Saturday, August 9, 2014

Party Like It's Your Birthday

Birthdays are the best!  Who doesn't love celebrating with your family and friends with cake?!?!?  Although we don't get to have cake at school anymore (saddest day of my life), we still have a really fun time celebrating birthdays in Kindergarten!  We celebrate with each kiddo on their birthday or half birthday and waiting at their seat when they arrive at school are lots of birthday goodies. Take a little picture stroll through our Kindergarten birthday extravaganza and if you make it to the end there just may be a lil' birthday treat for you:)

First up is the birthday crown.  I found these bad boys in the Target Dollar Spot last year and literally bought every single pack from about 8 different Targets. I may have enough birthday crowns to last until 2025. 

Following the birthday crown is the birthday sticker and birthday certificate, both found in the Target Dollar Spot (I purchased about 2,000 of these as well).

The birthday boy or girl has an adorable little birthday chair cover (made by my sweet friend's mom) hanging on their seat along with the class Birthday Bag.  Inside the birthday bag is Our Class Birthday Book, a birthday read aloud, a birthday balloon and a direction sheet.  The student gets to take the bag home that night and complete the activities inside with their families.  

Birthday Bag Family Direction Sheet

Our Class Birthday Book is a little book that I put together at the beginning of each school year.  The students take the book home and can draw and write about their birthday inside.  The next school day, the student brings the Birthday Bag back and gets to share their book page with the class.  The birthday student is so excited to share how they celebrate at home with the class and everyone can't wait to hear about it!  I ask lots of questions so we get the whole effect and its great for practicing speaking and listening skills:)  Below are pictures of our book from last year and this year's new book.

Birthday Book page completed by a student
Michael's sweet page says "Transformers cartoons from my Uncle Josh!  I got a truck from Matthew and Caleb."  We encourage parents to help the students write.

This year's Birthday Book

Inside Pages

I put also put a read aloud inside the bag for students to share at home with their families.  Last year I used Happy Birthday, Hamster by Cynthia Lorde and it was a big hit!  In the past, I have used If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff and A Birthday for Frances by Russel Hoban.

Click the picture to grab yourself a copy:)

The highly anticipated birthday balloon is also peeking out of the bag.  It's a ginormous Pixie Stick or Laffy Taffy rope with a balloon topper attached.  I read about the birthday balloon idea here.  Love, love, love!  The kiddos have to take the balloon home to eat, which is clearly devastating the first time they all hear this. I prep all of the birthday balloons before school starts and keep them in a little vase on a shelf with my birthday bucket that holds all of my birthday supplies.

Here is a cutout birthday balloon.  I run a class set on bright card stock and cut them out.   Then I tape the candy sticks to the back.

Are you still with me?  Last thing I promise!  During writing that day, we dedicate our time to making a birthday book to honor the student.  At the beginning of the year most of the kiddos are only drawing and then we progress to writing.  We brainstorm a list of things we can draw and write to make the person's birthday really special. They never cease to amaze me with all of the sweet things they think up!    I also prep all of these book covers before school starts and fill them with copies so that they are ready to go when each big day arrives.  After everyone is done with their page, I bind them into a little book and we present it to the student after singing Happy Birthday. The student gets to take it home as a keepsake.  

Take Home Birthday Book

We have 2 choices of writing pages.  A drawing only page for the beginning of the year and a draw and write page as students progress into writers:)

I promised if you made it to the end of this post, I would have a birthday treat for you!  Click on the picture below to download your own copies of all the Birthday Bag printables.  I hope you can use them in your classroom!  Leave us a comment and let us know how you celebrate in your classroom:)

We know you've heard this a million times, but we promise for real to be back soon with the portfolio tutorial!  Enjoy the weekend!

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