Sunday, October 19, 2014

The No-Hassle Classroom Pet

Hello everyone! I'm Katie from Simply Creative in KY - welcome to my first post on The Primary Pack! I'm a split 1st/2nd grade teacher, and I'm excited to share with you some of the fun things going on in my room!
Every year I always get a handful of kids who ask, "Do we have a class pet? Can we have a class pet? Pleeeeeeeease Mrs. Fretwell? I'll help take care of it!" It's hardest when we're working on opinion writing and it inevitably comes up. One of our on-demand prompts has the kids write a letter to their teacher about this very thing, and every time I feel guilty because we don't have one. 
Well, folks... Not this year! Introducing - The No-Hassle Classroom Pet! This year I decided to get ahead of the game! It all starts with an adorable little book titled Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky. In this story, a tiny chameleon named Rex is a class pet. Each day, a student takes him home and goes on adventures with Rex. Then they write about their adventures with him. Rex does things like going swimming, falling out of windows, dressing up as Malibu Barbie, etc. While reading we start to talk about what adventures we would take Rex on if we could (a little foreshadowing for the big reveal)!
Finally I tell the class that we will be having our very own class pet to take adventures on - and it can be ANY animal we could imagine! "You mean we could take home a tiger!?" YES, that's exactly what I mean. The possibilities are endless - lions, tigers, bears (oh, my!), dragons, pigs, whales... this year my kiddos have a pet...

SQUIRREL!
We came up with a HUGE list of animals that we thought would be neat to have as a class pet and eventually narrowed it down. This little guy's name is Fluffy - we sometimes refer to him as "The Fluffster". The best place I've found to find reasonably priced stuffed animals for class pets is the dog toy section of grocery stores or pet stores. Fluffy actually has a little squeaker in his belly. I didn't mention it to my class, but eventually one kiddo found it. We now say that when Fluffy's belly squeaks it means he his yelping because he's upset, so we don't squeak him. (I had to think quick on my feet so I didn't hear the squeaking all day!)

Each night, a child takes Fluffy home and writes about their adventures. My kiddos have absolutely loved taking Fluffy home. They've even decided that Fluffy has a pretty good sense of humor. They've written about him trying to climb out of their backpacks on the bus, tossing acorns at kids during soccer practice, and teasing their dog at home. Seriously, the kids are getting so creative and it is hilarious! Fluffy has been to the pumpkin patch, on a plane ride, to football games, and so much more. One little kiddo made Fluffy a house!
So if you're looking to have a class pet but don't want the responsibility that comes with a REAL pet, try this out! You can start out with reading Rex, but you don't have to! I've included a few little freebies to get you started! If you'd like the full pack of resources, you can find it in my TPT shop HERE.
Hopefully you found some inspiration to bring a NO-HASSLE class pet to your room! I'll see you next month on the 19th!

5 comments:

  1. Katie! You are just too stinkin' cute! I bet your kids absolutely love The Fluffster! I never thought about looking in the dog toy section for a class pet. You are so creative!

    Thanks for sharing!!
    Alisha
    Missing Tooth Grins

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  2. Great idea, Katie! I bet the kiddos love taking The Fluffster home! I have a moose that we call Backpack Max. It's so fun to read all the adventures!

    Ashley

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  3. I do a similar thing with Pete the Cat (and have used Clifford, Mouse from Give a Mouse A Cookie, etc- THANK YOU Kohl's for always having the animals and books!!!) and the kids LOVE it! They get so excited when it is their weekend and LOVE to share his adventures with the class! Fluffster is so cute!
    Jenn
    Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten

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  4. What a fun and creative idea!! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Laura
    Differentiation Station Creations

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