Valentine’s Day Compliment Bags

When I was student teaching, I had the most FABULOUS co-teacher.  She had so many great ideas, and this is one that I have clung to each and every year.

Instead of taking the time to be artsy fartsy about our Valentine's bags/boxes/whathaveyou, we have always written each other specific and meaningful compliments then decorated our bags with these compliments.  The students absolutely LOVE this–both writing the compliments AND reading their own.  The parents love it, too!  These are perfect for the big kids (grades 3 and up).

I have done this several different ways.  When I student taught, we sent home a class list (like most teachers do anyway for Valentine cards), and the students had to write their compliments at home, over the course of a week.  I skimmed them before they transferred them to the bags to be sure they were specific (NOT: You're nice.  You're cool.  You're funny.)  We did a little lesson before they began writing them about what a specific compliment is.  I have also had the kids work on these in class during writing time, depending on the grade level and amount of other homework.

Once they are all done, we have a signing party the day or two before Valentine's Day {I won't lie.  It's been done the day of when we are in a crunch!}.  The kids decorate a small part of their bag by putting their name on it to identify it as theirs.  Then, we pull out every Sharpie and gel pen we can find {what a treat!} and the kids go from desk to desk signing all of the bags with their special compliments.  It is such a fun time!  Then, before the students go back to their desks and read them all, I collect them so that it is a surprise to read when it is time for our Valentine's Party.  I add my own note to each, then put them back out on Valentine's Day for candy and card filling.

As you can see in the picture, some kids typed theirs out, then glued them on…when I have them do this at home, I'm okay with it, and when I have them do it at school, we usually don't have that option.

You will also see that we have used a few different kinds of bags.  The white ones were from student teaching–they are a little bit more pricey, so I usually get those if I can get a few parents to volunteer to pick up the bags, otherwise I just get the colored or white lunch bags at Target or Wal-Mart for a couple bucks.

HERE is a link to smaller white craft bags I love using! (affiliate link) HERE is a link to larger white bags that I use that come with 100, so you'll be ready for a few years!

I can't recommend doing this enough!

Love how I still have some goodies with my maiden name!

Update: I still do these bags every single year, and they warm my heart each and every time kids make them! Here are a few more from our 2017 Valentine's Day parties!

2021 Update: Distance Learning Valentine Ideas

With so many students in digital or hybrid models, teachers are once again showing off their flexibility and creativity by creating unique classroom celebrations. There was a great brainstorming thread In our FREE Inspired in Upper Elementary Facebook group, full of fun distance learning Valentine activities to help students stay connected even when they're not in the traditional classroom. Here are some of mine and their suggestions for celebrating Valentine's Day in the virtual classroom.

distance learning Valentine activities upper elementary

More Valentine Activities

Are you looking for an incredibly engaging math project to help your students review their math skills while still getting into the Valentine's Day spirit?  I created this differentiated Valentine's Day math project that your students will absolutely adore!

You can learn more about this Valentine's Day Math Project HERE.

You can also purchase a huge bundle of my Valentine's Day Math and Literacy Resources!

Click HERE to check out all of the goodies in my bundle!

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Free Morphology Activities

Are you ready to get started teaching prefixes and suffixes? This FREE word study bundle can help!

free upper elementary notebook ideas for teaching prefixes and suffixes along with Greek or Latin roots

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