Winning Ideas for Celebrating Birthdays
Many teachers responded with ideas for celebrating birthdays in school this monlth. Here are several excellent suggestions that may help you in your classroom. Each of these entries in our Winning Ideas Monthly Contest won $50 in the Scholastic products.
Celebrating Birthdays in 2nd Grade
Submitted by Tamiko Corbin, Joyce Elementary School, Detroit, MI
I would love to share the way I celebrate birthdays in my classroom. I am a second grade teacher.
- I post every student's birthday on a colorful birthday poster from one of the teacher stores.
- I give each child a birthday card that has a birthday pencil attached.
- The birthday child gets to wear a button or hat, whichever they prefer.
- Finally as a birthday gift, I give students a book or Kid Magazine(i.e., .Junie B books or KID Scholastic or Highlighter)
- For students whose birthdays fall on a day we aren't in school, I give a Super Kid award with a pencil, as well as a book in their birthday month..This way no child goes unacknowledged.
I work in an urban low income school district. Often times, my students do not have books at home to read. The birthday gift is a great way to help them build their home libraries. I often get the books from raffles I have won or community book drives I go to
A Birthday Wish Book
Submitted by Nicole Suppa, Robert L. Bradley School, New Hartford, NY
We celebrate many special days during the school year but children's birthdays are individual and special celebrations that I try to make special for each student. This year I'm trying something different: I've decorated a glass jar with sparkly and glittery stars. Next to the jar I put a bowl of those colorful foam stars you can get at any craft store. When it's a student's birthday, he or she can choose a star, make a wish and put the star in the decorated jar. The catch is that the wish has to be something that he or she can help to make come true.
Birthday students write their wishes in our birthday wish book. They are free to go and read the wishes whenever they like. This device reminds them that they have wishes that they can work on to make come true!
Birthday Cards for Everyone
Submitted by Janine Morrison, Walls Elementary School, Pitman, NJ
I love birthdays and there's nothing better than celebrating with first graders!
Kids love to make things for their friends. During September, we discuss friendship and the importance of being good to those we care about. I make a birthday card template for each student and he or she decorates/colors the card.
When a child's birthday arrives, I select a card (one he or she didn't make) and have the other students sign it. Then, we list something we like about the student inside the card. With the birthday child in his or her customary crown and number necklace (a big "6" in this case), we take a group picture and attach it to the card. At the end of the day, the birthday boy/girl, selects a prize from the Birthday Bag and takes the card home...always with a smile!
A Birthday Bag
Submitted by Andrea Moore, Elmwood-Murdock Jr-Sr High School, Murdock, N
I teach 7-9 English. I love to recognize birthdays in the classroom. So often birthdays are only recognized at the elementary level and then forgotten once students hit 7th grade. There are some students who will not have friends decorate their locker. They may not go out to dinner with their families. I want these students to feel recognized and special on their birthdays.
I have a birthday bag filled with goodies. These include pencils, pens, book covers, stickers and Scholastic books. When it is someone's birthday, the birthday student chooses two items from the birthday bag at the beginning of class. The boy or girl wears a sticker during the day.
If a birthday falls over the weekend we celebrate on Monday. During the last week of school we celebrate the summer birthdays so that no one is left out. I enjoy stocking the birthday bag and celebrating each of my students. As our classes are only 50 minutes long we only spend about 3 minutes at the beginning of the hour on this and then move on with the rest of our schedule. The students are always really excited each year when their birthdays come around.
Submitted by Keanna Oswald, Northside Elementary School, Palmyra,
In order to celebrate birthdays in first grade, each student in the class creates a page that will be put into a birthday book for the birthday student. The page requires the students to put the birthday boy/girl's name on the top of the page. Then they need to complete the sentence "Here is my birthday wish for you:____________________". At the bottom of the paper is a blank area in the shape of a birthday gift to draw a picture. It has a gift tag on it where that student writes their name. Of course I model different sentences that would be appropriate to write. I make sure each student has a picture with their friend doing something together or a picture of the gift that their friend wants. After the students finish, they glue their white paper onto a colored piece of construction paper, and hand it in. The birthday boy/girl creates the cover while the rest of the class is making their page. They complete the dot-to-dot which turns into the candles on the birthday cake. The birthday child also must write his or her name, birthday, and age on the bottom of the cover. Then he or she colors it. During my related arts time, I take the pages and assemble them into a book that the birthday boy/girl takes home that day. The students really enjoy having a birthday book to take home and keep to remember their first grade class!
Visit our teacher community to read more educator-submitted ideas or to share your own suggestions!