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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Meet Gerald: The Easiest Class Pet in Town!

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!

Throughout the post, you may find Amazon Affiliate links, which means Amazon tosses a few nickels my way if you purchase something through that link, at no extra cost to you, that help keep my corner of cyber-space running!

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.

On Mondays, when Gerald returns to school, we take a couple minutes during our morning routine for the child who took him home to share with us what they did.
What's Gerald up to this weekend?!?!  Well, we tracked out for 2 weeks for our spring break/track-out  on Friday, so today Gerald is jetting off to Florida with me and hoping on a Disney Cruise tomorrow! Can't wait to share pictures with the kiddos when we get back!

Update (October 2017) - you can grab the editable cover and directions page to have your own class pet giraffe in my TPT shop - 'fo FREE!!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Leprechauns Are Poppin' Up Everywhere!

Hi friends!!
Happy Birthday to 2 wonderful people - Dr. Seuss and my Grandma!  My grandma passed away in April 2013 and I miss her everyday.  But, she always treasured children and reading with children, so I think it is very fitting that she shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss!

Happy Birthday in Heaven Grandma!
Throwin' it waaaayyyy back!!  This is probably in 1990 or 1991 - my cousin Lillie, me, and my Grandma!

Now that Read Across America week is almost behind us, it's time for those little pesky Leprechauns to start popping up everywhere!  This year, I will be tracked-out from school during the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day, so I won't be able to do all the fun things that come with this famous green day, but that doesn't mean we won't be missing out on all the fun.

Throughout the post, you’ll find Amazon Affiliate links, which means Amazon tosses a few nickels my way if you purchase something through that link, at no extra cost to you, that help keep my corner of cyber-space running!

This activity is perfect if you are studying money - something we started today!  With this fun 3-D craftivity, students are given a cloud with a money amount.  They have to use coins to make the amount on the pot.  Then, you use strips of construction paper to make the rainbow.  We did this last year and it was a huge hit and made for a very colorful bulletin board!

Up next is a new language arts and writing craftivity project!

Grab the book on Amazon!

There are lots of different activity sheets you can have your kiddos do with this project.  You don't have to have the book to do all of the activities in this set, but it definitely will provide your kiddos with some inspiration!

Then there comes the crafting part - my favorite part!  There is a head, feet, and hands included.  There are lots of ways to display the craft with your students' work.

Just the head and hands...

Or just the feet...

Or put both of them together!

Last up are March Math Centers!  Since we will be out of school for 2 weeks of March, we started our March math centers this past Monday.  February has been so long and the weather is looking and feeling like spring, why not start the next month's centers a couple days early?!?!

It's almost Friday - we can make it to the weekend!