Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Simple, Low Cost Birthday Wish

I'm on summer vacation! Well, I have been since Friday, but I'm just now getting around to blogging. This has been the week of appointments...dentist, doctor, hairdresser, oil change. You name it, the appointment happened this week! I put it all off during the year and then end up sacrificing my first week of vacation catching up on everything.

Anyway, now that I have more time for me, I have more time to read blogs, plan next year's theme, and think about my upcoming vacation (one week!). I was just reading a question posted to teachers about how they celebrate birthdays in their classroom and I realized that I hadn't shared my idea with all of you.

For years, I puzzled over what is too much or too little for birthday acknowledgements. None of the schools that I have taught in allow any kind of in-class celebration (if parents bring in cupcakes we have them in the lunch room). I know that my childhood was quite different. I can remember planning my in-class celebration for weeks, giving my grandmother a lengthy list of the items she would be required to send in for my classroom birthday party. In fact, on one such preparation, I fell off of a chair in the midst of icing a cupcake. I still have the scar to prove it.

Getting back to the subject at hand, I always want to recognize my students on their special day, but I never want to go over the top, as I know our instructional time is precious. During my first year of teaching, I baked cupcakes EVERY time there was a birthday. Looking back, I realize it was a tad over the top, as well as expensive and time consuming. So then I pulled back and just gave a pencil. Then I gave a bag of candy. Then I did a giant card, most of which ended up thrown out before my students left. So I've been in search of a cost effective balance, one that will recognize the student, not take away instructional time, and include a treat of some type. This year, I think I finally nailed it:


What I used:
birthday streamer (Dollar Store!!)
birthday pencil (any teacher store)
birthday blow-pop (in bundles of 5 at your local Dollar Store!!) - I don't allow gum chewing or candy eating of any sort in my classroom unless it is a special occasion, so this is a super special treat in my room!
birthday certificate - with Snoopy, of course! I made it myself! Just a little colored ink from the printer and...voila!

Though I can't share the Snoopy one for copyright reasons, I do have two happy birthday certificates available in my TpT store.

Here's the links:

Happy Birthday Certificates



Owl Birthday Certificates



On the last day of school, I do this for all of the students with summer birthdays so that they don't miss out! And, if a student has a birthday over the weekend I decorate their desk the Friday before it. That way everyone is included!

So simple and cost effective...this is now my official go-to birthday acknowledgement! I hope it will be helpful to others who are trying to save a little money and still make it special for their students.

Tomorrow my only appointment is working on my tan poolside! Yipppeeeee!!




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