#RaisingReaders Monday: Birthday Books

Doesn’t this look amazing? Image is from Cakes and Cupcakes Mumbai.

This past Thursday was Back To School night at my children’s elementary school – the night we parents read the cute notes our kids have left for us on their desks, write them notes in return, and get to know their teachers as well as we can through a 30 minute Power-Point presentation that covers everything from lunch menus and gym shoes to curriculum and teaching philosophy. It’s a lot to take in.

I was personally overjoyed to find that my girls’ 1st and 4th grade instructors encourage their students to choose books that interest them,  engage the class in discussing books, make time for group and independent reading, and provide incentives for reading.  I think we’re going to have a wonderful school year!

My daughter’s 1st grade teacher had one extra idea I couldn’t wait to share with all of you: Birthday Books.

With a rise in both childhood obesity and allergy prevalence, our school has joined many others in eliminating that time-honored tradition of bringing a treat to share on your birthday. Some teachers have chosen to celebrate all the month’s birthdays on one given day with a special activity. Others give the birthday child special privileges and a paper crown.

Mrs. R gives the kids a chance to bring in one of their favorite books – or a new book, or any book, really – to share with the class.  After the teacher or child reads it aloud to the class, all the birthday child’s classmates sign the book. It then stays in a special Birthday Book Bin in the class library for the remainder of the school year. The kids and teacher get the advantage of an expanded book selection in the classroom and, when school is out in June, the students take home their birthday books full of signatures and memories!

I loved this idea – and so did my daughter. Her birthday is not until the end of November, but she has already started a list of books she wants to bring in to share!

I think this a great tradition to add to classrooms, and also to birthday parties! You might recall from an earlier post that I like to create themes for at-home birthday parties from favorite books and series. I can’t wait for the next one so we can start with a read-aloud and have all the guests autograph it!

A Rainbow Fairy birthday party we threw for my eldest.

A Rainbow Fairy birthday party we threw for my eldest.

Of course, I wouldn’t mind if someone threw a book birthday party for me, either. Everyone can bring their favorite book as a gift, and we’ll eat one of these awesome cakes I just wasted spent a large chunk of my evening pinning!

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16 thoughts on “#RaisingReaders Monday: Birthday Books

  1. I just love this idea. I’ll have to keep this in the back of my mind if I ever go back to teaching. We did read books the child brought in, but we never took the time to have kids sign the books. I also LOVE that cake! That’s amazing.

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  2. LOVE this whole birthday book idea! Wonderful 🙂 The cake looks great, too. Wonderful decorating 🙂 (I have to be honest, though–I’ll never be a “Giving Tree” lover : / Don’t like the message.)

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  3. I will throw you a book birthday party, but only if you choose a book that does not require elaborate undergarments for the costumes. No hoop skirts, bustiers, cinchers, etc. Little House on the Prairie would be OK, since we know Laura never liked to wear all that girlie stuff.

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  4. That’s a wonderful idea! I love it when teachers (adults in general) encourage reading in children. It seems like such a lost hobby in these days of technology and TV. When my son reaches school age, I may just suggest this idea to his teachers… 🙂

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  5. My daughter’s teacher had birthday books also. I was able to come into the class and read the book she donated to the class for her birthday. I like the idea of the child getting the book back at the end of the year. Found your post at the Mommy A to Z blog hop.

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