Conversation hearts are a show stopper in the primary grades. The gooey messages make kids giggle, hoot and holler, and engage like NO other. There are oodles of different ways that you can integrate these little candy gems into standards-based activities. Keep reading to snag a few game ideas that increase learning with conversation hearts.
I know what a handful of you may be thinking at this point . . . “BUT, we can’t use candy in our classrooms!” No worries. You can still roll with any of these activities by subbing in a heart shaped eraser or any other Valentine’s Day item.
WE’RE SWEET ON PARTS OF SPEECH
Take an adjective or descriptive language lesson to a WHOLE new level by adding little candy convo starters. Students won’t even realize they are practicing their grammar/reading skills. And, there’s an added bonus. This mini collection is a FREEBIE in my shop! #teacherwin
This activity works in a whole class or small group setting. Kinder teachers may choose to utilize this as a shared writing experience. To play, students simply drop a heart candy on their adjective mat. Students then write the word that the treat lands on in any space on their Sweet Story template. Students continue until all of the story spaces are filled.
Be sure to take a moment to share these — the giggles are always contagious. Not only does this allow students to practice their reading skills, but it also shows them the power adjectives have in changing a story. You may choose to extend the lesson in one simple step. Use the tale as a parts of speech hunt. Invite your students to color code all of the nouns and verbs in their stories. Want to try this activity? Snag My Super Sweet Story for FREE!
Counting on from any number is tricky. However, conversation hearts in conjunction with a 100 or 120 chart makes for a GRAND way to help your students SEE place value in action. (If you read my Warmin’ Up Winter Math post, you will find this game fairly familiar. I’m a firm believer in repurposing a game with a new manipulative or theme. One simple change can make it brand new for kids.)
To play, students need a handful of conversation hearts, a 100 or 120 chart, and dice (6 sided or 10 sided depending on the chart you use). Students roll two six-sided dice or spin a spinner (twice) to form a two digit number. A candy heart is placed on this number on the 100/120 chart. Students then count on by ones or tens (depending on your grade and academic group levels). A second and third heart are then placed on the chart as they count on by tens (or ones), thus forming a line of hearts. The work is then transferred to a recording sheet. To keep engagement high, I let my kiddos eat a heart after every 3-4 rounds.
**This game is always a winner as you can use the SAME materials to differentiate between groups. You can recreate this one rather quickly with materials you already have in your teaching arsenal as well as a little time on the computer. However, if you want this in “ready to roll” form, check out my February Math Centers Packet.
Add conversation hearts to addition fact fluency and you have yourself a game changer! This partner game requires little prep and serves as a great math block warm up or center activity. To prep for this game, you will need game mats with an odd number of circles (mine has 29). Mark the center circle as the starting point — make sure there is an even number of circles on each side of this circle — and mark the last two circles on each side with the word WIN. Each student will also need a fact recording sheet and each pair will need ONE conversation heart.
To play, the candy is placed on the center starting circle. The first player rolls the dice, adds the number and moves the conversation heart that many spots closer to their “winning” circle. The fact is then logged on their recording sheet. The partner repeats the process, but moves the candy closer to his/her “win” circle. It becomes a candy tug of war so to speak. Play continues until a heart passes or lands on a student’s “win” circle.
This fact fluency game can be easily recreated with a little time on your part. I do offer this game in ready-made form as well. It is also part of my February Math Center Packet.
Alright, so there you have it. A few ideas showcasing ways in which conversation hearts can support learning in the classroom. Thank you for taking the time to pop in for a visit today. I hope to see you again soon.