Learning and loving

Slade Elementary School Kindergartner Mylee Webster paints a “heart tree” for Valentine’s Day in February during art class.

With Valentine’s Day approaching Wednesday, students and teachers at Slade Elementary School are preparing to celebrate the holiday in an educational way.

Slade Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kari Rap said holidays such as Valentine’s Day provides teachers with a chance to come up with different ways to interact with their students to keep them interested in learning.

“It is a fun theme that we can run with,” Rap said. “You can do things with hearts, love, friendship and kindness throughout the year, but it is just kind of a fun culminating day to wrap it all together.”

To help make the celebrations as fun and educational as possible, Rap and other teachers are planning to have multiple hands-on activities for students that day, she said.

“We have a lot of boys in the class and I try to keep it really active and have hands-on learning,” Rap said. “This year we are going to do catapults with valentine hearts and slime and building structures with marshmallows.”

As teachers are preparing lessons, students are getting ready for the holiday by drawing and painting “heart trees” based on an art lesson they learned in a previous class, Slade Elementary School art teacher Paige Gustafson said.

“The kids get really excited about holidays,” Gustafson said. “I try to have it connect to things we learned in the past. We learned about Jim Dine and how he kind of used all of the dots with paint and created the effect like (what the students were doing).”

Several classes are also hosting Valentine’s Day parties to give students a chance to eat treats they brought to school and pass out valentines to each other, Rap said.

“We are going to enjoy whatever treats the parents have signed up to bring,” she said. “I still have a lot of families that like to do the Pinterest treats where they get to make them really cute, but we also have the store-bought cookies and things like that.”

Kindergartner Mylee Webster said she was excited for their first Valentine’s Day at school and was looking forward to passing out valentines.

“I have Shopkins (collectable toys) valentines that have tattoos and cards,” Mylee said. “Some of the boys don’t really like Shopkins, but you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

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