Parties

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Gwen, May 28, 2007.

  1. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    May 28, 2007

    It seems to be a Kindergarten phenomenon to have b-day parties in the classroom. Im not really sure what my responsibility is when parents want to have their childs party in class. Im ok with them bringing cupcakes but what more is expected of me? What do you do for b-day parties in your classroom? Do you play games and if yes what games do you play? How long do the parties go on for?
     
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  3. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 28, 2007

    Birthday parties are not allowed in our school district. Our state has very strict guidelines, and teachers voted that it would be better to not allow the parties. Elementary schools have 3 "parties" a year (Fall, Winter, Valentine's), then 6 more "snack days". We are allowed to have 9 "snack days" each year, but they are set days at the beginning of the year. I do, however, encourage parents to commemorate their child's birthday by donating a book to the classroom library. We have a sticker we put at the front saying that the book was donated by the student. I also give my students books for their birthday. They are allowed to choose which book they want out of the Birthday Book Box.

    Even with our classroom parties, I'm one who likes it to be very structured. Some kids can't handle it other wise. Maybe you could talk to your coworkers to see if they have any suggestions on how to handle birthdays. If we allowed food in the room, then I would probably allow a "birthday snack" near the end of the day. That way, our routine would not be that disrupted.
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I let parents bring in cupcakes, we sing Happy Birthday, and I let them wear a birthday crown. That's it.
     
  5. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    May 28, 2007

    We do that, minus the crown. Basically just a special snack.

    I do allow children who have summer birthdays to bring in a special snack on their "half" birthday so they are not left out.

    In my school, though, most parents do not send in a special snack, so mostly we just acknowledge a child's birthday by having their name is on the calendar.
     
  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    May 28, 2007

    If a parent wants they can send in a small birthday treat and we will sing happy birthday. Birthday parties are for at home.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I agree that parties are for home. I would ask parents to come in 30 minutes before the end of the school day. The parents could read a book to the class if they wanted too. I like the idea of donating a book to the class library for the birthday treat - then the parent could read that book to the class. Pencils and certificates are cheap and easy to give out for birthday treats.
     
  8. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

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    May 28, 2007

    No crown, just the Happy Birthday song, a special treat... only if they bring one. I don't promote it.... oh yeah, we dance to the Beatles Birthday song. That's something I love to do!
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    May 28, 2007

    We sing "It's Your Birthday" by Jack Hartmann. The birthday child gets to stay up at rest and play quietly and also pick their favorite book for me to read during snack time. My district requires only healthy snacks so I usually suggest Go-Gurts and they eat these while I read the story.
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    May 28, 2007

    I don't teach kinder. I've taught as low as 3rd grade. At the school's I've taught, a lot of the kids don't celebrate birthdays. (Part of the reasoning is financial issues.) Some of the kids, over the years, have told me they wish their birthday was more special. So, I do try to take a few minutes out of the day to promote their special day even now that I teach 7th grade.

    We sing a special birthday song:
    I don't know, but I've been told.
    Someone here is getting old.
    It is someone's special day.
    Here is what we have to say.
    Happy
    Birthday.
    Happy Birthday to you!

    (sung like the military song, with kids repeating the lines after a leader says them 1st)

    I write "Make sure to say Happy Birthday to ____" on the board.

    I give the student a birthday postcard that is a coupon for them to sit where they choose that day. (printed from Vistaprint)

    I used to do the traditional birthday song too. The class would stand in a circle except for some of the kids who are the "candles". At the end of the song, the birthday child makes a wish and pretends to blow out the "candles" who tend to be silly and act like they are melting. The kids liked it, obviously not my 7th graders, but it was our class tradition when I taught 3rd grade.
     
  11. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    May 28, 2007

    I teach preschool, and pretty much our parents just bring in a treat that we eat during our PM snack time. It has to be store-bought (cener policy), so it's usually donuts, cupcakes, or cookies. We sing happy birthday. And the birthday child gets to tell us how old they are and if they're doing anything special for thier big day. That's about it... it's enough for most of our kids! :)
     
  12. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    Thank You. This is a relief to hear. I had a parent come in last week with a cake and some hats. She took pictures and I could tell that she was hoping for more. I just did the happy birthday song and passed out the cake. The mom hung around and I got the distinct impression she was hoping for games and things. It sounds like I do what most of you do.
     
  13. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    May 29, 2007

    My new favorite snack for birthday celebrations is donuts. They are even faster and easier than cupcakes.

    Sing, eat, keep going with teaching.

    Kelly :)
     
  14. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    paperheart, I really like that birthday song - I'll have to use that, for something a little different. Mine can bring in a treat if they want to and we sing, and that's it. Some of the teachers at my school do monthly celebrations because they don't like kids constantly bringing in treats. They divide up the items (cupcakes, chips, juice, etc) between whoever had a birthday in the month, and they spend half an hour to an hour at the end of the month celebrating. Parents are told about this policy at the beginning of the year and requested not to bring in special treats until the monthly party. It seems to work well for those who do it that way.
     
  15. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    May 30, 2007

    I put the following in my classroom handbook every year for this reason:
    "You may bring cupcakes or cookies to school for your child’s birthday. The cookies or cupcakes will be distributed during lunch or snack. We do not allow birthday cakes or parties in the classroom. We do not have the tools for serving cakes (plates, knives, forks etc) and cutting and serving cake is time consuming and messy. Birthday parties in the classroom are not possible as they take away from instructional time. Also, please keep in mind that not all students celebrate birthdays and some children may not be able to participate in birthday celebrations at all. We will provide students celebrating birthdays with many special "birthday privileges" such as; a birthday story, birthday sticker, birthday song, and a birthday backpack to take home."

    Of course that doesn't mean that some parents won't try to get around our policy. I have had parents show up with extended family and video cams before, even pinatas! I just politely get out the handbook and show it to them. We can't afford to lose any instructional time on my campus!
     
  16. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    May 30, 2007

    Am I the only one who HATES birthday cupcakes?? I'm ok with birthday treats, but cupcakes make a mess - crumbs everywhere, and the kids smear frosting all over. I encourage alternative snacks - rice krispie treats, doughnut holes, cookies, brownies, even individual ice cream cups.

    I tell the parents to drop off the treats when they drop off their child and we give them out at snack. We sing to the birthday kid, and they choose a book out of the book box to take home. That's it. I have had parents want to come and do pictures, some send hats and goodie bags and the whole shebang...but I send them back home, and I tell parents that we don't make a huge deal about birthdays at school, for the same reasons that vanna mentioned.

    Kim
     
  17. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    May 30, 2007

    No you are not the only one that hates birthday cupcakes ---cupcakes for anything in the classroom are tooooo messy. I tell my parents they can bring anything but cupcakes for snacks. Cupcakes are always a waster of time for my pre-k class. They lick off the icing and throw away the cake. I tell my parents that is what happens with cupcakes and let them know they are just wasting money sending cupcakes
     
  18. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    May 30, 2007

    Get this trend that goes around my school. At the end of the day the birthday person and a friend can take a birthday treat to the other teachers in the building. The teachers then give the birthday child a small treat or a birthday pencil. I do not give anything out, I graciously decline the treat and tell them happy birthday. I think it is awful that the birthday child can go classroom to classroom and expect a treat from each teacher. I think word got around that I do not give out treats to students that are not in my classroom so not many kids come to me any more. It is a shame that because I don't give them a treat they don't come. (however I like not having the interruptions!) It just goes to show what the other teachers are teaching the kids by doing this. Now that many kids don't come to my room I have way less interruptions and I like it that way. A few other teachers have also done what I have done this year. I wish our school would just not allow it at all.
     
  19. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

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    Let me tell a quick story about my first year teaching. I taught a k/1 combo. I had a first grade mom come and ask me if it was ok if she brought in cake and a party bag for the kids. I said ok. So we had cake and sent the party bags home. At lunch, after the K kids went home I got a call in the lunch room. Appearently the mom had put party poppers in the bags and one had gone off while the mom was driving home and nearly caused an accident. From that day on I never, ever allowed party bags in the classroom.

    Do you feel like the parents have unreasonable expectations when the kids have parties in the classroom? I like the idea of having the party procedures clearly defined in the handbook. I think that is something I need to develop over the summer so Im prepared for next year.

    And no Kimrandy1, you are not the only one who hates cupcakes. I hate cupcakes too! There is always way to much frosting on them and for some reason or another the kids always get the frosting on the carpet in big splotches. I hate them too!
     
  20. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    May 31, 2007

    I hate the cupcakes too! Our favorite birthday treat is the big cookies or individual cookies. No parties here either - just a special snack, given at our regular snack time, and we sing Happy Birthday.
     
  21. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    You're definitely not alone kimrandy1! My most despised birthday treat is the Sam's Club cupcake! There should be a law against giving little kids cupcakes that are bigger than their heads and so heavy they can hardly lift them! They are a big waste of money and they do only lick the icing off. You know what cupcakes I do like though? Those tiny little cupcakes from Wal-Mart! If a parent asks me what they can send or what I suggest I always tell them to look for the tiny cupcakes at Wal-Mart, they are the perfect size for little ones. Of course cookies are much less messy but some parents won't send cookies, they feel anything less than cupcakes is somehow taboo.
    While we're on the topic, if you think you're bad then I'm waaaaay worse because I don't allow any beverages in my classroom that don't come in individual boxes or bags (eg Capri Sun). If parents want to send a drink too (and many do) I tell them it MUST be individual juice boxes or Capri Suns only. If they send a big jug of juice or soda I send it right back home. What makes them think that if I don't have plates and napkins for a cake that I would have CUPS??? That reminds me, I should go add that to my handbook!
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 31, 2007

    Kids make cards (15 min) while birthday kid gets mysteriously sent on some errand. We eat cake during snack time, sing happy birthday and present cards. Viola..done.
     
  23. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    I don't like the mess of cupcakes either. One parent always made birthday cookies in the shape of the number indicating the child's age. The kids loved moving into double digits as they each got 2 cookies then!
    I had a student that wasn't allowed to celebrate birthdays and had to watch while all the other students ate treats. We didn't sing while she was in the room. When she went to first grade the teacher would let her have snack or lunch with another class that wasn't celebrating a birthday that day.
    I have my students make a birthday book for the birthday child. I made a blackline master with an empty gift box with a bow on top. It says, "If I could, I would give you this for your birthday." Each child draws what they would like to give. The birthday child gets a cake picture to color and add candles to that says, "Happy Birthday _____". We mount this on the cover. The birthday child gets to choose the color for the cover. We write the name of each picture gift next to the pictures and staple the book together for the birthday child to take home that day. The students love to give "pretend" gifts as money is no limit. Some are very creative. They get to know each other and draw things that they think each child will like. They will ask the birthday child's favorite colors. The birthday child can't wait to look at all the gifts.
    One first grade parent wanted to bring pizza for the whole class at lunchtime along with cake and ice cream. (We don't have a cafeteria so students must bring lunches everyday.) The principal wouldn't allow the party at school. She suggested that the parent was trying to get away with not having a party at home.
    One of our teachers doesn't allow birthday treats at all. She asks for a book for the class library or a game for inside recess days instead. It worked well for her first grade class that year.
     

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