Happy Hearts Day!

Our youngest learners have a challenging time saying the word “valentine.”  It comes out in several unique ways and always with a big smile!  Many just give up and say “happy hearts day” instead.  Such is the case when one precocious little friend climbed into my lap to share his vintageval2thoughts today:

Child:  Happy ‘Balentiney-heart’ Day, Mrs. Van!

Me:  Thank you…and Happy Hearts Day to you too!

Child:  Do you love me?

Me:  Always and forever.

Child:  But what will Mr. Van say?

Me:  He’s okay with it; he knows I love all our Miller family.

Child:  WOW!  That’s a lotta love!  🙂

As Victor Hugo noted:  “What a grand thing to be loved…what a grander thing still to love!”  We are blessed everyday to work in an environment where our relationships with our learners and each other model unconditional love.  Here’s hoping everyone feels this love today and every day!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

HEARTy Creations

valcutouts A group of students entered the classroom and found multiple heart cutouts scattered upon each classroom desk.  Someone noted, “It must have rained hearts in here over the weekend!”  The children were challenged to create something from the hearts, using all the sizes and colors placed on their particular desk.  Once the creations were completed, the writing and sharing commenced.

An activity like this brings out the clever, unique, and fun side of learning for students.  Being able to have choice in novel ways creates ownership of the work and the results.  Learners authentically engage themselves because they have the protection to create without the fear of failing—there are no right or wrong answers.

It is our goal to design meaningful and engaging work for learners everyday.  We concentrate more on the WHO rather than the WHAT.  We specifically think about the students for whom this work is intended by identifying their roles, responsibilities, and unique abilities or challenges.  Likewise, our students are also able to make decisions regarding some part of the learning experience while providing a variety of skills, styles, and unique approaches to their learning, their interests, and their work.  In the words of one learner, this combination definitely makes for “lovely learning and HEARTy creations!”   Indeed!  🙂


XOXO . . . It’s Valentine’s Day here at LME . . . a day filled with HEARTy learning opportunities for all!  In first grade, we found these friends were sharing what they love in the writing center and then singing a poem called “I Love…” 



They also enJOYed working challenging math problems with special manipulatives during math centers (better check those backpacks for all manner of items when you get home tonight; you never know what may show up!).

Our Head Start friends shared their amazing work from centers today by creating artful notes and cards for their families.  Giovani practices writing his letters during center time.




It is always insightful to visit with young learners about the meaning of customs in our society.  For instance, a first grade friend shared with me, “Mrs. Van, did you know Valentine’s Day started because a kind man cared about others?”  🙂  Another learner chimed in to share, “Yeah, and children wrote him notes ‘to my Valentine’ thanking him for his ‘passion’ (compassion) and stuff.”  🙂  Another child wrote these words in a card to me today:  “Mrs. Van, The ‘love day’ is finally here and you remind me of St. Valentine; he was a man with many friends for he was brave and kind.  Lots of children wrote him notes and letters they loved to send, then a holiday was named for their very special friend. Thanks! XOXO”  🙂  How clever is this writer and what JOY her words brought to my soul!   I reminded everyone this morning during morning message:  “I hope you choose to show your love to others every single day (and not just on Valentine’s Day)!”  Here’s hoping you choose to share the love as well . . . thanks for sharing your learners with us everyday!  XOXO  🙂