chocolate or trinkets. 

Kids are no different in this respect, and in the classroom there aren't enough opportunities just to tell kids we like them, regardless of what they do or how they perform academically or behaviorally. Plus, I like to laugh with my kids, and funny Valentines poems and cards is just one of the many ways to achieve that.Two other Valentine activities I enjoy in my classroom involve graphing. The first one requires that I supply conversation hearts for my kids, whether in individual boxes or parceled out to each student from larger bags, and makes a good morning math activity. The second one uses the Valentines students receive from classmates, and is a good afternoon or day-after-Valentine's activity.

Have A Heart!

Put students in groups of 3 or 4 and hand out conversation hearts to students after they understand that they MAY NOT EAT THEM until the END of the activity. 

Hand out a Have A Heart Sheet to each student and give them time to complete it. Before they begin, you may have to review a few concepts on the sheet, such as mean, average, classify, estimate, and the correct use of quotation marks. Provide graph paper or butcher paper in order for them to complete the activities.

Graph the Love

After opening their collection of Valentine cards, kids could just shove them into their backpacks and be one their way. But it might be fun to take those cards and graph them and create a poster.

Once students have opened their cards and enjoyed some of the accompanying treats, ask your students to put the cards into groups. On a piece of chart paper, make a list of how students grouped them. Some options include grouping by color, character (i.e. Lightning McQueen, Spiderman), from a boy or girl, came with candy or without, and closed with a sticker or didn't close with a sticker.

Using some of their classifications, start your own Valentine graph as a model. Along the bottom, write the classifications - for example, Hannah Montana cards - and count how many cards of that type you received from your students and glue them onto your graph. Along the side, include numbers and don't forget to include a title and the date. Choose one or two more classifications on your graph, then turn the job over to your students so they can make their own.

Give students time to rearrange their cards as they would like. Provide each student with a piece of butcher paper and have them glue their groups of cards onto it for a fun graph. When they're done with their graphs, students can decorate them and share them with classmates.

While your students are completing their graphs, finish yours by using the rest of the cards you received. Hang it up in the hallway, and laminate it when you take it down. Put it up in the hallway the next year, so that kids who've left your class can find the cards they gave you. After a few years, you'll have impressive graphs and a cute display for Valentine's Day!