Opinions on sending home a "class pet" stuffed animal

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Tek, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I recently bought a pretty giant stuffed Gizmo (from Gremlins fame). He is adorable albeit perhaps in a slightly grotesque way. My 1st grade partner told me I should send him home every Friday to the student of the week. She said her daughter's 1st grade teacher did this years ago and the student had to also write about what they did with the stuffed animal over the weekend.

    I generally like the idea but I have some concerns:

    1. Will some kid lose it?

    2. How dirty will it get? I can imagine the grass stains and dirt marks on it already as kids take it to the playground. Maybe I can prevent some of this by telling the parents to keep it indoors at all times and away from pets? (But then again, what are the odds one family or two forget the rule....)

    3. I kind of would like to have him as a class mascot for several years, over a decade even, if I last that long at this grade level. I feel giving him out each week will only diminish his longevity... but then again, I'm sure the memories of a child taking a giant Gizmo home might be something they remember for life... and it could even help instill some responsibilities.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I dunno....

    I get the idea, but I think that I would be too concerned about the spread of germs and possibly lice.
     
  4. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013


    Yeah, there's that too. Each family has a different aroma. Passing it around 20 households with who knows what kind of pets and other smells and such... I don't know if the little guy will last too long.

    Maybe I should send home a smaller, "less valuable" stuffed animal? But then, I feel it won't be "as special" to the kids, which would take away some of the magic. For example, I also bought a small fish from Finding Nemo. It can easily fit inside their backpack, while Gizmo cannot (another concern of mine, he's too darn big)
     
  5. Tek

    Tek Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I'm thinking I should keep Gizmo strictly as a class mascot/reading time "buddy" kids can sit next to, who have earned that privilege. I of course would model acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior when sitting next to him during reading time.
     
  6. live

    live Companion

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I'd actually be worried about spreading bed bugs by doing that (where I taught before, kids weren't even allowed keep any of their sweatshirts or jackets at the school overnight for this reason). It's a cute idea, but I'd still be concerned.

    It might take away from the experience, but maybe a mascot that isn't stuffed or so fluffy?
     
  7. live

    live Companion

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    Aug 17, 2013

    This idea seems much simpler and still effective!
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I have passed the animal from house to house a few times successfully. If you choose to go this route:

    1. No one will lose it. They are super excited for their turn and know their classmates will be devastated if they lose the animal and no one else gets a chance.

    2. Every couple of visits the animal came home with me and I washed it. I also had a few moms voluntarily wash the animal during their visiting time.

    3. I also included a journal in the bag with the mascot and everyone had to draw and write about the mascot's visit - we had a class book by the end.

    I didn't do this last year because lice was a problem in my classroom. I did reading buddies in class, though. I have a few stuffed book characters (Clifford, Pete the Cat, etc.) and I would fill a bag with books featuring a specific character and then everyone had a chance to read those books with the character. They loved it!
     
  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I've been toying with this idea for next year as well. My first grade teacher had a stuffed animal we took turns bringing home with us.

    I do have reading buddies. They are all stuffed book characters. I was worried the kids would play around with those, but they really didn't at all. I had a zero tolerance policy - the second they were playing with them or acting up during read to self, they were back to their desks with no stuffed animal. It was very effective. After the first couple of times, I barely had to remind them. They just liked to have the buddy on their lap or next to them while they read. I'm going to use reading buddies again this year. :)
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 17, 2013

    If it means that much to you-I don't think I'd use that one.

    I get the $5 stuffed animals and stories from Kohl's charity all the time and use those to send home each day for "Superstar" behavior. There are times when it gets left in Dad's house when they had visitation with him over the weekend, etc. and it doesn't come back. It is rare, but it has happened in my class.

    I worried about germs and bugs too, but like others I wash them regularly and have never had a problem. And besides sometimes losing an ear or something, they stay pretty intact. I give them away at the end of the year though and start with new ones.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I've ant some too and had the same experience as kindercowgirl. I wouldn't send anything I was attached to, but the kohl's $5 animals work well :). The kids LOVE doing it and have amazing math skills when figuring out how long until it is their turn!
     
  12. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I used to have a bear that went home with students. It always came back. That little guy was ragged by the time he went to everyone's home. I'd never send a stuffed animal I cared about.

    I also wouldn't do it anymore since we have a big bedbug problem here.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I've thought about doing it, and I most likely would have if I had stayed at my old school. I would have had an experience like this (as far as always getting back, moms washing it for me, etc...) I know this because I know my school and the families in it.
    We have two families whose children constantly have lice (and one of those families has bedbugs, too.) If one of those children were in my class, I wouldn't do it. As for the rest of the school, lice is a rarity.
     

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