Birthday cards start again

It’s time for my yearly exhalation of joy over birthday cards and a note to my colleague, Will Kimball, who invented the Friday Birthday Routine. We make them for any kid who’s had a birthday during the week, but in the beginning of the year we catch up a bit and make them for the kids who had birthdays during the summer.

There are other posts here explaining what the requirements are for birthday cards.

This year I had two new tweaks for Russian 1 or for classes where kids don’t know everyone well yet. First, the Russian 1 kids had to do only the front in Russian. They could write their compliments and wishes in English. My plan is that each time, we’ll require one more line in Russian. The other tweak was that in each of the days leading up to writing the card, I focused on today’s birthday girl for just a little time, so that all the kids would know something about her and have something nice to say. Oh…one more tweak that doesn’t really matter: I told her to start the artwork and first page for the next kid to have a birthday. Since a nearby boy had asked, seemingly jokingly, whether we’d be making these for him on his October 1 birthday, she was able to get his started. Yes! We do a card for every kid once a year. It’s a critical part of my room. Even though we all know they’re assigned, there’s a little part of our hearts that warms up, whether we’re making them or we’re receiving them.

If there’s only one phrase that my kids learn to say to someone, it’s “Happy Birthday.” And they all know how to use simple materials to make a beautiful card for someone they love.

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3 responses to “Birthday cards start again

  1. Slava Bogu, eto pyatnitsa

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  2. I used your idea last year and my students really enjoyed it. I’m a little later in getting it started this year and have been asked several times if we will be doing it again. I see some students who still have their cards from last year displayed in their Spanish binders. We made them once a month for any student in Spanish class and all teachers with a birthday that month. Each month I would ask them to add a line that related to something we had worked with recently: ex. Making a prediction for the birthday person when we were emphasizing future tense. I recommend it to anyone!

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