Friday, February 1, 2008

Class Mascot - Beary Bear

I have been inspired to introduce Beary Bear, my Class Mascot, by being in contact with the explorer Edmund Nesbitt.

Beary Bear becomes the class mascot in November each year. I use this as a time to instruct the class, in a very basic way, on the voting process. I always use 3 stuffed toys. Beary's platform is always the most attractive. All of them promise to look after the children, help them do their best, watch their desks while they are away at lunch, and help they make wise decisions. One of the toys adds this: it will sit on the leader's desk each day. Beary promises to do all the above AND go home with a different child every weekend. Like how I stack the deck?

In this simplified version, the kiddos take home a slip of paper on which, in their own handwriting, they must write their name, address and phone number. (At this time I'm trying to get them to memorize their owm addresses and phone numbers)They bring this back to me and I issue them a voter registration card which they must hang on to until time to vote for their favorite mascot candidate. (responsibility) Each candidate stumps the class for a week. Then an election is held. The voting booths are nothing more than folders standing up on desks. They bring their voter reg. cards to me and I give them a ballot. They vote in secret and place their ballots in a ballot box. (Around here we really do still have ballot boxes, no electronic voting for us.) Then students help tally the votes on the board and count. (math)Beary always wins. :)

On Fridays I "pull a stick' and the child whose name is on the stick can take Beary home for the weekend. Of course this is not without responsibility. They must return Beary on Monday with a written account of their adventures . The written account is read to the class each Monday by the child and is then placed in Beary's Travel Log. Click on the pic and you can see an example of one of the adventures.
They love Beary! Every year I take individual pictures of each one holding Beary then give it to them as a present either at Christmas or at the end of the year.
Keeping track of who gets to sit with Beary is a big deal each morning.
Beary has gone through several transformations. I've tried washing them but some of them just haven't held up very well. This one still looks like new.


Andrea said...

That is a wonderful idea. I am sure the children cannot wait for their weekend with the bear. And I am sure there are some interesting stories of what Beary Bear does each weekend. Cute.

see you there! said...

What a creative and fun teaching tool. Lucky are the kids in your class.


Jane said...

Wow you have such a great way to teach. I would have loved to have had you for my kids teacher! Congrats on having such an awesome teaching message.

Paulie said...

I did something like that with a bear for many years and my last year teaching I actually used a Manatee. No voting tho --just a journal in a small backpack on the back of a stuffed animal. Journal was inside. Since my kids were K kids, their parents wrote in the journal for them. At the end of the year we had a drawing and one child got to keep it. I kept the backpack and journals.

edmundnesbitt said...

Oh hellooooooooooooooooooo! Wow I am so excited!
I have asked for an iinerary of my expedition so the class can see where I am going on the map!
I will write a letter today as it is snowing and I couldn't get to my grandmas. She is knitting me some proper clothes you see.
Will be in touch.
Lots of Love

Nessa said...

That's a great teaching tool.

Dragonstar said...

Great idea for teaching responsibility and understanding. Wish I'd had teachers like that.

gina said...

What a great and creative teacher you are!!! I bet the kids love you.

leslie said...

You are a very creative teacher, just the sort I like! This is a great way to teach all sorts of things through something all kids love!

Susan said...

I love this idea~I am sure your student do to. What a fun and exciting way to get kids to learn! You sound like a fun teacher!

quintarantino said...

I can only say that your students are lucky ones. Lovely.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My four kids all had the same kindergarten teacher; it was Curious George that went home with a different student each weekend.

When it was Big Red's turn, we had a huge ($5,000) plumbing catastrophe. We treasure the pics of Curious George atop the skiploader!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Can I have a vote please... my Jane would love this Bear.. Jane collects them.

sasha said...

What a cute bear, Sharon! I love the idea :)

Happy Monday!


Anonymous said...

I love this idea and plan to use it this upcoming school year in my Kindergarten classroom. What do you do for ESL families??