Virtual Valentines, Anyone?: 2/4/2021

If you have ever been in an elementary school on February 14th, you will see classrooms looking a little different, teachers have students either making decorated bags or mailboxes to collect valentines. Students bring in paper valentines (making sure each classmate has one) and hand them out, Most schools that I have been in have a small gathering for the class as well.

Well, in a COVID world, this is no longer an option. In my district, we are 100% virtual learning right now, so none of these previous options are possible, So as February began, my assistant principal asked me about some virtual valentine options. After creating the list below of these ideas, I wondered if others would also benefit from them as well and decided to share them in a blog post.

I began by looking for a template to use. I found an amazing one on one of my favorite websites, SlidesMania. I wanted to give each student a place to collect Valentine messages so I looked at some of my favorite programs to see the best ways to accomplish this goal. This way, I could provide my teachers choices that best met their needs.

1.Jamboard Valentines

I loved the idea of using Jamboard for this activity since each student could have a frame assigned to them and then other students could write messages on sticky notes. However, as I worked on this idea, I quickly realized that the amount of frames per jam could becomes an issue. Only 20 frames would not be enough for many of my classes. I offered the option of creating two Jams- one for A-L and one for M-Z.

2. Interactive Slides Valentines

After trying this idea on Jamboard, my next idea was to use Slides. Most of my teachers are far more familiar with using Slides than Jamboard. I decided to use an idea from Teresa Wills and include heart sticky notes on the slide that students in the class could use to write their messages. I also used the Slides Mania slide template for this. In the original template, she created 18 pieces of chocolate to correspond to the individual pages. If used in this way, like Jamboard, only 18 slides would not be enough for many classes as well. Once again, I offered the option of dividing the class in half.

3. Wixie Class Valentines

In my district, we also pay for a prescription to use Wixie. I love Wixie. If you want to learn more about it, check out my 3/19/19 post. One of the reasons I love Wixie is how easy it is for our youngest students to use it. Plus, you can lock words and/or graphics so that students can not erase them by mistake. To make this deck, I selected a Valentines graphic from their extensive image library and locked it. Then, I added a place for student names. Like Google Slides, Wixie has a collaboration feature that allows students to all work in the same Wixie file. Once students are filled in, students have a variety of options to choose from to make their valentines. They can write a message or add a video message. This video capability is one of their new updates and is a game changer. This option allows for as many pages as the teacher would need. Plus, if you go to www.wixie.com you can get a free 30 day trial for up to 40 students!

4. Book Creator Valentines

Book Creator allows students to create multimedia books. In the free version, this includes up to 40 books. The premium version allows for collaboration, similar to Google Slides and Wixie, and teachers can get a free 90 day premium trial to check these features out. Like Wixie, I love how this format allows for a variety of options to response. Students can write messages, record audio messages or make video messages. It also allows for as many pages as you might need.

5. Flipgrid Valentines

The last option I shared with my teachers was Flipgrid Valentines. Using this tech tool, teachers could have each student record one virtual Valentine messages for all of their classmates to enjoy.

What other ideas have you seen to celebrate Valentines Day in a virtual world? Feel free to share them in the comments below or in the comments on social media. After all, we are all better together.