Our first birthday celebration in the Brown Room!
Last week, we celebrated our first birthday of the school year.
Our friend, Noah, recently turned three years old!
This was the children's first experience celebrating a friends birthday at school and therefore, their first exposure to all of the traditions that come with birthday celebrations at St. John's.
When initially introducing the idea of a "school birthday celebration" to the children, we first asked them to share their thoughts about birthdays... What is a Birthday?
Happy birthday. I singed it. - Elizabeth
I sing it! - Eloise
Eat cake. - Thomas
Blow candles. - Lily
While we don't always eat cake at our school birthday celebrations, the children's ideas around the concept of a birthday were representative of many parts of our school birthday traditions.
The birthday child then walks around our special birthday candle while the children count each lap around the candle to correspond with their friend's age.
Presenting and Receiving the Gift
At the beginning of each year, classroom teachers make a decision about the type of birthday gift the children will create for each other during the school year. The decision is one made with much intentionality and is often related to a previously observed interest of the collective class, mastery of a specific material or technique, or perhaps a way to introduce and experience something brand new for the children.
Although what will be produced is decided by the teachers (ie. a weaving), each gift is created by the children themselves and is only done so after taking time to research together, obtain important information about their birthday friend, and then use this information to then create something thoughtful, beautiful, and uniquely individualized for the birthday child.
I was the birthday committee! - Gus
Elizabeth, Gus, and William were the members of our first birthday committee
for our friend, Noah
To inform their work, Noah was "interviewed" during a recent morning meeting.
The birthday committee then used this information to support the birthday work moving forward.
Noah's Birthday Interview - September 25th, Morning Meeting
Sam: Noah, your birthday is coming up and we need to know something. I have a question for you. Do you have a favorite color?
Sam: What’s your favorite color?
Sam: Oh, Noah likes the color red.
Lily: I like pink.
Sam: We all like different colors.
Eloise: I like purple.
Van: I like pink.
William: I like yellow.
Sam: Now that we know that Noah likes the color …?
Sam: What color do you think Noah’s birthday present will be?
Thomas, Eloise and William: (in unison) Red!
Sam: We’re going to make Noah a red present.
Lily: We’re gonna make one. We’re gonna make one! A big one, like this big.
(Lily holds both arms up in the air above her head)
We were looking for red stuff for Noah’s birthday. - Gus
Noah receives his birthday gift - a weaving made of red materials to represent his favorite color.
The children also collaged a message to accompany Noah's weaving.
Inspired by Noah's favorite color, in the message they shared some of their ideas about other things that they are reminded of when working with the color red.
He can open it and see red! - Lily
The Birthday Calendar
Celebrating a birthday is an ideal opportunity to introduce both our
classroom birthday calendar ...
and the All-School Birthday Calendar...
The birthday calendar is always there. All day. It’s names and colors. - Lily
We are looking forward to sharing a bit more about birthdays with all of you during our upcoming
Classroom Stories Night presentation on Thursday, October 19th!
In anticipation of this exciting evening, we will be dedicating our afternoon teacher work time to preparing the presentation and materials for this evening to share with all of you.
Therefore, we will not be able to post our typical blogs over the course of the next week.
We thank you for your understanding and cannot wait to share more of the classroom work with all of you very soon!