Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Blog!!!

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!  Today marks the one year birthday of this little blog of mine!!!  Did you see the new banner I made yesterday?  I'm kinda proud of it!!  :-)

Love those little dragons from Scrappin' Doodles!!!  I'm always on the lookout for adorable dragon clip art, for obvious reasons, and if you know of any I would love a heads-up!!  And let's not forget the amazing designs of Krista Wallden, all those wonderful banners and ribbons!!  LOVE!!  If you have never heard of these two designers, you should REALLY check them out!!

This time last year I had an idea to start a blog.  I had been a follower of other educational blogs for a while, and thought, 'Hey, I think I can do that'.  Well, I had no idea then how challenging it would be to keep this little blog up and running!  Losing my mom so unexpectedly a month after starting this blog was a huge blow, and I stopped blogging and creating for a long time while I dealt with that.

Then there is the natural doubt one has (or maybe that's just me!!) about if my little blog is going to make it out there up against the huge names in the blogging world.  Those awesome blogs that have thousands and thousands of followers and look so much like the page of a scrap book, little bloggers like me start to wonder if anybody is even reading what I put out there.

These past few months have seen 24 followers come to my blog, and that is AMAZING!!!  Getting new followers is SO EXCITING for me, and it makes me want to keep on going!!  So I truly, truly appreciate and THANK the people out there who have decided they like what I do enough to follow me.  I wanted to thank you all for being so wonderful, and I wanted to bring you into the birthday celebration.

So, here is a little freebie packet that I put together for you!  It is all about birthdays, and I hope it has resources that you can use in your classroom this year for all your precious littles and their special day!!
Here's what you'll get!!  {link to the freebie isn't until the end of the post, don't want you skipping out on the fun!! ;-)}

This packet contains a brief blurb for how I've used the birthday freebies in my classroom, as well as all of the materials you'll need to use each idea.

First up are a set of birthday cards I created.  For YEARS, I was buying packets of birthday 'post cards' for my littles.  Then one day it hit me, WHY AM I NOT MAKING THESE?!?!?!  DUH!!!  So, I started to make them instead of buying them.  There are two cards to a page, and I print each page out on card stock and then slicing them in half on the thick, black line in the middle of the page.  There are four pages of cards for a total of 8 different birthday cards.  One card reads 'Love,' with a space for your name, and the other reads 'From,'

As a class, my kinders have always sung to the birthday boy or girl.  Several years ago, I was at a restaurant and heard a really cute birthday song that the staff performed.  It was in the style of an Army marching song, where the diners repeated what was said by the wait staff.  I remember thinking how much fun that would be to do in the classroom, and the next time I had a student's birthday to celebrate we sang the song. It's simple enough that every single one of my kinders can participate, because they are repeating after me.  They LOVE getting to do this song on a friend's birthday, and if by some chance I got busy and forgot, they are SURE to remind me!! I've searched around for the original composer of this tune, but I haven't been successful.  If you know, please tell me so I can make sure to give credit where it is due!!  :-)

I usually attach a 'Happy Birthday' pencil to the student's birthday card.  I have seen other teachers in my building use those HUGE Pixie-Stix and attach a birthday message to the top.  They are kept in a bin until a student can choose one on his/her birthday.  I created some fun balloon toppers that could go on a pencil or a candy treat.  There are 6 balloons to a page, just copy on colored paper (card stock or construction paper are strongest), cut them out, and attach them to the birthday treat!

At the end of the packet is something I just made, so haven't had a chance to try it out with my kinders. However, I plan on dong this next year.  I made a 'Birthday Book' that can be completed by the class and taken home by the birthday boy/girl at the end of the day.  Maybe it's just a kindergarten thing, but I've noticed that my littles tend to dress up for their special day, with a new hair style, outfit, the works!! On the cover page, I made a space for a photo of the birthday boy/girl.  I will take it first thing in the morning and print it out during the day when I have time.  During Morning Work, my kinders will draw a picture of the birthday boy/girl.  We will make sure to make a very big deal about their birthday outfit, and talk about how we need to include all of those fancy details in our drawings.  Then, they will use one of the pages to draw their friend.  There is also a page for the birthday boy/girl to draw of themselves, and that page will be the first page after the cover.  Especially in the beginning of the year, I will model how to draw a self-portrait on the SMART Board before they get started.

The book has a place for the birthday boy/girl to write the sight word 'me' (pretty simple, even for beginning of the year kinders) and the rest of the class writing their friend's name.  I usually write the name of the student on the drawing I modeled for them, especially in the beginning of the year.  I tell my kinders to do their best to write what they see, even if they only see lines or curves.  Luckily, every page is for the same book so you don't have to decipher what the name is.  I haven't decided if I want my littles to put their own name on the back or to leave their name off.  I know that it is great practice for them to copy/write their own name, and I know that they enjoy writing their name, so we'll see what happens when school starts and we use this for the first time!!

I really enjoyed working on this packet to celebrate my blog's first birthday, and I really hope that it contains something you can use with your littles this year!!  Click on the cover image to go to my TPT store and download the freebie for yourself!!

BEFORE YOU GO, you should really check out the really awesome way Sally from Elementary Matters celebrates her student's birthdays.  She donates a book to the classroom library with a book label inside that has their name, so they will always be remembered!!  How cool is that?!?!  Plus, she is offering up her labels as a FREEBIE!!!

I would LOVE to hear about what you do in your classroom for student birthdays.  How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?  More importantly, do you celebrate your own birthday with the class??


  1. Congratulations! I love the birthday pack. Last summer, I found a big set of blank birthday cards at Target's dollar spot for $3. I can't remember how many there are, but I know I have plenty for this year! I got 2 boxes with different color schemes. I write out a note inside the card on each student's birthday (or half or last week when summer birthday's celebrate) and leave it on their desk. I also have birthday hats they can choose to wear, and a Happy Birthday! chair cover I found at Dollar Tree! It really makes the kids feel special to get their own special card from me. My CT in student teaching did birthday books with firsties and they loved it!
    Thriving in 3rd

  2. I am really happy that your blog completed one year. Congratulations dear! That birthday banner that you made is really very pretty. Well, I am also doing arrangements for 7th annual office party. Currently I am looking for the local party venue rentals that are quite spacious to accommodate all my employees and business vendors. Can you help me?