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Valentine’s Day Celebrations and Lessons in the Classroom

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have many memories of Valentine’s Days in my classroom. I Loved how the room became one giant Valentine littered with glitter, glue, doilies, and construction paper. I loved reading favorite books, some that I couldn’t get through without a sniffle or two. There was Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli, Koala Lou by Mem Fox, What Do You Love? by Jonathan London, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish, The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing, and many more. And then there was the candy and oh yes, we must count, sort, graph, and weigh it to get a math lesson in. The sanity-saving trick was to balance the celebration with learning!

After I left the classroom, I was lucky enough to work with teachers at all levels as a literacy coach. This sometimes required me to teach a model lesson to students that I didn’t know on a day like Valentine’s day. I quickly learned that using a book to kick off a lesson was the key to a successful lesson. This led me to a lesson on informational writing that started with Pink Is for Blobfish by Jess Keating. After reading the book, we talked about other misunderstood animals. Then we listed reasons why they were important or misunderstood. The students then choose one of the animals and wrote a Valentine to it.

When I work with older students, I encourage them to use Grammar Girl as a resource. For Valentine’s Day, she has a few posts that you could use as lesson starters in your classes. One of my favorites is I Love You: A Subject-Object Valentine.

Wishing you a Happy and not too crazy Valentine’s Day!LuanaMitten

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ONE CHANCE – New Middle Grade Fiction

Click for more from BeaLu's Dish

Teen-author Sarah Frank reads from her new middle grade fiction book, ONE CHANCE, during her recent author visit at Westchase Elementary School. Listen as Sandy questions whether time travel is possible!

To learn more about ONE CHANCE, click here. To watch other videos from BeaLu Books visit our YouTube Channel.


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Meet the Author

Sarah Frank 

sarah frank-one chanceSarah Frank is a 15-year-old author, poet, and basketball player from Tampa, Florida. She attends Howard W. Blake High School of the Arts, where she studies creative writing and journalism. One Chance, Sarah’s first novel, was originally handwritten in a red notebook while she was in the fifth grade.

Besides reading books and catching up on her favorite shows such as Shark Tank, Sarah spends two weeks each summer at the University of South Florida attending the ICE Writers Camp sponsored by the Tampa Bay Area Writing Project (TBAWP), a chapter of the National Writing Project.

In addition to One Chance, Sarah has published a book of poems titled, What Really Happened in Elementary School! Super Silly Poems Scribbled in a Notebook.

You can find out what Sarah is up to by following her on Facebook (SarahFrankAuthor) and Instagram (@SarahFrankAuthor) or visiting her website at For information regarding Author Visits and other events, contact

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ReadingCon 2017

Thanks to Follett and STEMRead for putting together the inaugural #ReadingCon day conference. It was a conference with a twist where authors paired with educators in a smaller setting than most conferences. I was lucky enough to be invited to be a moderator for two sessions.

Making Connections: Teaching Social and Emotional Topics with Literature

Authors: Eric Rohmann, Carol Weston, and Chelsea Sedoti


We Need Diverse Books

Authors: Gene Luen Yang and Matt Lamothe