readilearn: teaching resources for celebrating birthdays in the early childhood classroom

  • Published on August 24, 2018

teaching resources for celebrating birthdays in the classroom

I’m excited! Today, 24 August 2018, marks readilearn’s second birthday. How quickly those years have passed and how the collection has grown in that time.

wishing readilearn a happy second birthday

When I started out with the goal of reducing teachers’ workloads by preparing lessons ready for them to teach, I made a commitment to upload new resources regularly, write a weekly blog post focusing on topics of interest to early childhood teachers, including suggestions for teaching, and publish a newsletter on the last day of each month.

I am proud to say that I have fulfilled that commitment. With more than two hundred resources added to the collection since the launch, that’s an addition of an average of two new resources each week. More than forty resources in the collection are interactive lessons for teachers to teach on the interactive whiteboard, exceeding the ten percent minimum I set as a target.

over forty interactive lessons for the interactive whiteboard

As the collection has grown, so too has the community. We are now an international group with users from a diversity of countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, The United Kingdom, Ireland, South Korea and the Cayman Islands.

My focus with readilearn is on providing lessons that support teachers teaching and children learning. I have never been a fan of worksheets, especially busy work. I believe our role as teachers is to provide children with opportunities to progress their learning rather than just occupy their time. While some worksheets may do this, an over-reliance on them without the support of effective teaching basically wastes valuable learning time for children.

Discussion between teacher and students provides one of the best opportunities for learning to occur. Through active participation in discussion, children learn to use language to clarify and express their thinking, develop their vocabularies, learn to listen respectfully to the ideas of others and accept alternate viewpoints. When presented with new ideas children have opportunities to evaluate them and assimilate them into existing knowledge, question or reject them.

Discussions may be planned or occur incidentally. They may be about real-life experiences, hands-on activities, stories and books shared, ideas and topics of interest to the children or the content of subject areas. A rich early childhood classroom environment provides opportunities for all of these and more, and children will benefit as much from interactions and discussions with each other as they will with the teacher.

readilearn resources provide additional opportunities for teachers to include discussion in a class program rich in learning.

This is what one happy readilearn subscriber has to say: is a fabulous site put together by an amazing teacher. Norah Colvin is absolutely passionate about education, in particular, the early childhood sector. Her readilearn website is well laid-out, easy to use, and jam-packed with some amazing ideas and activities for our classes. 

Her resources are practical, fun and are of top-notch quality. I prefer to think of Norah as a facilitator, a helper, a guide – someone who can “lead a horse to water’ and the horse can’t WAIT to drink! She creates fantastic original materials for young children – materials that encourage students to be mindful, creative, accepting of diversity, and to become life-long learners … and to have fun. Her resources help make the learning environment one in which the children really WANT to be! 

“You cannot make people learn. You can only provide the right conditions for learning to happen.” ~ Vince Gowmon  (readilearn sure will help this happen!)

 Robin Etter-Cleave, Brisbane, QLD

Thank you, Robin.

introducing new resources on readilearn

personalise this interactive birthday resource for children celebrating birthdays in your class

Happy Birthday — an interactive resource to personalise is a new resource I have uploaded to celebrate readilearn’s second birthday. It can be personalised for children celebrating their birthday in your class.

Use the drop-down menus to complete the date and age. Use the keyboard to fill in the name and press “Enter” to complete the form. Click on the music symbol to sing along with a happy birthday song.

The completed form can be printed as a certificate which can be presented to the birthday child.

I have also uploaded two new printable resources: Birthday word cards and Birthday word search, available free to registered users.

a list of 25 birthday-themed word cards to print

Birthday word cards is a set of twenty-five printable birthday-themed word cards. They are arranged in alphabetical order and can be displayed as a resource for writing or cut and used in a variety of activities.

a word search of twenty-five birthday-themed words

Birthday word search includes the same twenty-five words listed on the Birthday word cards. It can be used as a “special” activity for the birthday child or as a reward or follow-up activity when discussing birthdays as part of the class program.

have you used

birthday card feature

A birthday card to personalise is a Busy Bee themed card which can be printed for the birthday child to personalise.

happy birthday badges

Happy birthday badges can be printed, laminated and presented for the birthday child to wear to show everyone that today is a special day.

birthday chart for printing and recording children's birthdays

Busy Bee birthday chart is great to use from the beginning of the year. Write each child’s name on the chart in their birthday month so everyone will know whose birthday is coming up soon.

a printable template for a party hat that children can decorate and wear

Party hat template can be printed for children to decorate and wear if you are having a class party.

Another thought about celebrating birthdays in the classroom

Children in your class may celebrate their birthdays in different ways. Some may not celebrate their birthday at all. Discussions about birthdays at the beginning of the year will inform you about the diversity that may be represented in your class. It is important to be mindful and respectful of those who may not celebrate birthdays.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?

Do you give the birthday child special treatment on the day? Does the birthday child have first turn, get to be the leader, or be promoted to other responsibilities for the day? Is time allocated for a free choice activity with a special friend or two, or for choosing a favourite activity in which the whole class can participate? Is it just another day or do you ensure the birthday child feels special?

I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts below.

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readilearn: teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.


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    Happy birthday readilearn! Norah, your commitment is to be commended. Like a new mother, you’ve grown a wonderful two-year-old ready to take on the world! I’ve shared your post with some teachers I know.

    Happy birthday, Readilearn! It’s great to read about all you’ve achieved in only 2 years and those endorsements from users. I wish you many more years of sharing you wonderful creativity.

    Happy Birthday Readilearn. The world needs more like you Norah. I love the charts to help kids remember birthdays. Sheesh, I’m about ready to need a list of my own to remember all the birthdays in my growing family LOL 🙂

    Thank you, Debby. 🙂 I must admit that I’m not so good at remembering birthday now that the family has grown and the generations are increasing.

    Happy Birthday, Readilearn! ???? Two years of providing quality teaching resources, sharing amazing books, and introducing wonderful authors. Bravo, Norah!

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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