Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No More Boring Birthdays

Time and time again I've seen the poster with birthdays hanging around the classroom.  A couple years ago I switched from the traditional poster displaying birthdays to my all time favorite birthday display...that is actually educational!  I have a birthday pictograph.

This is what it looked like before I added the kids birthdays.

On the first day of school I put a die-cut birthday cake on each child's desk with their name and birthday written on it.  When they arrive to school they decorate their cakes any way they want.  As a getting to know you activity we gather together in front of the graph and go through each month.  If someone has a birthday that month they raise their hands and we discuss who has a birthday first, which comes before which, etc.  As I put up the birthday cake, the student tells the class something about themselves.  If they can't think of something I'll ask them their favorite color or food (I got a lot of "blue" and "pizza" this year).  We repeat the process for every month.  Once the pictograph is completed I ask them questions relevant to the graph (How many people have a birthday in May?  Which month has the most birthdays? etc.).  I find that this is a fun and easy way to get to know each other, throw in a quick and easy math lesson, and see what the kids already know about reading a graph.

*I start my graph with the month of August instead of January.  This doesn't seem to confuse the kids at all.  On the contrary they have no problem figuring out why I do it that way.  (Since we start school in August!)

1 comment:

Hilary Lewis said...

I love this idea Victoria! I am definitely using this next year!
Hilary :)

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