Birthday Bag

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by love2teach, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2008

    Does anyone do "Birthday Bags" with thier kids? I saw pre made ones in Really Good Stuff and thought it was kinda cute, and easy to make my own (always looking to save $$).

    The bag came with a birthday journal for the kids to record any fun birthday events and a speical birthday story book for the kids to read at home.

    It seemed cute, I was just wondering how it might acutally play out in the classroom. My big concern is what happens with same day birthdays or the kid whos birthday is the first or second day of school (It could be a bit much to introduce on the first day!!)

    Thanks:love:
     
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  3. mel-bel

    mel-bel Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I do birthday backpacks. The backpack is clear plastic and inside is:

    * a piece of laminated cardstock that has the directions (students take it home for the nite and have to return it the next school day, bring everything back except for the treat bag, write in only page of the journal so others have room to write)
    * journal and crayons to write about what they did for their birthday
    * book on tape
    * walkman and headphones
    * beanie bear
    * treat bag (pencil, sticker, lollipop, bubbles)

    I had one student with a birthday a week after school started, but if I did I think I'd call home and explain so parents wouldn't be confused. I've never had more than one student with the same birthday. If that ever happened, I guess I would just send home another backpack since I always have a second set of all backpack contents in case it gets lost or forgotten.

    I also do a star student backpack. This backpack goes home on Friday and returned on Monday.
    * book on tape
    * walkman and headphones
    * beanie bear
    * treat bag (pencil, sticker, lollipop, crayons)
    * All About Me poster to complete and return to put up on wall

    This year I think I'm going to add a mascot backpack. Our class mascot is going to be Barry Bee from The Bee Movie. (Mrs. Bangle's Busy Bees.)
    * journal and crayons to tell what Barry did
    * Barry Bee
    * toothbrush
    * disposable camera to take picture of Barry at their house
    But I'm not sure how often it should go out. I don't really want to send it out on Friday and cause confusion with the star student backpack.

    Suggestions?
     
  4. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I've done Birthday Bags and, for the most part, the students LOVE them. It depends what age the child is on how much instruction they need. This is what I've done before...

    Things to return to school:
    1 cute Birthday Bag
    1 tape player & headphones (put in ziplock bag)
    2 birthday books on tape (put in ziplock bags)
    1 stuffed animal to go with a book (put in correct bag)
    1 decorated Journal - with instructions for parents (or child if old enough) to write what the child does on their birthday.
    crayons

    Things they can keep:
    Birthday Sticker
    Birthday color page
    Birthday book mark
    Birthday treat

    When I taught older students, I didn't have to spend much time modeling and explaining how to use the bags. HOWEVER, I learned after one bag was destroyed by a Pre-K student (and cousins) that you have to model, model, model. Some students have no idea how to care for a book (some students in my school's economic area may not have ever held a book before), and have never used a tape player by themselves. I talk about how to treat books, use crayons, take care of other people's property and how to return it in great condition. I go over "borrowing" things from the start of Pre-K but re-visit it frequently. Something like, "If you borrow something, you take really good care of it, say thank you, and return it so someone else can borrow it."

    I did have students who had the same birthday AND I had students who had birthdays within a day or two. I let one child take the bag home a few days before the birthday and the other a few days after. If the birthday fell on a weekend, I let one take it home for the weekend and the other took it home on Monday for a few days.
    Hope this helps!
     
  5. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2008

    The only thing I do for a student's birthday is give them a birthday badge to wear, a birthday certificate, and a birthday homework pass. I've been doing this for 20 years and it has worked fine. Birthdays are actually very low keyed in my room. Sometimes a mom will send in a treat, other times we just sing Happy Birthday.
     
  6. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I used to go over the top for birthdays but because I only got maybe 3 thank yous in upteen years, I cut waaay back. Now I give a pencil and a birthday badge. I hated to see them toss the birthday certificate or stick the stickers somewhere they weren't allowed to. We also have a bday backpack that goes home.
     
  7. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I will give the birthday child a small cellophane bag filled with large bubble gum balls. I advise them not to open it until they get home otherwise they might have to share with others.
     
  8. mel-bel

    mel-bel Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2008

    We don't really do a lot of hoopla in the classroom. At the beginning of the day, I'll give them a sticker. At the end of the day, we sing Happy Birthday, then I give them the backpack. For me it's manageable and just the right amount of celebration.:)
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I could have sworn that said "I will give the birthday child a small cellphone :lol:
     
  10. 2love2teach

    2love2teach Companion

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    Jul 7, 2008

    yeah, a card, lollipop, and pencil always worked fine for me
     
  11. MS Candy

    MS Candy Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2008

    Well I wanted to try something this year, so I have ordered T's, Hat's and Pens from Vista, not sure what I will have by the time school starts....and when B-day's will be....
    but I did order Birthday homework passes...I want to make a treat bag and acknowledge them, last year, I did not do anything, and I felt bad...:(
    I would like to have students write a reflection, so a class journal would be great!
     
  12. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I used to do the bag, until a kid came back saying, "My mom couldn't believe you gave me homework on my b'day." That made me feel like an idiot. I even let the kids keep them a couple days. Stopped after that. I give a badge, let them wear a wrap thingy (like Miss America wears-CANNOT think of what it's called), a homework pass, pencil and a sticker. Yes, in 2nd, even the boys wear the thingy.
     
  13. GD2BQN

    GD2BQN Comrade

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    Jul 7, 2008

    Hence the aspirin avatar!!!! And aren't you the vodka person?:lol:
     
  14. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I never thought of it as homework...I do a mascot one on the weekends and have never had a complaint of it being homework!!

    Thanks for all of the ideas.....



     
  15. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Jul 8, 2008

    I give out a birthday postcard with a pencil and grabber attached. I play birthdays low key in my room. If a parent wants to bring something in they have to wait until the last 10 minutes of school.
     
  16. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 8, 2008

    I also keep birthdays low-key...a sticker, and pencil, and a birthday certificate. We always sing happy birthday. Kids are not allowed to have unhealthy treats in school, and most parents can't afford it (or don't pay attention, sadly enough) anway. I did let one little girl sneak in mini-cupcakes though! :)
     
  17. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Jul 8, 2008

    I have the rest of the class sign a birthday card so that they have something special from their, and then I give the birthday kiddo a bday pencil and certificate. Give them too much and they don't seem to appreciate it much, so I say just give a little something special and sing them "Happy Birthday!"

    I wish that our school didn't allow birthday treats because sometimes the parents bring it in at inopportune moments...I don't need kids all sugared up in the middle of the day! :p
     
  18. annafish

    annafish Companion

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    Jul 8, 2008

    I do bags. I get most of the stuff from the dollar store. I put lollipop, and a bunch of little things from the $ store (bouncy ball, little journal book, maze-most of those things come in packs, so it keeps the cost down). I also put in 25 cent crayons, (for sale before school starts) which is great because students always need more crayons! I don't do a homework pass because I have summer birthdays just find it easier not to.
     
  19. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    I used to give out a huge candy bar to the birthday child, but I rarely got a thank you , so I cut it out. I now give a pen and a homework pass. My 5th graders seem to like this much better anyway. (and it is a lot cheaper on my budget too)
     
  20. TeacherMJ

    TeacherMJ Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008

    I love the idea of a Birthday Backpack. And the journals which all children contribute to can make for a great reading corner book during the rest of the year too...

    Adding it to the list for when I get my own class :)
     

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