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Rethinking Birthday Parties

ITEM #: 8252731

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. This Exchange Reflections is based around the Exchange magazine article, "Empowering Celebrations: Exploring Student-Led Birthday Parties in Classroom Settings" by Jennifer Lehnertz.

Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a "Making Commitments" idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format that you can download immediately on your desktop.

Exchange Reflections come with an Exchange Reflections Certificate. Certification and state licensing requirements for early childhood educators vary significantly. To find out if Exchange Reflections will be accepted for your requirements, we recommend that you contact your certifying or state licensing agency.


  1. Find a date and time that your team can meet for a discussion, and designate a facilitator.
  2. Email or print and distribute Exchange Reflections to each team member prior to the discussion.
  3. Ask all participants to read the article ahead of time, with an open mind, paying attention to any emotional responses or any specific points that affirm, inspire or challenge their views, or raise questions.
  4. Before you begin, agree to abide by these guidelines during the discussion:
    • Allow everyone a chance to speak -Listen respectfully and actively
    • Commit to learning about each other, not debating
    • Embrace differences of opinion as healthy, and always support each person’s authentic self expression.
  5. Use the discussion questions that most interest your group. If your group raises new questions, see where they go, and return to this guide to anchor your conversation as needed.
  6. If you have a larger group, consider breaking out into pairs or smaller groups to focus on specific questions, then come back together to share insights.
  7. End by looking together at the ideas for Making Commitments. Encourage each participant to choose one or to create their own.

Note: Downloadable PDFs are only available for download in pdf format. Directions for downloading follow immediately after purchase.

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Rethinking Birthday Parties