Valentine's Day has got to be one of the craziest days in the middle school classroom. It's right up there with the day before Christmas break and the last day of school! Having spent several Valentine's Days with middle schoolers over the course of our teaching careers, we've come up with three sure-fire ways to make sure the day runs a bit smoother! We hope these help you out in your own classrooms! :)
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
Don't try to pretend it's just a regular day. Get in the spirit of things and pass out valentines to your kiddos. Experience has taught us that even tweens appreciate a sweet note and a little treat. We created these cute and easy valentines to give to our kiddos along with a homemade sugar cookie! (Click here to download for free!) Our favorite is "You're a smart cookie!" How cute would that be attached to a heart-shaped sugar cookie?!
At the end of this post, we've included the best recipe ever for sugar cookies! We make these for every holiday, and they are AMAZING!
Set aside a few minutes for some silly Valentine's Day games.
Purchase some Candy Conversation Hearts to be used for the following games ...
Grab our free Tic-Tac-Toe game board. Pair students up and use the candy as place holders. Play as many times as you'd like!
Have student pairs compete against other pairs to see who can stack the most candy in a tower before time runs out. (A minute is usually sufficient!) Make it tournament style and have pairs keep advancing until there is only one team left!
Tie your curriculum into the day.
We have three engaging resources that are perfect to use around Valentine's Day and will have your students analyzing, debating, and creating love-related products!
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ingredients for Cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Ingredients for Frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- *Note: Before baking, place dough on parchment paper and chill for at least two hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and beat well. Mix in vanilla.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour. Don't overmix!
- If desired, roll out and use a cookie cutter.
- Bake for 7-12 minutes until lightly golden around the edges. (They are meant to turn out kind of soft on top with a slightly harder bottom.)
- Mix the frosting together and frost your cookies!
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