Monday, May 28, 2012

Birthday Celebrations

I love my birthday. I love people making a big deal over me. So it makes sense that I would make birthdays a big deal in my classroom as well. And I hope that is what I did for each student.

On the day we celebrated the birthday I covered the birthday students' desk with wrapping paper.

I got the idea from my son's fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Harder. At the end of the day the student takes the wrapping paper home.

At some point we have the actual celebration. It starts off with having the birthday kid (B.K.) sit in a special chair and the rest of the class asks the B.K. questions to get to know him better. Questions like: favorite restaurant, favorite ice cream flavor, sports team, activity, etc. It if fun to watch the students learn to address the B.K. and not me. I write the responses on the chalkboard.

The we sing to the B.K. Not the regular "Happy Birthday", but we sing "On the Day That You Were Born" by Red Grammar from the album Hello World. By the third or fourth time singing it this year, they knew the words and did a really fine job. It is a lovely song that celebrates the B.K. and then all of the rest of us at the end. Sometimes the mom was in the room when we sang and she would get tears as we sang it to her child.

Now it is time for birthday cards. Each child works on writing a birthday card (given a sheet of copy paper) while the B.K. hands out the treats. The birthday card has some requirements: "Dear B.K., Happy birthday. (at least one sentence about why you like the B.K.) Sincerely/Love/From, your name." And then they can create a picture for the B.K. When it is completed it is placed on the B.K.'s desk.

I forgot his birthday paper. Oops. I put it on the next day. We were celebrating an unbirthday.

When treats are delivered the B.K. takes the first bite and then everyone else can enjoy the treat as well. (A couple of times I made popcorn for the treat.)

During this whole time I play the album Hello World and it is fun to hear the students singing along (one of my favorite parts). I also enjoy watching the B.K. read the cards as they come in. The smiles are priceless.

At our school (since we are smallish) the B.K.s love to bring too much treats so they can go to all the teachers and staff and hand out treats. I would often get treats throughout the year from students in other classes. The rest of the class is so familiar with this that they do not even feel left out when I can eat a cupcake and they can only watch.

When the day ends it often takes an extra bag to take home the cards and wrapping paper. (I do not know why the kids want the paper, but oh well, they can have it.)

It is a very lovely time together. Back in November my teaching buddy, Miss Murphy had a birthday. I had the kids in both of our classes make her cards (same format as above) as a surprise. When we delivered them to her my class also sang to her "On the Day That You Were Born." Her class did not know the song. Well, Miss Murphy was touched and as she listened to the song she got tears in her eyes. It was not my goal to make her cry, just let her know how special she is to each of us.

I like the way we celebrated birthdays, but perhaps there is something else to add.
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  1. Sounds like something the kiddos will love and look forward to. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. I love those ideas for celebrating the kids birthdays. I'm going to borrow them if you don't mind. When other students from other rooms bring me cupcakes for their birthdays, my own class usually gives a little whine that they didn't get one. My comeback is always "I went to college for 5 years so I could get birthday treats. If you want to, you can do the same thing!"

    I noticed that you didn't sign your name with the hyperlinked address. Would you like to know how to do this? Email me at and I'll show you how.

    Mrs. Bartels School Family

    Second In Line

  3. This is a test to see if I have your blog link made correctly.

    Mrs. Bartels School Family


  4. Alyce, I love your ideas for celebrating children on their birthday! :)


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