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June 23, 2012

Birthday Pencils

For birthdays I have always celebrated in class by having my students make each other a birthday book.    In primary grades they drew the birthday child a picture and wrote a sentence wishing them a happy day.  In my 4th grade classroom, I changed it up to make a birthday wish book.  My students use a 1/2 sheet of copy paper to write a wish for the birthday child.  My wish for you is _____________.  They have to use color, draw a small picture, and include the child's name on it.  The kids think of so many things for birthday wishes - everything from a pony, to an ice cream sundae, to a vacation at Disneyland... it's just something fun for them to help celebrate that child's day.  My wish to the student is always for them to not have homework.  I give them a homework's pass for a complete day's worth of homework.  Of course they can save it for another day if they want, and of course they can't use it for projects or take home tests.

This summer I wanted to create something else for them, something that they can keep from me.  I saw this at Classroom DIY, a birthday bouquet of pencils and dicuts.  On the original it has each student name and their birthday.  I changed it to being just a simple saying, "Happy Birthday! Love, Mrs. S".  Of course I don't have just 10 kids in my future class, so the rest of the pencil/dicuts are already completed in a plastic bag ready to refill once the pencils are dwindling.

I learned from my past experiences that you never just make 32 of something that will be used all year long.  I almost always have students moving and coming (last year was the exception).  So, I created 36 of these - yes, I used all 3 packages of pencils, and a bunch of the dicuts.  This project cost me $5 - I went to the dollar store for the fancy pencils and dicuts, and used a planter and glass beads that I had at my house.    



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