I have been teaching for 15 years and I currently have a grade 3/4 class. I think teaching a split grade has its own unique challenges and one of mine is finding a balance between ensuring that the grade 3 students have some cute and fun primary experiences while providing the grade 4 students with activities and experiences that make them feel like junior students.
Finding this balance around holidays and birthdays – even trickier!
This year I decided to do two things to celebrate birthdays in my class – a little primary and a little junior – something for everyone.
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- Valentines Day
- St. Patricks Day
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…and even more, such as a section for student birthday suggestions and indoor recess ideas for when the season turns cold!
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First – the birthday chair.
I have a comfy grey chair that the students love to sit on. I put on a cute owl slip cover on the chair and it is now our birthday chair.
The cover was made for my chair – but for many chairs on ordinary pillow case would do. I chose this material since it matched my class decor but if you took a plain pillow case you could use iron on transfers to put a birthday message or picture on the case.
On each student’s birthday they get to sit on the birthday chair!
It may be a little thing but trust me, they are very excited.
Next I made each student a birthday tag and attached it to a crazy straw – as a little gift for their birthday. I used this pot that I found in the clearance department of Michael’s, crazy straws from the dollar store, glass beads from the dollar store and the tags I made.
I punched holes in the top and bottom of the tags then threaded the straw through. I put the glass beads in flower pot to help hold up the straws. You could also use the large pixie sticks or super long pencils as your gifts and then use floral foam in your pot.
I put half of the straws and tags in the pot and will add more as they are removed so that it never looks too empty…until the end of school that is!
Here is the birthday chair and the birthday straws together – a little primary – a little junior. I pick random days for those students who have a birthday during summer holidays to celebrate their birthday in our class – they love that!
I keep the birthday pot on our special shelf near our carpet area – I think it makes a great decoration.
I also love that all of my birthday preparations are done for the year and I never have to show up to school and realize I have forgotten to get something ready to make a child’s day special.
I looking forward to seeing you here again next month, or come and visit me over at my blog, Looking From Third to Fourth!