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Birthdays - Student Birthdays

Compiled By: NCPinkTchr

Here are some suggestions to help you celebrate student birthdays. Make sure they feel extra special on their day!

Birthdays are special
Posted by: TootSweet

In my calendar kit, I have all the little squares for each holiday so each year before school begins, I double check the date the holiday falls for the year and place them in a baggie in chronological order. I also purchase the birthday calendar squares and as soon as I get my class list (a few days before school) I write each child's name on the square and put them in with all of the holidays. That makes it easy for me each month as I change the calendar, I have my holidays and birthdays right there.

Like another poster, I make up birthday bags using the cheap celophane bags from the dollar store. I include a pencil, eraser, sometimes a sharpener, a card and a few pieces of candy & cheapy toys.

The morning of the birthday, I ask the student to the front of the room, give them their gift and a birthday badge sticker. The whole class sings happy birthday. I like to do it in the morning instead of waiting til the end of the day when parents usually bring cupcakes because several of my students cannot afford to bring treats. That way, they get their special birthday time without the pressure from the other kids asking "did you bring something?"

And for those who have summer birthdays, it's simple--we just celebrate "half birthdays". I was a summer birthday kid and HATED

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Posted by: Mrs_Powers

Birthdays were always a big deal in my family and when I taught 4th grade at a private school (13 students) I kind of did make a big deal out of them. Each student brought in a special treat for the class on their day; summer birthdays each had a day at the end of the year. I also got each one of them a gift that was applicable to what they liked/wanted/needed. For instance I had one student who really liked dinosaurs so I bought him a 3-D dinosaur puzzle. I had another student who wanted to be a FBI agent so I bought him some "spy gear." Another student loved music, I gave her a cd. I gave the students the gifts after school let out and each one was thrilled with their gift. Obviously, a class any bigger than this would be completely impractical and get mighty expensive!

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Posted by: Jennifer in OK

I've done it different ways in the past, but what I did last year really meant a lot to the kids. I found the idea somewhere (since teachers are greeat at borrowing ideas!) to have the students draw the name of another student and create a birthday card. Then, I passed all the cards around the room and the kids signed each one - except their own. I would then place a pencil inside the card (because when do they NOT need pencils!) and put the card on their desk on their birthday. After we signed, etc. the cards, I asked my summer birthdays when they wanted their card. Right away of course! It made it easy on me and was special for them.

At our school, the media specialist also started a birthday book club. In lieu of spending money on cupcakes, etc. (which we discourage!), a parent could donate $10 to the library in their child's honor. A book would be purchased with (part of ) the money and a name plate would be placed in the front of the book with their name and that it was for the birthday club. A picture of the student holding their birthday book was also posted on a b-board for all to see. I plan to do this for my son when he is with me next year in kindergarten.

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Posted by: Lisa B

I make sure I have a list of all birthdays at the beginning of the year and each month I put up a little sign that announces the birthdays for that month. I have birthday certificates, bookmarks and pencils that I put on the student's desk before school on their birthday. I also have a dancing flower that sings a song (it's not "Happy Birthday" but they don't mind) and we play that for the birthday kid at the end of the day. The student of honor comes to the front of the room and everyone's allowed to get up and dance around if they want to. Then on the count of three we all yell "Happy Birthday, ___"

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Celebrating Birthdays
Posted by: Marie

We celebrate birthdays similarly to many of the other posters here... I put a birthday certificate, bookmark, sticker and pencil on the student's desk the night before the birthday. We also celebrate half-birthdays for the summer birthdays.

Since we are not doing treats anymore (cupcakes slowly evolved into "pink boxes" full of doughnuts...) we encourage the students to donate a book to the classroom library. (Our school purchased a stamp which says "donated by" with a cute picture.)

One thing I'd like to add is a collection of different birthday songs, so the student could choose which song to play/sing to them!

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Posted by: Bailey

On each child's birthday I put a cut out cupcake with their name on the board, allow the student to be line leader for the day, and leave a birthday postcard and a pencil on their desk before their arrival that morning. If parents would like to send cupcakes to be shared during lunch they may do so. In this way, no additional class time is used for birthday snacking.

Posted by: teacher2

I used to just give each student a card.
Last year I allowed them to choose an item out of the treasure box on their BD. They really liked that. Like a previous poster I can't spend a lot of money on BD's, most of them get a lot from their families, and I already spend a ton of my own money.;)

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Birthday Traditions
Posted by: pamnpr

On birthdays we did several things for the birthday child. Our para made up a birthday hat (in our school colors - blue and green) for each of my students. It had their first name and their birth date in glitter. I gave out a birthday certificate; the student would read it out loud and we would all sing to the birthday child. I also typed up different birthday poems on fancy paper - rolled the poem and wrapped it with different wrapping ribbon and placed all the poems in a fancy birthday bag that hung by our calendar all year. Each birthday child would get to pull out a poem and then read it to the class. Of course they loved this and then took it home to share with their family. They got to put the class birthday star and birthday bear on their desk for the day and finally they were the line leader all day. Some parents brought in goodies. P.S. During the last month of school any students having birthdays during the summer were given a day to have all these happy traditions happen to them! "SMILE"

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Blow Out the Candle!
Posted by: Joy

I have heard that some teachers make a giant candle on the wall of their classrooms. The giant candle can be made with sheets of construction or metallic paper. Each child is given a portion of the candle. The August or September birthdays should be at the top of the candle near the flame. As each child's birthday arrives the flame is removed and the child keeps his/her part of the candle. On the back of the candle piece, each classmate can write a special birthday message to the student. The teacher can then attach a birthday certificate and a treat or prize. At the end of the day, the birthday child places the flame back on the candle until the next birthday.

Birthday Box- I teach 3rd
Posted by: Joy

I have a special birthday box that I use for my student's special day. Basically it is a shoe box that has been covered with wrapping paper and topped with a bow.I reuse it every time we have a birthday. As my students enter the classroom on a birthday, they see a huge birthday banner and they're encouraged to make a birthday card for the student we are honoring. I make sure that I have lots of construction paper, stickers and stencils ready for our card shop. As the children are making their cards, the birthday boy or girl tells us all about his/her birthday by writing a birthday report which is already typed out. All the child has to do is fill in the blanks. The report includes when they were born, where they were born, what their favorite birthday treat is, the best place to have a party and their wish for their current birthday. Once all the cards are finished and the report is complete, we gather on the rug. The birthday child reads their report and the other children present their cards. I place my goodies inside the birthday box. It's always fun!My third graders look forward to seeing the birthday box.

birthday book
Posted by: Cathy-Dee

We create a birthday book for each student in our class.

I have cover page that say's Jenna's Birthday Book by the Grade 3 class of 2005/2006 (for example)

Then each student fills out a sheet.

Happy Birthday _________________

My wish for you on your birthday is _____________

If I could give you any present in the world I would give you ________

What I like best about you is ____________________

Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

From ________________

Then each student decorates the page as they choose and if they have time they can even draw a picture on the back.

We put the book together with our coil binding machine and it looks every impressive.

I also give each student a birthday postcard, a pencil and a trip to the "prize" box.

I have the cover page and form on my computer at home - if you'd like to see it or use it or modify it, just send me an email and I'd be happy to email it to you. It's done on word. I won't be home until late August so I'd send it then.:)

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handling students from other religions
Posted by: Cathy-Dee

This is always a touchy subject even in schools. The schools I've taught in have always been willing to give in to some viewpoints, but for the most part they expect the parents to provide alternatives for children who cannot take part in some of the activities. In other words we don't punish the rest of the class for one student, but we also do not punish that child because they have different beliefs.

When I student taught my class had 2 Jehovah Witness children and some of my special classes this past year also had a Jehoval Witness child.

The most important thing is to meet with the parents and discuss all the issues, birthdays, pledge of allegiance, subjects that will be covered, holidays. Even within the Jehovah Witness faith there are differences in how they deal with the "outside" world so to speak. Some will be very strict and not allow any participation, while others are more relaxed on some of the things. They deal with it more philosophically, they tell their children that some kids believe in Santa Claus but that they do not for this reason. Their kids can listen to stories for example and see Christmas things up in the room, but not participate in the concert or make Christmas things.

Most teachers can modify most things to meet the criterias that are set. For example instead of making a Santa Claus drawing, they do a Winter drawing or a snowman. But the rest of the class still does Santa.

I have found most Jehovah Witness parents to be reasonable, in our school they go on holidays for the last two weeks of school before Christmas so that we do not have to alter our plans for the rest of the kids. I doubt we would do much altering any way so this helps out and makes everyone happy. Our school is a Catho

As far as birthdays - we do not do any big celebrating within the classrooms, they can be in the room, they are just not allowed to sing along and you can't do anything for their birthday. I usually pick another day and give them something for just being a good student in class. And I tell them this is instead of their birthday.

I think that as long as both sides are reasonable, compromises can be made. But I also feel strongly that we shouldn't compromise so much as to take away from the rest of the kids. Christmas, Easter and other holidays are a main part of our heritage and history. I would argue vehemently if a school decided to do away with a Christmas concert or call it something else instead. I do know that if I moved to another country I would be expected to follow their traditions to a point or at least respect them. I could choose to not participate and that is a feasible choice.

I think most schools can work within reason to reduce or modify some things (so don't get rid of Christmas or Christmas concerts or parties), but allow for some alternatives within them for a child who is Jehovah Witness. And if that one child has to stay home for a day or two because of what we are doing, that would also be fine.