My solution was a birthday pictograph.
I create the chart on my own and usually try to incorporate whatever theme I'm doing. A simple "Happy Birthday" would work too.
Mine serves double-duty by also covering some open shelving to cut down on visual clutter.
Start by deciding how big you want your chart to be. Divide that into 12 columns. Measure the width of each column and print a label for each month to display at the bottom. Add a title and cute accents (or don't) and you're done for now.
When the kiddos arrive for the new school year you'll need to take a photo of each of them.
Give each child a piece of cardstock with the number that corresponds to their birthday on it. For example, my birthday is December 21st (super-crappy birthdate by the way) so I would have a card with a 21 on it. You can let the students write it themselves or go my route and print them on a computer first.
Take a photo of them holding the card. You want it to be a close-up picture so I suggest having them hold it up somewhere near their cute little face when they smile for the picture.
Print and crop the photos so that they are the same width as your labeled columns.
Pass out the pictures to their owners and do a lesson on pictographs / bar graphs. Attach their photos in the appropriate column. Make observations about the chart. For added impressiveness, have the students record their observations in writing and attach them the chart as well (i.e. There are 4 more birthdays in July than in October. The number of birthdays in May is an even number.)
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