Celebrating Birthdays in Middle and High

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by AMAHOGANY, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. AMAHOGANY

    AMAHOGANY Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Hi Guys

    Do you all do anything special for your students birthdays in the middle school and high school sector. I was thinking about trying it for the upcoming school year but I wanted some feed back. What do you guys thing yea or nay? Hope everyone is enjoying there summer! :p
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't do it. I'll wish a happy birthday to a student if he or she reminds me on the day, but that's it. I have like 200 students (more next year!), and there's no way I could remember all those birthdays on my own. Plus, with so many students, we'd be having parties left and right. I'm not willing to sacrifice valuable instructional time for that stuff, especially when I was one of those summer birthdays who never got to do anything fun in school because of it.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 26, 2007

    One year our team tried giving "happy birthday" pencils and cards to kids on their birthdays. Then we had problems with kids moving into the school, teachers forgetting to give the stuff, kids with birthdays during "off school" times, and kids who did not celebrate birthdays. With anywhere between 180 and 210 kids a year, it was too much.

    I'll tell them happy birthday if they tell me. Our school newspaper prints birthdays, and our newscast announces them, too.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I post a monthly birthday card to the kids in my homeroom. (I send around a sheet the 1st day asking their preferred nickname and birthday.)

    In June, I put up 2: one for the June birthdays, and another for the "summer babies."
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have a birthday poster on a bulletin board, but I only recognize my homeroom students. They get a small treat on their birthdays; summer babies get theirs just before school lets out.
     
  7. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Alice, do you just put all the kids name on the card? Where do you post it? I like that! :) Sweet and simple.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I put all the birthdays for that month: names and dates on the left, then "Dear Mary, John, Katie... Love, Mrs. A & Homeroom 12K" type stuff.

    I put it on my one bulletin board somewhere.
     
  9. hapyeaster

    hapyeaster Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I am going to send around a birthday calendar this year. Then, I will refer to it each week. I will add a slide to my PowerPoint (I use these daily) when it is a student's birthday. I am thinking of giving movie passes, pencils, or Oriental Trading trinkets as well. I work in a very low socioeconomic district, and these kids don't get much.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is a pretty cute idea. I think I might try it next year!
     
  11. AMAHOGANY

    AMAHOGANY Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2007

    Thanks everyone! I just want to do something! A lot of times it is the simple happy birthday that makes your day!
     
  12. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I decided last year I was going to make a big deal about birthdays with my 7th graders. I do not take up much time, but work with students with low-socioeconomic status and feel it is important to spend a minute or two to make note of a birthday. Many of them also have very dysfunctional families and their birthdays aren't celebrated enough. I just want each of them to feel special on what should be their special day.

    This year, for example, I had a student who was spending a few months in a foster home. I asked him what he did for his birthday and he did nothing special--no cake, no singing, no gift, no one woke him up wishing him happy birthday. It broke my heart. He didn't say anything, but I could tell it made his birthday a little bit better. My first year, one of my fourth graders broke down and cried when we sang Happy Birthday to him. At first, I thought I crossed some cultural issue and upset him, but, once he calmed down, he explained that was the first time anyone had ever sung him that song. It was a good thing, just very overwhelming for him.

    Anyways, I now keep it very simple. When the students come in there is a Birthday postcard that I printed from Vistaprint on their desk. It is a coupon for the student to sit next to a friend on their birthday. On the board I write, "When you see______ wish him Happy Birthday!" so everyone, including my other classes, can greet him in the hallway. We sang last year, but won't this year because I was inmconsistent, sometimes doing it and sometimes not.

    My gradebook (Making The Grade) allows you to set up reminders each time a student has a birthday. They pop up when you login to the gradebook. Very handy! That's how I kept track and avoided missing a student's special day.
     
  13. Bitsy Griffin

    Bitsy Griffin Companion

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    Jun 26, 2007

    I do a pictograph graphing activity (very juvenile, but they still like it) with cupcakes the first week of school. We make predictions, do percents, everything I can think of and then leave it up all year. The kids remember to look at it and tell me whose birthday is coming up.
     
  14. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jun 27, 2007

    Such great ideas! I like the idea of a powerpoint - I could see doing a slide for each child at the beginning of the year (when I have the energy! ;)) and I love the "when you see ____ wish them a happy birthday. Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family because it is the only holiday about yourself - what wonderful ways to celebrate with the school family!!!
     
  15. Miss L

    Miss L Rookie

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    Paperheart, that story about the boy made me want to cry (maybe because today is MY birthday, I don't know)

    I think the idea of a general birthday card for the babies of the month is a great idea! :) It's always nice to show your students another way that you care about them as PEOPLE!

    It might be interesting to list famous people who share that birthday month? (what can I say, I'm a social studies teacher...that stuff makes me happy :) )
     
  16. hapyeaster

    hapyeaster Rookie

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    Yes, that would be cool to add those famous people to the PowerPoint for that student..."Guess who was born on this day??"

    Then, if I REALLY get my act together, I can insert the digi picture of the student, and list the facts about other people on that day, and maybe some pictures. Or, I could even tie in ANY historical events...helping out our Social Studies teachers.

    Man, I wish I had the energy to do most of the stuff I come up with!! LOL!
     
  17. MrsCAD

    MrsCAD Companion

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    Jun 28, 2007

    I put up a sign on my bulletin board each month wishing a Happy Birthday to those students have birthday's that month. On the first day of school the kids fill out an "All About Me" form and their birthday is on it.
     
  18. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Miss L, Happy Belated Birthday!

    Love the idea of doing famous birthdays.
     
  19. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    I have a little section of my marker board that has a birthday sign on it. I have border going along the side (it's in the corner) to give it its own section. I put the birthdays in chrono. order. For example:

    3 - Jennifer L. (Pd. 2)
    10 - Rob (Pd. 4)
    13 - Hannah (Pd. 4)
    21 - Emily H. (Pd. 1)

    I saw a quick Happy Birthday as I welcome them into the class. But that's really all so we don't get off-task. If a BD falls on a weekend or holiday, I try to ask how their BD was and wish them a belated Happy Birthday.

    The teacher next-door to me gives them a candy bar. She stocks up at Walgreens when they're 3/$1.
     
  20. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Our gradebook program has an alert for birthdays. When I open the data folder for a particular class, it will notify me of upcoming birthdays. I write the birthdays (and half-birthdays for those summer kids) on the board each day, and the birthday kid gets an extra-credit slip and a happy birthday pencil. The kids eat it up! I think they would even wear an "It's my birthday" sticker if I had them.
     
  21. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I have not formally celebrated birthdays in the past because I didn't really take the time to implement a system. Besides, the kids (and announcements) always let us know, so it was just usually a "Happy Birthday" message on board and, if they brought anything to share, we did that.

    This year, I'll probably do something a bit more, at least be more prepared. Last year, our local Wal-Mart had some really cool desk calendars available and I got one for the room (and my desk, they are so cute!) to put stuff on like game days, special events, etc. And, sometimes, birthdays, if one of the kids wrote it in. This year, they have even cuter calendars, so I'll get one for each grade level (even though I have multiple sections...there's a limit to the cost of these things) and record birthdays after they do their student interest surveys. My plan is to make an effort to acknowledge everyone's birthday verbally and a note on the board. Since my classes will be mostly bilingual kids of varying language levels, every little bit of English language and American culture is a good thing. I might also do the pencil thing or something like that.
     
  22. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    These are great ideas! You've inspired me :)

    How do you handle religious and cultural differences? For example, my mom teaches in a district with a high population of Jehovah's Witnesses, and she's has seen people take offense or become uncomfortable when wished a happy birthday.
     
  23. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Even though I've had a couple of students who were of this persuasion, it was never a real problem. They usually just sat quietly til it passed. However, I would think that if your classes were comprised of a large number of non-holiday/birthday students, then I would avoid the celebration and (if you feel it's very important) quietly acknowledge the birthday of the kid who is not of this religion.
     
  24. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    I really love the idea of the monthly general birthday card....an easy way to keep track of the dates while still giving everyone a nice little wish!
     
  25. mommee03

    mommee03 Companion

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    I really like your ideas. We have to stamp agendas daily, there is a stationary stamp kit you can get for like $10, I used that and gave them a Happy B-day stamp on their special day. I also like the message on the board and the monthly card cool ideas!!
     
  26. jen7-19

    jen7-19 Rookie

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    I printed off a chart that listed the days of each month. I pass it around to my classes and they can put there birthday on there if they want. I then have a space that listed everyones birthday by Month.

    I also use the cupcake note pads to write "Happy Birthday ___________ (date) and then my name. I post them above my board about a week before hand. Then on there birthday, they take it down and they get a peice of candy or a pencil from me. For summer birthdays, I celebrate half birthdays.

    Our school announces birthdays over the intercom everyday. STUCO compiles the month's list a week or so before hand.
     

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