Weekly Wrap-Up -> Feb. 4-8 ... Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day ideas

Gong hei fat choy!
Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!

We wanted to celebrate the lunar new year in our classroom so we read some great books and had fun with lots of hands-on activities this week.  We are also getting ready for Valentine's Day!

Can you write a Chinese word?
I got these Buddha Boards a few years back from Chapters Indigo (a bookstore here in Canada) and I use them for so many things in the classroom!
We set this invitation up for students to explore writing in Chinese - all of the words on the paper you see are the animals of the zodiac (I just did a quick Google search and found this free printable).

What is your favourite Chinese new year zodiac animal?
We read several books (see below) and discussed the importance of the Chinese zodiac animals.  Here we asked students to choose which animal was their favourite and draw/write about it.

Here are some great Chinese lunar new year books to read to children!

Valentine's Day Craft Bag
We are also getting ready for Valentine's Day by making these easy craft bags to hold our cards next week.  I found these Valentine stampers at Dollarama a couple of years ago (although I saw them there recently!).  Students painted the stampers (they come out much better than just dipping them in paint) and stamp the bag.  They also write their name in the centre of the heart.

Valentine Picture Frame Craft
This is our Valentine's Day gift this year - a picture frame.  The photo booth props are also from Dollarama.  We had students paint large tongue depressors and decorate them with foamies.  They stood in front of a backdrop (which is actually just tissue paper also from the dollar store!).  You can easily attach a magnet to the back or a string to hang.

Valentine's Day Write the Room
Our students LOVE Write the Room so they were quickly drawn to this centre.  There are lots of differentiated worksheets for students to complete in the pack!
You can find this activity in my Write the Room - Valentine's Day pack on TpT.

Valentine's Day Post Office - Dramatic Play
Our Dramatic Play Centre has turned into a post office, where students are writing cards, letters, and more to their peers!

This mailbox is from Wintergreen Learning from several years back.  It is made out of such durable plastic, it is definitely one of the BEST purchases I've made!

I did a big blog post all about our Post Office several years ago.  You can read all about it (and see so many more pictures!) here.

Outer Space Inquiry
For the past week, we have noticed our students drawing pictures of planets and stars, and so we decided to set up an invitation to see what they know and want to know about planets.  Not sure if this will turn into an inquiry but these activities sure were popular this week!

Can you make a constellation?

Black Beans in the Sensory Bin
We added black beans and "planets" (made from metal tin lids) along with balls of tin foil for students to explore.

Can you create a math game?
I simply adore these open ended questions with lots of possibilities!  Students are so creative!  Here they can create their own math game using any materials (and rules) they would like!

We left out a different size jar each day filled with various things inside (this one has large plastic snowflakes).  Students could guess how many they thought were inside.  The student closest to the actual number won a sticker!

Math Game - More or Less
To help explain the idea of estimation, I saw this idea online and wanted to give it a try.  I filled the middle bag that says "10" with 10 black beads (they are fairly large in size).  The other 2 bags had a question mark as one contained more and one contained less than 10 beads.  Without looking inside, rather just holding the bags in their hands, they had to guess which bag had more and which had less.  We spoke about how many more and how many less.

Light Table - Exploring Colour
This is a simple and easy provocation to set up to invite students to explore primary colours on the light table.  I added these colour paddles from Wintergreen Learning along with these large translucent blocks and a ring of paint chips (free from your local paint store!).

Here are my weekly plans if you'd like to take a closer look:

You can download the Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.  
You will need Power Point to edit.
I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download):

Stay tuned for lots of Valentine's Day activities coming next week to celebrate the big day!

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