Saturday, August 27, 2016

Student Birthdays!

Welcome back to school, y'all!  Have you gone back yet?  My district started on the 22nd this year.  This is a big year for me because I finally get to take my OWN babies with me to school!  We are starting Kindergarten, y'all!  
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If you are like me, or any other teacher at this moment in the year, you have a running list of about 1,000 items you wanted to get done before school started!  

Well, I don't know about you, but one of the first things that I always do before the year begins is get my students' birthday gifts ready.  It may seem like jumping the gun, but birthdays have always been a really important day in my family, so I try to make sure I am prepared to make each child's day special!  
How do I do this for 22 children, headache-free?  Here are the five steps of what I do once I finally get that coveted, finalized, class list!

1.       Write down each child's birthday on my calendar and/or planner
·      This helps me make sure that it is on my radar!  If I only have it on my birthday calendar in my classroom, I WILL forget - I just don't look at it.  It's more for the kids. 
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2.      Put them in a list in order by date
·      This helps me see at a glance who we have celebrated and who is coming up.  It also helps me to not leave out the summer birthday kids and kids who have birthdays over holiday breaks.  It's easier to remember the birthdays of kids who have a birthday during the school year when we are in class.  My own twins (Emily and Ben) have summer birthdays, so I am always cognizant of these kiddos!  My Erin Condren planner has a special place for it, but you could do it anywhere! 
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3.      Determine the gift
·      It can be the same thing for each of them, or one thing for boys, and one thing for girls, or you can even do different things for each of them.  I find, it's better to do the same thing at my kids' age because they don't do well when anyone gets something different than they do!  :)

4.      Prepare the gifts BEFORE school begins
·      This is the MOST important step!! If I take the time to get everything ready before the rush of school begins, then I won't have one of those panicky moments or be caught in a bind with no gift!  It's awfully hard to tell a child, "I'm so sorry - your birthday snuck up on me and I don't have anything for you today!"

Also, the maximum number of students I can have is 22, so I always prepare 22. I'd rather have too many prepared than not enough.  It's SUCH a pain to have to have to gather everything up and try to make one gift for a new student when I could've knocked it out at the beginning of the year with all the others.

5.      Put them on display, or in an easily accessible place.
·      If your gifts are cutesy, then use them as part of your classroom decor so the kids can see them and be excited to receive their gifts on their special day.  If you'd rather it be more of a surprise, or don't have room to display them, just make sure that you put them somewhere that is easy to get to, AND a place where you won't forget!
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Here's what I made this year!  
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I made birthday cups filled with candy and made them look like little milkshakes with a cherry on top - because who doesn't like THAT?!  It was really pretty easy and I can't wait to give them to the kids!

I went to my local Starbucks and asked the barista if I could buy some of their plastic cups with the dome lids.  She gave me sort of a strange look, but I told her I am a teacher and use these for my students' birthday gifts.  They were so kind and gave me a set of cups and lids.  Thank you, Starbucks!

· acrylic paint (über cheap at Wal-Mart and Michaels)
· stickers
· candy (or filling of your choice)
· one-hole punch
· pencils
· something to use as the cherry on top
1. paint each cup
2. place stickers on cup
3. fill cups with goodies
4. punch a hole in each lid
5. put a pencil in each punched hole of the lids
6. put the white crinkle paper in the lid and place on cup 
7. put the “cherry” on top

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  1. I love what you did.............makes a great decoration for the classroom and it will be so handy to have everything packaged and ready to go. I am famous for buying cool stuff and then forgetting where I stored family laughs at Christmas time when I suddenly start searching the house for the special little treats I bought for the grand-kids and have forgotten about until that very moment. Maybe I should start making gift baskets at home to handout to everyone for birthdays and Christmas.............ummmmmmmm!!!

    1. Thanks!
      That is so funny - once, my sister found a Christmas gift under her bed in March that she had bought her daughter early and forgot about wrapping it and putting it under the tree!

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  4. How many coats of paint did you have to use? I started a second coat (after the first coat had several hours to dry) and the 2nd coat started taking off the 1st coat of paint

  5. What a great idea! I wish I saw this in August. I already had three student birthday celebrations since school started! I may still do this for the rest of the kiddos. Thanks for sharing! :)

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