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Old 07-04-2006, 06:05 PM
 
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Hi!
I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about how you manage your class friend and journal? How do you select the child? Is it just over the weekend? Does anything else go along with it? I'd like to do something like this in my first grade classroom but I just don't know quite how yet. I would appreciate any information you can give me about how you do this. Thanks so much!!!


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AnnieTeach1st AnnieTeach1st is offline
 
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:46 PM
 
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Every Friday I pick a student's name out of my fair sticks ( I use these for everything). Whichever child's name is picked they get to take home the stuffed monkey for the weekend. I make sure that everybody gets a chance before anyone gets to take him home for the second time. I explained from the start that everybody gets a turn before I can let anyone have him for a second time. So if a student's name is picked and they have already taken our friend home they know that I will pick somebody else.

The students take the monkey for just the weekend. I tell them that it is very important to take good care of our friend and return him safely on Monday. I also tell them that he doesn't like to miss school so it is their responsibility to make sure he arrives Monday morning. I never sent him home over vacations. Too much time for the little guy to get lost. Everyone last year did a good job of being responsible with him. We only had one near scare. One little boy took him home and then couldn't find him. Another girl ended up finding him in the after school daycare center that they both went to.

Along with the stuffed monkey, I also sent home a journal which the students wrote about what they did with our friend and then they are supposed to draw a pciture to go with it. I also send home a diposable camera. They are allowed to take one picture with our friend. At the end of the year I put all of the pictures in our first grade memory book. 'I put all of this into the monkey's "suitcase." (a small green canvas bag).

Last year was my first year doing this project and I will definitely do it again and again. The kids loved it and couldn't wait to be chosen.

I hope this helps sorry it is a bit long!
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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Hi! I have never done this, but one of my daughters did when she was going through K and 1. Clifford was a classroom theme in K so she brought a Clifford home with her for the weekend. We were supposed to take good care of him, encourage her to write her sentences (but we could write them through dictation), and to tell about his time with us. We took him everywhere, took a couple of pictures, and added them to the Emma and Clifford page. I think it was a composition book.

Buster Bear was a large troublemaking bear. Emma's first grade teacher set the whole characterization with the bear when introducing him and placed him troubling spots when the kids were out of the room. The kids, of course, loved this. I heard about Buster's adventures around the classroom and at other houses for a long time before the bear came to ours. Obviously the trickle down storytelling of the kids got the adults involved. One morning we got up and Buster Bear had doughnut crumbs, cereal, AND banana peels all over the table. Everyone knows bears don't eat that kind of stuff and they certainly don't sit on my dining room table while they do! That journal was cute and got us interested in reading the other student's adventures. Sometimes Buster was good, but mostly he was "bad".

I have also heard of a penguin that travels in a cooler going from student to student. I think I saw this idea in a Mailbox Magazine or something like it a long time ago.

Not sure how students were selected, but I know everyone got a chance. I use popsicle sticks with the kids names on it for stuff like that. If I pick a stick again, I just redraw. I use the sticks for everything.

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Old 07-09-2006, 09:41 AM
 
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I have a fish stuffed animal that the kids named Fluffy. I put him in a beach themed tote bag that has my name embroidered on the front. I put in a journal as well. Fluffy went home for the weekend with the "sea star of the week" at the end of his/her week as the special person. The kids loved him!
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