What's Your Birthday Policy?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by FutureTeacher_1, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. FutureTeacher_1

    FutureTeacher_1 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2012

    Hi Everyone,

    What do you do about birthdays?

    Do you allow students to bring cupcakes and juice in?

    Or just healthy treats?

    Also, do you allocate classtime for the celebrations?

    My old school used to make the kids do it at lunch.

    New school doesn't.

    I'm thinking of offering them two options:
    1. They can send home treat bags at the end of the day which parents at home can screen for allergies and other concerns.

    or

    2. The kids can provide our afternoon snack for the day as long as it is healthy. I will send home a list of possible options.

    Either choice the kids make, we will sing happy bday and the child will be recognized etc.

    I really dont agree with feeding kids cupcakes. But I don't want to Ms. Meanie Pants.

    HELP!
     
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  3. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    New policy this year. All party and birthday party food must be store bought and brought in with ingredient labels attached. Juice boxes can also be sent in. Birthdays in my room are celebrated during snack time. I have a feeling that this policy is going to cause a lot of disappointed mothers in my school. Many pride themselves on their decorating skills for their homemade birthday cupcakes and in some instances cakes. But in my opinion it was long over due.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    At snack time, no parents. Store bought. Sugar can not be first ingredient (nutrition policy). We sing, pass out snack, and move on with our schedule. I give a birthday sticker and pencil.
     
  5. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Store bought, at the end of lunch time. No classroom decorations. Birthday certificate and stickers from me.
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I've had a few celebrate birthdays, it must be during lunch. Parents usually bring in pizza and cake. They have to eat healthy every other day so I don't mind a day of pizza of cake every once in a while!
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I personally think our policy is a little absurd. We are a "wellness school", which I understand, but I think they let themselves get a little carried away. Students' parents can buy a fruit or vegetable tray from the cafeteria to pass out at the end of the day if they want it celebrated at school. No parents are allowed in. Happy Birthday, here's a carrot stick? I think it's just a little much.

    The PTO president was asking us if we'd be willing to do a halloween event this year as an alternative to trick or treating, because in our neighborhood it's simply not safe for kids to go out. We were all saying that it's once a year, it's halloween, and it would be after school so we should pass out candy. Nope- wellness committee says no candy. We can pass out fruit and veggies. The point is to get the kids off the streets and into a safer alternative- what kid is going to want to come to school to collect food instead of trick or treating?
     
  8. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    We don't have snack time in first grade. Because our 4th grade test scores went down last year, our new P determined that no students past the grade of K could have any type of birthday celebration at our school. We used to have them at 2:30 (they start calling buses at 2:45). I think it's kind of sad that first graders aren't allowed to be kids.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    pwhatley-that is sad. :(

    I'm going to sound like a Grinch, but I hate celebrating birthdays. Our policy is end of the day, we also have a rule it has to be store-bought. Parents will bring whole families, including little ones who they aren't monitoring at all. The kids always make a big mess. They bring too much food-I tell them at Open House-those mini-cupcakes are plenty. But they bring whole cakes, chips, juices, etc. I wouldn't mind a gesture, but it just gets way out of control.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Healthy treat = Oxymoron.

    Just sayin'
     
  11. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Don't tell my kids that! They love it! This year I've had parents bring in drinkable yogurts or go-gurts.

    Last year, mandarin oranges. My kids loved those!
     
  12. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My grandson loves go-gurts. However, if you read the labels, they aren't all that healthy... lots of sugar and little actual yogurt.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Shhhh, I'm not telling my P. Last year he approved the yogurt parfaits.
     
  14. FutureTeacher_1

    FutureTeacher_1 Rookie

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Our school does NOT have a policy for this. My grade level mates vary on this. One doesn't allow anything and the other, well, her room looks like ChuckieCheeses during birthdays.

    I think I will allow cupcakes as long as they are store bought, juice boxes are fine (but I won't encourage). I will also provide parents with a list of other things that can be sent in also.
     
  15. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Ugh I have such a problem with that. I think never, ever allowing it is just setting up the kids to have issues with food in the future. So sad.

    We had 1 parent wanting to bring in a treat last year. We did it at the end of the day. We don't have a school policy. Not many kids ask to bring stuff in.
     
  16. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Last year they had a certain day of the month where you celebrated everyone's birthday in that month. If they wanted to bring in a store bought treat they could. Not special!

    This year I haven't even thought about it. I don't think middle schoolers do all that with their birthdays, do they? :unsure:
     
  17. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    My policy = celebrate once a month, final Friday, for all bday kids of that month.

    Parents invited IF ONLY fingerprinted (school policy) and NO large cakes. My kids wear uniforms (expensive ones) and the carpet is brand new. No juice, just water. Cupcakes or cookies are OK. I encourage parents to bake their own if possible, as it's cheaper than buying from the store, and you can control what ingredients go in them. I also encourage them to use it as baking time with their son or daughter. Win-win.

    I don't want the kids filled up on sugary drinks. Of course, allergies of ingredients are in play.

    Party occurs in the last 40 minutes of that final Friday of the month.
     
  18. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't ever remember having birthday parties in elementary school where someone's mom brought in cupcakes or whatever. I always found the idea to be kind of absurd. The only thing I remember is getting maybe a pencil and certificate from the teacher. I wouldn't really want the school to decide that it's ok to feed my kid sugary snacks maybe 25 times a year - that's 2-3 times a month. Then think about the individual kid - you know they are going to have a cake at home that night with family, and maybe another on the weekend for a party. How much cake does a kid need in one day? I guess, like I said, I don't remember this occuring when I was in school and it just always seemed like overkill to me.
     
  19. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I let them bring me treats.
     
  20. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I don't have an official policy and neither does my school. Last year some kids brought in treats and usually I'd finish language arts before lunch 5-10 min early and we'd pass them out then, sing, and then they'd bring the treat to lunch.

    Pwhatley, it baffles me that somehow your principal thinks that eliminating 25 or so 10 min treat breaks over the span of a year is going to affect your test scores. Really? Suddenly you'll do better because on some random days you didn't take a 10 min treat break?
     
  21. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Students are able to bring in treats. I encourage them to bring in healthy options, but don't require it. We take maybe 10 minutes at the end of the day before specials to sing and eat our snacks. I give them a crazy straw and a homework pass. I had two birthdays in August, and the kids got way more excited about the fruit kabobs one mom sent in than the home-made brownies for the other birthday. I've never heard of a parent coming in, and we don't call it a party. When I was in elementary school, we did it during our morning snack break. As a small school, we don't really have many allergy/diet issues. I've never had one in my class that affected birthday treats.
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We can have students bring in things for birthdays unless anyone has an allergy. Then, the nurse has to be consulted on the treat. None of my students have food allergies so I already told a mom she could send in cupcakes for the first week of school since the child's birthday was during vacation. These were the same students I had in summer school so I know them and their parents pretty well.
     
  23. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    What I find absurd is a practice that I only learned of a few years ago - I never experienced it growing up or when my daughter was in school. Children have a dollar pinned to their shirt, and people add other dollars to it throughout the day! I'm sorry, I'm broke because I bought your child's school supplies, and you want me to give him/her money as well? I don't think so!
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    There's no district policy regarding birthday, other than treats must be store bought.

    How birthdays are celebrated is decided by each teacher.

    Personally, I recommend that parents bring in the small size cupcakes (kids waste the large ones) and a Capri-Sun/juice box (or something that I don't have to pour and fuss with).

    We sing happy birthday, I give the student a birthday crown, and they choose something from the treasure chest.

    Oh--we celebrate in the afternoon toward the end of the day. I allow the parent(s) to come, too.
     
  25. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I make up party bags for each child at the beginning of the year- I include a small container of Playdoh, a bottle of bubbles, and a party blower. On a child's birthday I have the bag on his desk when he comes in in the morning. After morning work we sing Happy Birthday and I give them a sticker, a certificate, and a sharpened Happy Birthday pencil. They have to put their party bags in their backpacks after looking at them. That's about it =)
     
  26. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    One year I had a parent bring in either cupcakes or a cake for the class. The Mom also brought in a small, special cake for her child. This cake was easily 2 large servings! I think that was also the same Mom who brought me (& my TA), very rich bakery brownies for her child's birthday.
     
  27. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    We recently went to a school wide policy of not having any food for birthday celebrations(part of the nutrition policy). It was becoming a competition to see who could bring the best treat, and the "snack" was becoming a mini birthday party at school(complete with parents taking pictures). Food allergies were also becoming a concern.
    They'll get a card, sticker, and pencil from me. If they parents want to bring something it can be a pencil or eraser for each child or a book for the classroom library.
     
  28. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I find birthday celebrations annoying because there's no time built in for it during the day and we're supposed to do it during lunch, but sometimes our lunch monitors get their panties in a bunch and say they don't want the kids having it during lunch. ARGH!

    This year, my team and I have decided that no matter when a child's birthday is, they can ONLY do cupcakes and bring juice in Friday and they have to eat it in the cafeteria during their lunch period.

    If the monitors get upset, then we bag the cupcakes in our room and let each child take home their treat and a juice box.

    One way around it is that if I know I am going to show an educational video that day, I allow the kids to eat their cupcake and drink their juice while the video is running.
     
  29. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    My school's policy is preferably a store bought item such as cupcakes that can be put in a baggie just in case there isn't time to pass them out at the end of the day. Any birthday treats brought are passed out at the end of the day. Birthday treats won't be passed out at lunch. I give the students a certificate and a sticker. The class will sing to the student.
     
  30. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Our school doesn't do birthday parties. Instead, I do a few special things for kids on their birthday.

    They get to wear a sticker that says "It's my birthday!" and pick a special pencil to write with (I keep them.)
    At the end of the day, each child will offer a theoretical gift to the child... something like the three fairies in Sleeping Beauty. SOmething NOT tangible, like "I give you the gift of invisiblity!" It's really fun.

    I also let them choose one special thing- longer recess, choice time, eating a picnic lunch on the field, having a game time.

    It works. No food at all! You do have to be willing to know this means you could have an extra long recess for every birthday. It cuts into class time, but so does a party.
     
  31. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Our policy is that the students can bring in healthy snacks for the class.
     

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