Meet Pooky. Pooky is our class mascot. I don’t really remember why I started using him in my classroom — except that it seemed like a fun idea at the time — but here is how he has helped out this year…
- Calm down bear — He’s soft, textured, and has beans inside him. Perfect to hold and pet, especially if you’re a child scream-crying because they don’t want to be at school anymore (think beginning of the year Kindergarten).
- Study buddy — A confidence booster for young students who feel like they can’t work independently. Sometimes he tricks them into thinking they’re working in partners.
- Teaching Prepositions — I model then have students “find Pooky” and describe his position using prepositions (under, below, between, in front of).
- Role Model — At the beginning of the year, he shows how to sit still, with his hands (?) in his lap and listen to the story without looking around the room. The kids sometimes still ask for him at story time.
- Phonics — K is for Koala (even the orange ones…)
- Phonics II — Models one form of long “O” spelling.
- Hypothetical situations — During lessons and writing times, Pooky is a great subject for creating sentences.
- Atmosphere — Pooky helps contribute to the low-stress, approachable, cheerful atmosphere I try to establish in my classroom.
- And because sometimes, as a little kid, you just need to hug a stuffed bear…
You know, in many of my elementary schools classes, the teacher did have something similar to a mascot. I never really understood the purpose of such things, but your blog post really does make sense of the tradition. I’m glad to know my teachers weren’t just being silly by having stuffed animals in their rooms for no reason at all. :-)
One question, though, does Pooky get bathed once in a while? All those kids holding onto him might make him pick up a few germs! hehe
Oh yes, Pooky gets a regular dousing of Clorox Anywhere spray. Although, this week he wasn’t used at all because many of my kids have had stomach flu, regular flu, strep, pink eye, or poison ivy. I was concerned those germs would stay with him forever.
Good to know! Sounds like Pooky could even teach kids good hygiene lessons.