Building classroom community is extremely important for so many reasons. Think about the wide variety of students that walk through your door. Consider their family dynamics and how some students may not have a home that shows them as much love as they need. Use your classroom to build community and make them feel loved throughout the most extended parts of their day. A fun time of year to do this is February when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Find out how by reading the post below.
Classroom community involves creating a safe space for every one of your students. This space (your classroom) makes each child feel like they belong. They all have a common goal: learning and thriving together as kids. This feeling of community will help all students succeed and get motivated to try their best in everything they do.
Building Classroom Community on Valentine’s Day
While building classroom community should be tackled all year long, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind students how much they are loved. Since it’s a day full of love and giving, find fun ways to show students how amazing they are and how much they mean to the classroom environment. Below are some great ideas to implement in the classroom.
Read Plenty of Valentine’s Day Stories
Books are a central part of the classroom. They are also key ingredients when building classroom community throughout the year. Use adorable February-themed stories to remind students about love, giving, friendship, and community. Here are some great titles your elementary students will enjoy.
- Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
- Love From the Crayons by Drew Daywalt
- In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek
- Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke
- Listening with My Heart by Gabi Garcia
Add these books to your classroom library or incorporate them in your daily read-alouds during February. Kids will appreciate you adding them to the lesson plans. The stories are great examples of how to show love to others and spread kindness everywhere we go.
Host a Valentine’s Day Party for Students
Parties around the holidays are my favorite way to celebrate. Invite your students to bring in packaged goods to share with the class. Provide opportunities to take “selfies” using fun props and let the kids create adorable crafts. An easy way to prep Valentine’s Day crafts is to purchase pink, red, white, and purple craft supplies. These include pom poms, pipe cleaners, construction paper, foam hearts, stickers, and colorful popsicle sticks. Let the kids use these items to create their own Valentines for friends and family or to add to letters to friends.
Let Students Write Valentine’s Day Stories Together
Use these Roll and Write Mats to let kids write fun stories together. These mats can be used in pairs or independently. Let the kids take turns rolling and creating parts of the story if used in pairs. Then, let them share their stories with the class or another team of students. They will enjoy sharing and feel super proud of themselves for what was written.
Print the mats on colorful construction paper or printer paper to make them more fun. If it makes sense in the classroom, laminate the sheets so they can be used year after year. Kids can use dry-erase markers to fill them out and restart if they have time.
Play Valentine’s Day Themed Games
Classroom games are a fantastic way to build classroom community with students. All you need for fun relay races are plastic spoons and something to balance. Ideas include small pink balloons, candy hearts, jello hearts, or small stuffed animals. This makes a great classroom game or something to do outdoors at recess. The kids will enjoy working together to cross the finish line.
If you want some fun minute-to-win-it games for partners, try some of these games by Together as Family. They are perfect for Valentine’s Day and other parties! Kids will love sharing these games with their families and playing them at home.
Practice Math Skills with Hearts to Build Classroom Community
Math games and centers are a fun way to practice skills AND build community. The kids always get excited to practice what they’ve learned with their friends. It’s much more entertaining than sitting in front of worksheets all day. Use these February Multiplication and Division Games to keep kids entertained and to help them work on partner work.
Just like the roll and write mats, these are great activities to laminate for multiple uses. Glue them on colorful paper to make them even more fun, and attach paperclips as spinners. Dry-erase markers are always a great option for filling them out!
Put Out a Classroom Mailbox
One unique way of building classroom community is by providing kids with a classroom mailbox. Invite your students to write and send sweet letters to one another all February long. It doesn’t have to go away when February ends either; leave it out all year to encourage and motivate students. Deck your writing center with Valentine stickers, stamps, envelopes, stationery, and fun pens. The kids will enjoy sharing letters and the community fostered through them.
By inviting students to participate in sweet activities together on Valentine’s Day, they are building classroom community and are reassured that they are part of a loving group. They will look forward to coming to class every day and seeing what you have planned for them. Regardless of their home life, give them a safe space to be themselves, make friends, and learn life lessons.
For more fun math and literacy ideas for the classroom, check out these posts you will also love:
- 7 Helpful Tips for Teaching Poetry to 5th Graders
- Playing Math Card Games to Excite and Challenge Your Students