I teach at a private school, and
the two fourth-grade classes have a "Birthday Club" as a fundraiser for
their annual field trip. Flyers are sent out at the beginning of the year
offering two options for parents: $8.00 for cupcakes, punch, cups, and napkins,
or $10.00 for the above, plus a special pencil and 3 helium balloons. The
parents take turns baking the cupcakes, and everything is left in the lounge.
Parents like the convenience, while teachers like the flexibility and being
able to decide the best time to celebrate the student's birthday in the
classroom. In my own classroom, I also always give each child a special
pencil and certificate. And since we have a uniform policy, our handbook
states an exemption clause for all students on or near their birthdays.
Veronica Zamarron, First Grade, Harlingen,
I have a small class and most of
my students are from low-income homes, so on students'birthdays, I provide
a small treat for the class. Then the journal assignment for the day is
to write at least three things they like best about the birthday child.
We combine the lists to create a web on the board, which stays there all
day as a reminder of how special and valued the birthday child is.
Deb Elkin, Seventh and Eighth Grade,
I purchased a set of blank crowns
from www.reallygoodstuff.com On their birthdays, students can decorate crowns
using various art materials and fancy markers to write their names. Then
they can wear the crowns throughout the day. At the end of the day, the
student shares his or her crown with the class and the meaning behind its
decorations. The students really love doing this.
Tammy Quinn, Kindergarten through Second
Grade, Brooksville, FL
I purchased a gross of pencils that
say, "Happy Birthday from your teacher." Each child receives one on his
or her birthday plus a sticker to wear. I leave it up to the parents to
decide whether a treat should be brought in. For my summer birthday kids
I plan a traditional party so that we can celebrate all of them at once.
I divide the cost of party items among the summer kids to share the expense.
Since I also have a summer birthday, I supply the cake, cupcakes, or donuts.
The other children bring ice cream cups, hats, horns, plates, napkins, juice
and cups, and party bags.
Chana Kingkade, First Grade, Orangevale,
We sing "Happy Birthday" in a really
fun way. We yell, "Cha cha cha!" after every line and do a conga line behind
the birthday student around the room. I give the birthday student (who,
for the day, goes by "king" or "queen") one free homework pass on a subject
of their choice. The student also is allowed to grab a handful from the
birthday box (a box of small candies and stickers provided by parents).
They love it and that way, students with busy parents never seem neglected.
Anonymous, Third Grade
I use my Bonus Points from our Lucky
Book Club orders to accumulate a selection of books. Then, when a student
has a birthday, he or she is allowed to select a book to "donate" to our
classroom library. I place a bookplate in the front of the book with the
student's name and birth date. The student gets to take the book home on
his or her birthday for the "first read" and then it is placed in the library.
Mary Ann Davis, Third Grade, Covington,
My students are allowed to bring
in a toy to share. Others make their own place mats, and parents provide
the food, drink, plates, utensils, etc. I encourage the celebration of a
birthday, I do not plan my entire day around it.
Sarah M., Milwaukee, WI
My class enjoys the recognition that
a balloon brings. I cut a tiger paw out of poster board, then cut an x in
the middle. I blow up a balloon and tie a knot, then pull the knot through
the x. I write Happy Birthday on both sides of the balloon. The student
then takes it to display on his or her desk so that everyone that enters
the room knows it is a special day for that child. The student then can
choose whether to take it home or keep the balloon on his or desk. For summer
birthdays, I let students pick any day during the year to celebrate with
Cindy Burns, Third Grade, Grafton, VA
For every students'birthday I write
his or her name on the "birthday board." I also write out a certificate
and present it along with a birthday pencil. Then, I present a birthday
book for each student. This is at no cost to me, because I use the points
I earned from class book orders! The children love to see what book the
others receive, and when they finish, they exchange books with each other!
Anonymous, Third Grade, Oak Creek, WI
I celebrate with homework passes
and a "very special pencil." The homework pass can only be used for daily
assignments, not the "big stuff" like book reports.
Heather Glanz, Fourth Grade, La Mesa,
I celebrate with a "Read aloud On
The Day You Were Born." I also have everyone sign a giant card, and give
out small treats such as candy and pencils.
PJ, Fourth Grade, AL