Today I am officially past the mid-point of my thirties and have reached 36…ugghhh! “Who is coming to your party?” My daughter thoughtfully inquired last night as she sat down to scribble out her version of invitations for all of those that she believed should be attending my “party!”
To adults, birthdays are just another day, but when I think about the joy that comes with birthdays for both my own children and students, it is the BEST DAY of the year! It is a celebration of them!
In years past, I have created a bulletin board and dedicated it to student birthdays. I have given students a mechanical pencil attached to a birthday certificate. I wish the students “Happy Birthday,” treats are passed out at lunchtime, and we go on with our day. In my school building some years students are acknowledged on the announcements and some years students get singing cards from the principal.
At my son’s school, students get to come down and say the “Pledge of Allegiance” on the announcements on their birthday, and are given in their Parent Information Folder a slip of paper reminding the parent that on this particular day, they have the chance to provide a treat for the class. With peanut allergies running rampant through classrooms, these were the treats my kiddos chose to make and take on their birthdays this year.
I have seen some really cute ideas shared on blogs to celebrate student birthdays, and I have decided to add a few things for the birthday kiddos in my ELA classroom this year that require nothing more than adding a few special opportunities for the day.
If it is your birthday you have the opportunity to:
- Be line leader-yes, this is a big deal to even 6th graders who line up in ABC order all day/everyday
- “Best Day Ever” by Spongebob will be the official song played in the room to wish Happy Birthday!
- Sit at the “Birthday Table”-a special spot that is more spacious than a 6th grade desk in the classroom
These are a few “free” ways I can acknowledge the most important day of my students’ lives to make them feel special and recognized!