Meet Gerald the Giraffe - our class (stuffed) pet!! Isn't he the cutest?
Back in January, I got an "itch" to have a class pet for my kiddos - but I've been there done that years ago with a hermit crab and I didn't want a living class pet - it needed to be a stuffed animal - so after searching high and low for the best one, I found our Gerald on Amazon!
So, Gerald stays in our classroom during the week and on Fridays he rides home with a kiddo in his bag along with his journal.
Inside the front cover of the journal, I have some directions for parents and then at the end of the weekend, the kids write about what they did with Gerald that weekend. Hind sight is 20/20 - next year I'll do a better job of setting expectations for student writing in the journal each week. I didn't want to make it another homework assignment, but we struggle to write complete sentences (all the time!), so I've got to make sure I set the expectations better next year!
The first weekend, Gerald went to Taekwondo with one of my sweet girls. She fed him snack at Taekwondo and then they went to Applebees for dessert. They had to go to their babysitter's house for a little while and then on Sunday she took him to church to learn about Jesus!
The next weekend Gerald got to go to the Park, Farmer's Market. While at the park, he got to play soccer and Pokemon. Then he had to come back to school on Monday!
Yay! We got pictures! The kids are encouraged to take pictures of what they do with Gerald to add to the journal. This weekend, he got to play at the playground with one of my sweeties and her little sister. They played on the swings and the slide. Gerald had a blast!
Now...this one is my favorite so far! The family who was taking Gerald home this weekend was going to the NC Mountains to go snow tubing and have some fun in the snow. BUT, my sweet kiddo accidentally left Gerald at home - so he didn't get to join in on the fun! So instead of Gerald having fun snow tubing, mom emailed me that Gerald had a weekend with their dogs!
His journal entry made me laugh!
I had a bad time with Gerald because he was at home while I was in the cabin with my friends for my mom's birthday part in Boone, snow tubing.
We felt bad for Gerald so we made him think he went with us.
Photoshop is an amazing thing! The family sent down an empty snow tube for Gerald and then photoshopped him in when they got home! I LOVE IT!
I manage all of my parent sign-ups on Sign Up Genius. Directions and info for parents goes in at the top and then parents can scroll to the bottom to select the weekend they want to host Gerald. Then on Friday, I check to see who Gerald is spending the weekend with and off he goes!
This is seriously the EASIEST class pet in town and my kids enjoy seeing what Gerald does on the weekend.