take home reading buddy

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by jenybear0804, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. jenybear0804

    jenybear0804 Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I know several teachers have a stuff animal that the children take home each night and write what he/she did with the stuffed animal. I am debating on using this in my classroom. I want a little more detail about it. What do you use in your classroom and how do you organize it?
     
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  3. Ms.T

    Ms.T Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I don't have any answers for you jenybear, but I was just thinking of the same thing! I was thinking it could go along with student of the week, to make it easier to organize, but that might be too much for the kid to do.
    I thought the animal could go home with the kid on Fri. Then they have fun adventures over the weekend. Perhaps they could take pictures with it - maybe a disposable camera could be included with instructions to only take 3 or 4 pix (hard to enforce, though). Then they do a journal entry about what they did. At least half a page, more if they want, and draw a picture of it. The journal would stay with the animal, so it would go home with the next kid and that new kid could read what the other kid did.
    Then, getting back to student of the week, on one of the days, they could share their journal entry and picture with the rest of the class.
    I would also love to hear ideas from other people. I'm still in the planning stage.
     
  4. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Jul 3, 2007

    Haven't tried it in first grade but when I taught kinder we had a stuffed gator in a clear backpack. I kept it pretty simple when I did it but there are all types of possibilities.

    In our class, Kids got to take Gilbert the gator and his journal home in the backpack. They were to write in the journal about what they did with Gilbert. The next day they shared with the class and we would draw another name to take him home the next day. I just kept a list of who had had a turn and the kids loved it. The only problem I had was when a child fought with her sister over Gilbert and ripped his arm off:eek:

    Kids were not very happy with her when she returned him injured but no worry, he was whisked off to the hospital and came back the next day good as new. (I took him to my friend next door. She took him home and sewed his arm back on)

    Anyway, other ideas I have heard are including a disposable camera, or books that have to do with the specific animal for them to read with or to their family. After everyone in the class has had a turn the pet could also "travel" with family and friends and record their adventures in the journal as well or send postcards and pictures.
     
  5. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I really wanted to do this last year... the bee is our class mascot but I haven't seen an inexpensive bee stuffed animal yet... I have one I bought at Disneyland but I keep it in the classroom...
     
  6. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Jul 3, 2007

    Miss Kirby,
    Wal-mart has had small stuffed bees in the past. You might try there. I bought one and he's really cute. Not very big but would still work.
     
  7. C2Teach

    C2Teach Rookie

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I'm wanting to do a travelling stuffed animal to start the year. Since our school mascot is the shark, I am going to send the shark in a clear backpack with a box of markers, colored pencils, and a journal from the dollar tree. Starting the 2nd week of school, he is going to take turns going home with someone each night. In the journal, I am going to ask the kids to write a letter to Sharkey and introduce themselves.
     
  8. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 3, 2007

    Ah yes....I have Earl the Squirrel, a puppet. He goes home with students in a fabric backpack (everything is machine washable) along with a journal.

    During the first half of the year, students' parents write about the visit from Earl, through the eyes of their child. The child draws a picture to go with it on the top of the page.

    In the second half of the year, when my Kinders are writing more, they write their "own" story about Earl's visit.

    Each day Earl comes back, we sing (to Farmer in the Dell): Where was Earl last night, Oh where was Earl last night? We want to know, we want to hear, Oh where was Earl last night?

    The student comes to the front to share his or her night with Earl. They can read their own stories by the end of the year. Because Earl is a puppet, I have him whisper something to them, and they almost always tell us that Earl "wants to come to my house again!" It is SO sweet!!

    At the end of the year, when I am doing student keepsake yearbooks, I take one of their pages from one of the journals to include with a pic of the student with Earl. Great memories...you'd be surprised the things those "friends" endure with students!! :-D
     
  9. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2007

    I'm thinking about including a disposible camera... but then... what if they decide to take a whole roll of film... what if it doesn't come back... etc. Hmmm.

    I really want to do this though! I'm going to go to Wal Mart and look for an inexpensive bee! We do "Bee of the Week" (student of the week) and so the Friday before I can give the student the bee, and they can return the next Friday.

    But then again, what if it doesn't come back, or doesn't come back on time... and kids miss out. Hmmm..
     
  10. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jul 3, 2007

    Earl goes home every day with a different student...although I think this year I may not let him go home on weekends. That's the only time it was a problem getting him back.

    Many of my students' parents took digital pics and glued them on their story pages. Once one student does it and goes home with Earl and the journal, others join in. I wouldn't send a camera...but you could plant the seed in their heads!!
     
  11. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Jul 3, 2007

    Maybe I'll just take my own pictures of them when they bring it back. It maybe be an incentive.... get your picture taken with the bee..... IF YOU BRING IT BACK! lol

    Good tip on not letting them take it home on weekends.
     

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