Friday, July 31, 2015

How Not to be Terrible About Student Birthdays

...I'm terrible at student birthdays.  I even blogged about it last year.   I don't mean to be.   It's not on purpose.  I just get caught up in everything else and then suddenly at the end of the day a student says "Today was so-and-so's birthday!" and I'm all "I KNOW!!! Happy birthday to them!  Let's...sing...right now!"  Luckily I have a plan in place.

This year I am going to be great at student birthdays.  I am.

Here are my tips for not being a birthday flake:

1. PREP all birthday "stuff" ahead of time- classroom display, student cards, student gifts (if you do that), and have a plan for what you do on student birthdays.  My classroom display is the Birthday Hall of Fame, where I have monthly cards and I put these "vintage" frames underneath each month with student pictures.  I make student name plates with their name and birthday underneath.   Then I put together my student birthday cards and student gifts (more on that at the bottom).  Be sure to write student birthdays on your planner or calendar.

 Bulletin Board Accents, Fancy Frames (EP3145)

2. ORGANIZE cards from the teacher or other materials in birthday order, so the next birthday is always on top.  PRO TIP:  Write the birthday in the upper corner so it's easy to see and remember.  If you're really on top of things, place the half birthdays in their correct location based on when they will be celebrated in school.  This way the next birthday is always at the top of your card pile.

3. ASSIGN student helpers to be in charge of birthdays.  I have these students put the Birthday Monkey (it's a monkey, it sings, it's all around distracting) on the student's desk, place the birthday sign next to that child's picture, and most importantly, remind me.

4. KNOW your school's policy on treats.  Or just birthdays in general.  My school does not allow them.  Treats that is.  They do allow birthdays.  I love my school.

5. CELEBRATE!  With a birthday monkey (or whatever you do for birthdays!) on their desk, a card ready with a nice corner bookmark (see below!), sing a song or do what you do to make birthdays special!  I like to have a Paper Party- I cut construction paper in four pieces (I try to use scraps in the work room before I cut regular paper because I really don't care if they are straight or perfect rectangles) and each student decorates one card for the birthday child.  The I hole punch one corner of each and put them all together on a ring.  PAPER PARTY!

When I student taught, one of my cooperating teachers always played the Beatles "Birthday", so sometimes we do that now, too.  {I kind of love this version}

The best part is, all of this only takes about 10-15 minutes, so it's not a super time sucker at school.  Excellent!

Student Cards + Gifts
This is what I've been working on prepping this week.  Well, more than just this, but I got this all ready and prepped.  Names written, dates on them, corner bookmarks folded/glued/placed on cards.  Everything in order.

I make my students corner bookmarks as their "gift".  They are easy.  They are inexpensive.  My students use them all year.  It is still thoughtful.  Here's what I do.  {These bookmarks, cards, and the poster set is from the RTL store here or using the link above}

Start with your template (it's really just a square with two triangles off the sides), then follow these picture steps to make your bookmark corners!

DONE!  How do you celebrate student birthdays??

Also, don't forget the TpT Sale on August 3/4!  The RTL Store will be 20% off of everything, for a total of 28% off when you use the code BTS15 at checkout!  Start making that wish list!



  1. I love this post. Don't feel bad. I'm usually terrible at remembering birthdays too. This year I'm going to incorporate our brag tags and give them a special eraser to go with the counselor's pencil. Great ideas. Love the video.

    1. I don't know why it's so hard for me!! :-) I like the brag tag idea... I'll have to see what I have for that, too! Thanks for stopping by. ~Miss B.