Now that's a good question. It's a hot topic among many Blogs whether the classroom has gotten burdened down with too many celebrations. From themed days to party days and holidays + tossing in children's birthdays and special events at school. What's a teacher to do? What say you?
February is a good time to discuss this as it's a party-packed theme month. I'm for everything in moderation. I LOVE themed days and find it very helpful in organizing my entire year. It keeps me organized, and helps me plan. It also motivates my students and keeps them interested as it makes learning fun. I also enjoy plugging in the various holidays.
We celebrate Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's as our big school-wide party days. 100 Day is another special event that the entire school takes part in as well as a Dr. Seuss Day in March with all sorts of special days planned around a March is Reading Month theme.
The "how you do it" is entirely up to the teacher. Or school gives a few guide lines. I enjoy the freedom and love dressing up. I have a Winnie the Pooh Pajama Day to celebrate A.A. Milne's birthday in January. We stress the letter P and reinforce or science study of hibernation. I also extend the 100 Day 3-digit number lesson with a 101 Dalmatian celebration.
I basically use these ideas as a theme, not a party day, to keep the craziness down. Everything we do is based around our report card standards even if it's a party or celebration day. You can have fun and learn at the same time.
I'd enjoy hearing what kinds of things you and your schools are doing and how you feel about parties, celebrations and holidays. For me I think part of the joy of being a child is igniting the imagination and pretending to be a princess or whatever, dressing up, doing extra special things on especially creative days. It's part of making memories at a special time in one's life.
I still remember those days when I was little 50+ years ago. They made a positive difference in my life.