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Sunday, February 10, 2013

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.

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!

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


  1. I absolutely love this idea! I usually have my students do this at the end of the year as a keepsake, but I am thinking we need it now this year. I love the idea of tying compliments into Valentine's Day! Thank you :)

    from Well, Michelle?

    1. I always find this is a great time to do it, too! We do something similar for our star of the week awards, but it challenged them to continually think of new things they love about each other.

  2. Love this idea - we do weekly bucket fillers but this would be a nice addition to the Valentine sugar rush! Glad to be a new follower.

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  3. I love the individualized cards! They just went into my cart. I'm sick and don't have the time/energy to make anything for my kiddos, so I appreciate it! :)

  4. Thank you so much for the students cards! They are exactly what I needed! Happy Valentine's Day! :)

  5. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing!
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  7. 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. printed carrier bags

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