FREE February Journal Prompts

I have some Journal Prompts for Beginning and Struggling writers. This is a sampler pack of my February themes pack. This download includes a journal prompt sampler for Valentine’s Day and Groundhog’s Day.

Valentine’s Day Journal Prompts Sample

Groundhog’s Day Journal Prompts Sample

Full version of the February Journal Prompts 

The full version includes thematic prompts for Valentine’s Day, Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, and Healthy Teeth. If you enjoy the sampler, you can download the entire February Journal Prompts packet here 🙂

Valentine’s Day Card Messages

Valentine’s Day is just two days away! Are you still looking for valentine card ideas?  I hope that you like these. I used a 3.5in. scallop puncher from Fiskars and neon card stock to make the flower frames. You can make a 2.5 inch circle in your document and add your preferred message. Take a look 🙂
valentine's day ruler message card
valentine's day glue message card

Conversation Heart Crowns

I love these conversation heart crowns for Valentine’s Day. It’s a very easy craft that kids can make as part of the theme or for the party. They will have so much fun reading each other’s messages. Another exciting thing is that students will also be able to make these cute crowns for school personnel. This will be a great way to spread positive energy and great messages on Valentine’s day. So let’s show someone you care about their hard work. Let’s crown them with LOVE with this fun activity 🙂

The purpose of this fun activity is to spread positive messages on Valentine’s Day.

It includes:

*24 Student Crowns with Conversation Messages
-Students will make their crowns and wear them. Then, you can ask them to go around and see how many phrases they can read on their friends’ crowns. In turn, the student who is wearing the crown will feel good when a friend reads a message such as “You melt my heart!” or “You are awesome!”

*1 Parent gift which will be a heart with a message.The students simply finish the phrase, “I love you more than _______”

*9 Heart Gifts for family members

*15 Staff Crowns that students can make as gifts for school personnel. It will show them that they are #1 in your book 🙂 Or, you can use the the conversation heart message crowns for them too!

*16 Secret Message Valentine Cards:
Students will break the code by writing the first sound of each picture to find the secret message. They also have To: _____ and From: _______ lines that the students will fill in.

*16 Differentiated Valentine Cards:
Students who might not be ready to decode the secret message will simply copy the word on the given line. They also have To: _____ and From: _______ lines that the students will fill in.

*3 blank templates

Yes. This Valentine’s Day craft is also available in Spanish!

Visit Lidia Barbosa’s profile on Pinterest.

Lidia Barbosa’s profile on Pinterest.

Valentine’s Day craft and Classroom Organization

I am honored that Jo-Ann Fabrics has invited me to team up with them for this Teacher Creativity Blog Hop. I was happy to shop at JoAnn Fabrics and Craft Stores for my supplies. Do you know that they have a Teacher Rewards program? Teachers save on every purchase 🙂
Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I will share two of my favorite crafts with you. They include a Valentine craft for kids and a Valentine gift for mom.  I also included an extra craft for organization. I hope that you like them.
Valentine Envelope/ Mailbox
When JoAnn contacted me, I knew that I wanted to make something related to Valentine’s Day. I had several ideas, but I kept leaning towards this one. This is a large envelope/ mailbox for those precious Valentine’s Day cards. And, this is how we made it.


Felt (stiff or regular) 2 pieces per student
Yarn (56in per student)
Tacky Glue (regular glue might work too)
Hole Puncher
Embellishments (I chose felt hearts & buttons.)
Ribbon (for handle)
File folder (Cut a piece smaller than the fabric and slide it into the envelope to hold its’ shape.)

Teacher Prep:

1. The felt pieces will not be cut in any way. The teacher, or helper, will use a hole puncher to make about 6 holes on the sides and bottom of the felt pieces. You can lay the first piece on top of the second to line up the holes. The hole punching is the only part that will need a little more time to complete.
2. Cut 56 inches of yarn and tie a knot on the first hole to keep the 2 pieces together.
3. Cut 2 triangles out of felt. I did this by using a ruler to mark a large X on the fabric.
4. Add a piece of tape to the end of yarn. This will help students thread it through the holes.

Student How To:

1. Glue the triangle piece to the front of the envelope.

2. Thread the yarn. My 3 year-old was able to do this by herself. I modeled how to thread it Under-Over-Under. She got it right away and did not want any help. Can you see that she is able to start under and go through both layers? I underestimated her understanding and abilities for this part, but she did GREAT!

3. Now, she is ready to add the embellishments. The heart sticker was the easiest. The buttons needed a dot of glue. An easy way to do this is to pour the tacky glue on a paper plate. Then, use a Q-Tip to add a dot to the bottom of each button.

4. I cut the letters for her name out of the scraps from above. You can also use alphabet felt stickers to make it easier.
5. Add ribbon or yarn to serve as a handle. I made a bow in the middle of the ribbon, then pushed the ends through  the top holes.



Valentine Gift for Mom

Valentine’s is the perfect time to give mom a gift. I love handprint crafts for this occasion. And, one of my favorite phrases for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day is  Hold my hand today, but my heart forever!  I remember seeing a fingerprint project years ago, so I decided to combine the two ideas. This is how my little Isabella made it 🙂


Paint (I used the Americana brand.)
Card stock
Scrapbook paper
Scissors (scallops are nice)


Pour a bit of paint into a paper plate. Use Valentine’s Day colors.

How to

1. Student dips the pointer finger into ONE color of paint and makes prints all over the paper.
2. Use a paper towel to wipe finger in between colors.
3. Set aside when the paper is full of colorful fingerprints.
4. Now, paint child’s hands with his/her color of choice.
5. Press hands down on white paper.
6. Add glitter for fun 🙂 and use scalloped scissors to cut around the heart shape that was made with the hands.
7. Glue a bright colored heart behind the heart hands for contrast.
8. Glue one side of the heart to the center of the fingerprinted paper. The other half side of the heart will not be glued to give it a delicate butterfly effect.
9. Send home on Valentine’s Day to be framed by mom. It’s so adorable. I love this handprint keepsake 🙂


Teacher Craft for Organization

I know that this is not related to Valentine’s Day, but I really wanted to do something for organization. I kept looking at the mason jars and the fiskars punchers since December. But, I ran across this in the floral/ garden section of JoAnn Fabrics. The bucket caddy is perfect for pencils and crayons. This organization tool makes it easy to keep the essentials in the middle of student tables without overcrowding their space with the larger tubs. It could also be used at the teacher table for small groups. I was thinking of painting them yellow, until I saw the picture on the can of this aqua spray paint 🙂 Here’s how I made it.


Metal Bucket Caddy
Spray Paint (aqua)
Fiskars Pretty Scallops Punch 4XL
Scrapbook Paper



How to:

1. Lay newspaper on the floor of your garage.
2. Place the buckets on the newspaper.

3. Spray Paint the buckets. I was going to try to paint with the Americana craft paint, but the JoAnn associate was very helpful. She said that the paint would not last long. So spray painting was the better option. Eeek! I have never spray painted anything before. As it turns out, this paint is very forgiving to beginners like me. I definitely saw drips while painting, but you can’t even see them on the finished product. I did leave the bucket out by my door on a cold afternoon and it dried perfectly.
4. Decorate each bucket with ribbon.
5. Add a label made with the flower puncher. This was my favorite part. I LOVE how this puncher cuts so perfect shapes. I want to go back and buy more shapes! The flower is 3 1/2 inches. So, I made my round labels on powerpoint at 2 1/2 inches so that you could see the flower shape behind it 🙂

Here’s a before and after. Paint makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?


Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope that you enjoyed learning about these crafts for the classroom.
Oh, wait. Do you remember that I said that the sales associate was very helpful? She told me about the JoAnn app! She even helped me download it to my phone. Just go to iTunes and search for JoAnn. Once you download it, you will see some weekly ads. BUT… at the very bottom of the screen, you will see some small scissors with the word coupons underneath it. I clicked on it and it gave me 2 different coupons that I could use along with the current sale that was going on. The lady at the register just scanned the 2 coupons from my phone! Voila. It was so simple and I saved a lot of money. One was a 50% off coupon from a regular prized item and the other was a 15% off coupon from crafts. I left very happy!

Savings for YOU

1. Here’s some more wonderful news. JoAnn sent me this coupon to share with you. Click on the picture to download it 🙂
2. You can also sign up for the JoAnn Teacher Rewards program.
The above review is part of a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® campaign. I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience.
Have you done any crafting in your classroom?

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope that you had a great day at school with your little learners. I just wanted to stop by to show you some cute ideas. 
Valentine’s Day pencils are always a hit. They are a simple gift idea and very functional as well. Just add a little flag with the words You are the “write” friend for me or  You are on the “write” track, Valentine. or You are the “write” stuff. Any simple little phrase or message will do. Print it and attach it to your pencils.
For storage, there are so many options out there. I remember making mailbox pockets by using two large paper hearts and using glue or staples to hold it together. Now, children love to turn their mailboxes into characters. This is a good family projects so that students can personalize their boxes with something of interest to them. Here is an idea for boys and another one for girls. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s day, the day of romance and love. There’s plenty to do, have a romantic evening meal, go on a date, gift bracelets for women or cologne for men… Sometimes it can be hard to include the little ones in the festivities, after all they’re young and don’t quite understand the concepts of love or dating.

I think just because most parents probably hire a babysitter to take care of things on Valentine’s day, doesn’t mean the children should miss out. Whether you’re a teacher or homeschooler looking for some class activities, or even a parent looking to include your child in the day, here are a few Valentine’s activities I thought of.

First, I wanted to create something that would incorporate conversation hearts. I thought of a few things, but then I saw these wooden alphabet beads at Walmart. I knew that I could create several projects with them. So, I came up with the idea of the Valentine’s message. I created 16 cards with conversation heart messages. I included a few ideas on how to use these cards down below for you.

But, the main objective with these wooden beads would be to create a Valentine’s Bracelet that can be exchanged with a friend, given to mom/dad or grandma/grandpa as a gift, or keep as their own. It’s no diamond bracelet or declaration of love, that’s certain. But its a great way to get kids to be creative and get them into the habit of gifting on special occasions. It won’t be long until they grow up and start gifting out of the kindness of their own heart.
So in summary, if you have beads, you can make things like these.
If not, you can make these Valentine’s Messages:
Using these premade templates:
Or these blank hearts which you can use to write your own messages together.
You could even use these in the pocket chart if you have one:

Simple and Sweet for your little ones on Valentine’s Day. Just click on this Valentine’s Day cover to get your freebie 🙂

And just because you are here TODAY, you will also get my new heart borders FREE –Today ONLY 🙂
If you like them, make sure to follow my clip art store for future listings. 

Oh, and these are a regular freebie 🙂

♥Valentine’s Day Printables

On a previous post, I shared ideas for books to use for your read alouds. I also had two shared reading chart ideas and printables. Today, I have the rest of the Valentine’s Day printables ready for you. These are just a few more that you can incorporate into your thematic unit.

Calendar Time
We practice pattern skills on the calendar. You can use this one for a simple AB pattern. I usually add the number cards one day at a time. When we have enough cards, the students identify the pattern and each day tell me what is next on the pattern. This calendar uses strawberry and chocolate cupcakes. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Yummy.
Word Bank:
I use a thematic word bank that the students can refer to during centers and writing activities. My word bank includes pictures and words. By the way, we write in our journals every day and this word bank comes in very handy. If you would like my Picture/word cards for this thematic unit, you can find it in my Valentine’s Day Literacy Centers unit. I use the word bank to create center games for beginning sounds, syllables, play dough mats, writing and picture to word concentration games. I think that this is a good way to increase vocabulary and practice on reading skills. Anyway, if you are looking for a word bank list, you can add these words.
Reading Center: Your reading center can include a thematic story, class book or an emergent reader. I like to make my students accountable for their reading. This free printable can be added to your center. Students can read a book and show comprehension skills with this simple activity. You can choose a specific book that you have read previously. Then, draw or copy pictures of what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story. Now, you can place the picture cards in the reading center along with this activity. Students read the book, order the picture cards in the correct place and retell the story accordingly. You can make a printable for each student or make it into a center activity.  Simlply print on card stock and laminate before you place it in the center. You can add magnets to the activity sheet and picture cards and use on a magnetic board or filing cabinet. —Advanced students can definitely write/illustrate their responses on their own printable. Click on the picture to get it.
Writing Center: During whole group instruction you can talk about conversation hearts.– Bring a box of the candy and help students read the messages. Then, students can help you come up with a list of new messages that they would like to see. Write them on a chart tablet. This could be a shared writing activity. Now that the students are familiar with conversation hearts, you can add this activity to your writing center. Students can use the messages that were written on the chart tablet or come up with more new ones. Click on the picture to get this one. 
Math Center: Use this activity to practice on making patterns.
Oh, I almost forgot about the poems. You have to click here to see what I have for you:)
I hope that all of these free printables help you. 
If you happen to need center activities, take a look at my 
Valentine’s Day Literacy Centers unit.
Make sure to follow this blog for more ideas and resources:)

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Love and ♥Hearts♥

February is finally here and love is in the air. I love holidays and thematic units. I like to choose a few thematic books for the week and incorporate the theme into my centers throughout the week. Today, I will give you a couple ideas of which books you can use for your thematic unit. I have also included shared reading samples.

Read Alouds can include these books:

Shared Reading: I usually just choose a poem or make my own predictable sentences to write on a chart tablet or use on a pocket chart. 

Click on each picture above to download your free pocket chart sentences. 
I have free Frebruary calendar pieces to give you on my next post. Make sure to come back and check it out. In the meantime, if you would like my Valentine’s Day Literacy Centers unit, click on the following picture.