She has been the 4th grade class pet for four years going on number five! I know she shares the name of my daughter but my class four years ago came up with a bunch of names and voted on it. I love it (of course) and thought it fits with the frog theme anyway:)
I hesitated sharing my little class pet with the blogging world because I always think the things I do are so boring and mediocre compared to the AWESOME ideas I see from all my fellow bloggers. Then, I thought....."There are some teachers out there somewhere that might get inspiration from my little class pet," so I went for it!
She travels in a bag with a journal and students sign her out on a calendar I have posted in my room. I thought Lilly or the journal would probably end up lost or ruined and she has lasted!! The journal is still surprisingly in great shape after four years and I will be sad when I have to get a new one. It is so fun for the students to look back at several years of entries when they take her home.
It is so cute watching how excited students get to take her home and PLAY...kids being kids even at age ten. I LOVE it!! Students are supposed to free write in Lilly's journal. They write their name, date the entry, and then describe whatever they did with Lilly. As I have been reading the Daily 5, this seems more along the lines of the free choice students have when working with writing. Students ENJOY writing in this journal because they are writing about what they choose, even though they are doing it at "home". Many students also include pictures of their travels with Lilly:
As with any activity, there are always those couple students who are reluctant to take part. I made sure everyone signed up for at least one overnight with Lilly this year. In the past, I didn't really monitor it. Students always share their travels with the class when they return with Lilly and I felt it was good practice for public speaking. It should be something they are comfortable sharing too. So, here is an entry from one of my reluctant students that I had to strongly encourage to take Lilly home:
At least it is something:) So, if you are reading this, please share any ideas or similar stories you have regarding a traveling class pet. "Real" pets scare me (not literally, but the maintenance, mess, etc. scares me!) but I would love to hear your story. Thanks so much!!