Saturday, August 6, 2011

Birthday Displays - Setting Up the Classroom Series

This post is part of my Setting Up Your Classroom Series.

There are tons of commercially-made birthday charts out there. Typically, there is space for the teacher to write in the students' names and record the blessed day on which they entered into the world. I've used them in the past, but wanted something with more meaning to the children than a programmed poster that had been created while they were enjoying summer vacation.

My solution was a birthday pictograph.
I create the chart on my own and usually try to incorporate whatever theme I'm doing. A simple "Happy Birthday" would work too.

Mine serves double-duty by also covering some open shelving to cut down on visual clutter.

Start by deciding how big you want your chart to be. Divide that into 12 columns. Measure the width of each column and print a label for each month to display at the bottom. Add a title and cute accents (or don't) and you're done for now.
When the kiddos arrive for the new school year you'll need to take a photo of each of them.

Give each child a piece of cardstock with the number that corresponds to their birthday on it. For example, my birthday is December 21st (super-crappy birthdate by the way) so I would have a card with a 21 on it. You can let the students write it themselves or go my route and print them on a computer first.

Take a photo of them holding the card. You want it to be a close-up picture so I suggest having them hold it up somewhere near their cute little face when they smile for the picture.

To make it even more fun you can have them wearing party hats and using blowers.

Print and crop the photos so that they are the same width as your labeled columns.

Pass out the pictures to their owners and do a lesson on pictographs / bar graphs. Attach their photos in the appropriate column. Make observations about the chart. For added impressiveness, have the students record their observations in writing and attach them the chart as well (i.e. There are 4 more birthdays in July than in October. The number of birthdays in May is an even number.)

This year, I repurposed the space that was formerly used for my birthday chart for a math word wall / strategy board.
I may do a smaller version of my pictograph from years past (pictured above) because I do love the lesson involved. I also really love having their pictures with the cards too. I adore Erica Bohrer's chart and may do something along those lines.

If you feel like getting crafty, here are some super cute displays. I especially love the picture frame version.


For more ideas and pictures to help organize and manage your classroom, please check out my book: The Clutter-Free Guide to Classroom Organization and Management by clicking here.
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