A class pet in the elementary grades teaches children responsibility and instills leadership qualities. However, it doesn’t have to be a real pet. A stuffed animal is probably the easiest class pet to take care of! The best part is that it can also be used as a classroom management tool!
The Benefits of a Class Pet
Instills leadership qualities
Students feel a sense of responsibility
Can be used as a classroom management tool
Class pet journals encourage writing
Promotes parent involvement
I shared a little bit about Buddy, our class mascot, over on Instagram and received lots of questions! He’s our take-home class pet. My students know how obsessed I am with my real dog, Buddy. I have a photo of Buddy posted on my Teacher Corner and I introduced him as our class mascot on the first day of school. We decided to name him our Class Mascot since he was a representation of our classroom. I bought the stuffed animal at Ikea, but you can find the same one on Amazon.
Classroom Management tool:
I use Buddy as an incentive. Every Friday, one student is chosen to take the mascot home and spend time with it during the weekend.
Our class mascot is also used as a classroom management tool designed to encourage positive behaviors. Every time I catch a student following the rules, demonstrating leadership, or just doing something extra special, they earned a Mascot Raffle Ticket. This enters them into the drawing on Friday to see who gets to take the class pet home. Students are able to earn multiple raffle tickets throughout the week. The more tickets they earn, the higher the chance of taking the class pet home!
I also let students take him home when it’s their birthday. Sometimes i’ll just decide who takes him home based on my teacher judgement. You decide what works best for your class!
Encourages reading & Writing
Buddy, our class pet, hangs out in the library during the school day. Students are allowed to grab him whenever they’re reading a book. Buddy LOVES hearing stories. Students are excited about visiting the classroom library and reading to him.
When students take the class pet home, they know they have to read to him to keep him from getting ‘homesick’. Students are encouraged to include the class pet in all the activities they do over the weekend. They log in their adventures in our class pet take-home journal. They can write all about their weekend with Buddy or make up a fictional story about ‘Buddy’s Adventures’.
During the week, the journal stays in the classroom library. Other students can flip through and read all about the other students’ weekend adventures.
Class Pet Journal Set up
I make sure to include the instructions on how to take care of the stuffed animal, as well as how to log in adventures inside the class pet writing journal. I also create a sample page at the beginning by logging in my very own adventures with Buddy.
You can grab all of the mascot resources for FREE by clicking below. I have also included a simple ‘Mascot Template’ which can be used for any class mascot. (Doesn’t have to be a dog)
My students are in third grade and they are obsessed with our mascot. I hope your students enjoy this incentive as much as mine do! Classroom Management #win !
Free Class Pet Journal Setup Printables
Set up your class mascot journal with these free printables!
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