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Take Home Stuffed Animal
Old 07-24-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I'm interested in buying a stuffed animal that will go home with the students and they will write about what they did with the animal in a journal.

If you do this in your classroom, I'm hoping you can answer some questions:
Should I send it home during the week or on the weeked?
How many days should the child keep it at home?
What kind of animal did you buy and what did you name it?
How did you introduce this activity to the class?
If you have a letter that you send to the parents explaining this activity I would really appreciate seeing it.
TIA!


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Old 07-24-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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My daughter did this in her K class and I would like to try it too. Her teacher had a bear that she put in a bag with a notebook, a disposable camera, and a note. The note explained the name and story of the bear (how he got his name) and that every weekend he would go to someones house. The child was to draw a picture and dictate to his or her parents what the bear did with the family over the weekend. The child (or parents) should take no more than two picture with the camera. The bear was to be returned on Monday (all this was stated in the letter).

The teacher collected the stories and pictures and put them into a binder of the bears adventures and left that in the classroom for kids to read.

The bear was named by the first class to "meet" the bear.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I did it in my 1/2 classroom. We had Max the Monkey. I suggest sending it home during the weekend(I had my students take five pictures of them and Max and the weekend gave them more time to do it) The child kept it at home for Friday through Monday Morning. I introduce the activity by introducing Max and telling them Max likes to go on adventures. I had Max observe a little bit in class before he got to go home with this friends. I think over Christmas break I took Max home and wrote about Max's time with me during Christmas. The kids loved it! I do have a letter but it is packed up in boxes awaiting my new classroom. If I find i I can attach it later! Hope this helps! Also at the end of the year I typed each kids journal entry and made a book of all of Max's adventures. I also made a picture slide show of all the kids and max!
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Class Mascot
Old 07-24-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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If you do this in your classroom, I'm hoping you can answer some questions:
Should I send it home during the week or on the weeked? I sent our mascot home during the weekend. They could also take him home over holidays. If a child was going somewhere special like a vacation or trip they could take him for that. We had a dad go on a business trip to Hungary and he took Moe. He would send us pictures of Moe in the airplane seat, in a restaurant, and at various local sights and he wrote the class emails about it. We had a big display in the hall about Moe's trip to Hungary. He's also been to the Bahamas and Germany.I would let children sign up for the weekend they wanted and put it in my calendar. Then I would remind them on Friday to pack him up. We also put it on our monthly classroom calendar so they wouldn't forget.

What kind of animal did you buy and what did you name it?
We had Moe the Monkey. I'm attaching a link to the page on my website where I would put the stories the children wrote.There's also a picture of him. I had a Jungle Journal with a monkey pen that they would write in. I also had a monkey backpack that he traveled in.
http://http://www.schoolrack.com/tin...nture-journal/

How did you introduce this activity to the class?

If you have a letter that you send to the parents explaining this activity I would really appreciate seeing it.
I didn't really have a letter. I had a paragraph about him in my beginning of year brochure. Here's what it says:
Our class "pet" is Moe the Monkey. Students can sign up to take them home over weekends and holidays and write about their experiences in our Jungle Journal. Journal entries are posted on our website. Last year Moe got to travel to Hungary and the Bahamas and even had his passport stamped!
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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I am doing this in my 3rd grade self contained class next year. I bought a cute pug stuffed animal. I have a poster from vistaprint with a picture of my dog arthur (who is a pug).

They will bring arthur home on the weekend and write a journal entry about what they did with him. I only have 10 kids, so each kid will get 1 weekend and then we will turn it into a book.


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Sending home stuffed animal
Old 07-24-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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I teach 1st grade. I send Busy the Bee home starting the 2nd semester with a journal. Each student gets to keep Busy 2 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday-over the weekend). Busy comes home with me over holidays to "get a bath". They write about whatever they want. They can also draw an illustration or add photographs of Busy's stay. Busy is a puppet. The kids love this activity!
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Buddy Home
Old 07-24-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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I like this idea and I did something similar when I taught K. I also sent home books to be read, for example, for a monkey buddy I'd send home a Curious George book. We stopped due to head lice. Ifn this is not a problem in your area it is fun for all.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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My daughter's first grade class did this and I plan to implement it in my class this year. The star student was able to take the class "pet" home for the weekend along with the class journal.

Their class pet was a rubber ducky - I will be doing the same thing - easy to clean, cheap to replace if necessary, etc. There was a short paragraph on the first page explaining the project. Some families included photos, some just wrote, and others just drew pictures. It was a lot of fun to read the other entries.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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My daughter's kindergarten teacher did this last year. She had a little teddy bear dressed like a bee. She called it "Super Bee" for Super Behavior. She had a special denim bag that she sent Super Bee and the notebook home in. She had an intro about Super Bee in the front of the binder where she told some of the things Super Bee likes to do. The child who was chosen to take Super Bee home that night would take pictures or draw pictures of things they did with Super Bee. They would also write a sentence or two about what they did. She also had sheet protectors at the back and they would add their page next in the notebook. She didn't send it home every night, but an average of 2 times per week. She sent it home more at the beginning of the school year. It was a great part of the classroom and my daughter would come home and tell me all about who got Super Bee and what they did with him. I think it's an awesome idea!
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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I sent a koala bear home with my star student on the weekend of their week. They took it home in a bag with a notebook to write what they did that weekend. My instructions were glued in the notebook. then on Monday they shared their entries. I did this the year I taught second grade but my third graders didn't like it.


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Buddy
Old 07-25-2010, 04:09 AM
 
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When I taught K, I did this with my class. I had a few different animals in 7 years. Whichever animal we had, I called him Buddy. I boght a blank book from the teacher store and had the parents write what they did with Buddy. I always sent it home the Friday before they were the "Big Cheese"- star of the week.

I always introduced it "Gingerbread Man" style. I opened the bag that he was in, and he was gone! We had to go look for him. The first clue was a note in the bag. It was a rhyme with a clue about who we'd be meeting. I had notes around the school so the kids could meet different staff members- secretary, librarian, custodian, principal, etc...
Buddy was always found "reading" in the library, of course, because he loves reading!

Attached are the notes I used.
Attached Files
File Type: doc zig and zag note (beg. yr.).doc (25.0 KB, 668 views)
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Questions
Old 07-25-2010, 04:51 AM
 
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I have the materials. Now I'm looking for a note. If you have the parent note you sent home please attach it. Did you get permissions slips signed before to tell parents what it was and that it needed to be returned? Thanks.
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Point of View
Old 07-25-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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I'm not sure how old your students are and if this variation would be appropriate, but I'll share anyway. This activity was for gifted 4th grade students. Point of view and relationships are big concepts they are asked to focus on in literature throughout the year. I used a stuffed polar bear animal and the book "Polar the Titantic Bear" as a model.

http://www.polarthetitanicbear.com/presspage.html

After sharing the story, students took turns taking home the bear. They also took home his "journal" and wrote an entry from his point of view (from which the story is told from). Point of view can be a tough concept, so this was great higher-level activity. My kids even took pictures and/or included "artifacts" to include with their journal entries. They truly loved it and it wasn't too babyish for them, which was an initial concern of mine.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:15 AM
 
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Should I send it home during the week or on the weeked? I send it home Friday and it is due back Wednesday
How many days should the child keep it at home? 5-6 days
What kind of animal did you buy and what did you name it? I bought mine from Kohls for Kids ($5)
How did you introduce this activity to the class? the 2nd or 3rd week I introduce our class pet and I "take it home" for the first time to model what to do (I have my class complete a scrapbook page with pictures and a writing activity)
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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I love this idea. I'm glad to see even 4th graders like it. I'm going to do it with my 3rd graders.

MissHoney- can you share what your scrapbook page that the kids complete contains?
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:13 AM
 
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Thanks for sharing your poem!
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:46 AM
 
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I did this in college in one of my eduction classes. We had to choose a "friend' and keep a journal about what we did for a week with our "friend".
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Class Mascot
Old 07-26-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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Ours is Sock Monkey, and I send him home in a tote bag each weekend. I also include a journal, some sock monkey books, and some outfits. Students not only write about their weekend, but also attach photos or draw pictures. I give them a chance to share during the week. I have my letter attached to the front of the book.
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love this idea cant use it with my kiddos!
Old 08-02-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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when i was doing my student teching my cooperating teacher at a build a bear called reid (read) he was all about reading and she even had a little story about him to get the kids going. He was brought home every weekend by a student. She also collected stuffed animals that corresponded to a book such as clifford she would have a stuffed animal and a book to go along with it. She would send these home on the weekends as well and sometimes during the week as the kids would bring them back. She would put them in a clear backpack and a book for the kids to write about what they did. The kiddos loved it! She would purchuse books and animals from kolhs for 5 bucks each so for the animal and book it was 10 bucks. not a bad deal!
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Would you please share your parent letter?
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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I have a multi-aged classroom with grades 3 - 6, and do this every year. Our mascot goes home for a week at a time. The students take it everywhere they go during that week and keep a journal, complete with either illustrations or photos. Once digital cameras became plentiful, I began to see more photos than illustrations in the journal.

During vacation time, students that will be traveling take it with them. Even though you are no longer permitted to do this, an airlines made an exception and our mascot was able to go into the cockpit and take a picture with the pilot. The student was going to England to visit family during Christmas break, and opened a present along with everyone else - a hand knitted sweater from Grandma.

Because my students loop, they are able to see their own journaling progress and it seems to push them to write more and more each year. There is an area in the classroom set aside for all the past journals and souvenirs that have been collected over the past 30+ years.

I don't send a letter home (my students are older), but I do have a letter of introduction at the beginning of the journal explaining what needs to be done.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:40 AM
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Great Idea
Old 09-30-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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Hi,

Could you post another link? The current one is not working.
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stuffed animal
Old 06-09-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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I am doing this activity right now and i think it is important to link it to children interest. obsorve children and see which animal they are interest in i thought of buying a teddy however i observed the children pretending as a cat so i said having a cat more approprate than teddy. the other thing is aske the children to name the animal because it is critical to make that connection. if you have a time try to leave the animal in the class for while so that children will be related to it then start your activty. for the durationof the visit the longer is the better.


Good luck
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Class stuffed pet
Old 06-09-2012, 08:24 PM
 
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I have a stuffed class pet with my second grade class and they love it!

Should I send it home during the week or on the weeked? How many days should the child keep it at home?
I send the pet home with one student each week Monday - Thursday. When I have larger classes I have two pets so all the students can have a turn sooner. The pet is sent home in a bag. The bag contains the pet, books to go along with the type of animal, poems, coloring pages, activity pages, a journal, and directions. The students are expected to write in the journal Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday. They return the pet on Thursday and then on Friday afternoon they get to share their journal writing.

What kind of animal did you buy and what did you name it? How did you introduce this activity to the class?
I get a different animal each year. The first week of school our first writing assignment is to guess what type of animal we will have for our class pet. I give them hints and they have to work together with their table groups to guess what kind of animal it is. After I introduce the animal we pick a name as a class for our animal. This activity helps build our classroom community of working together and listening to each other's ideas. At the end we vote on the best name for our new pet.

I introduce this activity to parents through my beginning of the year letter. Then when their child is the pet sitter for the week the directions are attached to the front of the journal that goes home with the pet. I remind the students where the directions are for the pet when they take home our pet.

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Old 06-10-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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I have thought about trying this idea, but I do have one question. For those of you who do it, do you wash it between homes? Do you worry about the homes it may go to? I am not a germ freak, but I do wonder about the cleanliness of some of my students' homes.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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I did this with a 1/2 class that I had years ago. We were studying the ocean, so we had Wally the Walrus, who was actually a stuffed animal from my childhood. Wally did get dirty, as I had a class of rough and tough boys, so I had to retire him at the end of the year.

If I was doing it now, I would download the pictures and scan the journal entries and make it into a book.
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