Been working a bit in my classroom today... I met with the other 4th grade teachers to pace out our lessons for the first week of school. I still need to actually write out my plans and figure out which procedures to teach and practice on which days, but it feels pretty good to have the first week mapped out!
The next order of business for today was to get some of the stuff for birthday bags. I stole this idea from Jo Anne, my cooperating teacher the first 3 years of my teaching career. Needless to say, she's genius. :) At the beginning of the year, I put together birthday bags for each of my students. I buy cellophane bags, like the ones below that are available online. I always get mine at the Dollar Tree.
The kids are generally just excited that you have something for them, they're not typically critical of what's IN the bag, so I try to keep the cost down. This year I put in the following:
One Ring Pop
One smiley face bouncy ball
A party whistle
A spinning top
And... the Pièce de résistance ....
Let's be honest, they really only want the homework pass. But I think they like the candy, too! :) And this way, the birthday bags are finished and in the cabinet in my classroom. On the morning of a student's birthday, I just place one on their desk, along with the button they get to wear for the day.
To me, it's an easy, yet significant way to honor my young friends on their special days. It doesn't take a lot of time, or a lot of money, but I acknowledge their day and give them a night without homework to celebrate with their family.
What do you do to celebrate your students' birthdays?