I am excited to share with you something that my kinder kids love, and that could work with older grades too. This is all you need:
Yes, I’ve had the “monkey theme” for the past four years (and I plan to have it for a few more). Magically, my students started to bring me a lot of “monkey stuff”, including stuffed animals, so I decided to use them during and after class.
I use them during class when it’s reading time and they don’t have a reading buddy. They simply go to the library, take a “friend” and read to them. It also works when I am busy talking to another student. I tell them to say it to the monkey first (and they really do!). That gives me time to finish the conversation. There is also another way I have used them. I had a student at the beginning of the year that would cry constantly because she didn't want to come to school. I told the student that our monkey was also nervous about coming to class, and that she was responsible for making sure he was okay, because I wanted him to know that he was safe in school.
She started taking the monkey everywhere and I mean everywhere (bathroom, lunch, recess, etc). Our monkey even had a special place in P.E. I decided it worked but I didn’t want her to carry the monkey the whole day, every day. I decided I had to take it away, so I started a journaling activity.
This is how I started it:
1. The students picked five monkey friends from the classroom.
2. They named all the monkeys. A whole group activity.
3. I created the diary (duck tape on the spiral for durability):
4. Created a few guidelines:
5. I send home every Friday, but only those who have not been on yellow the whole week can take them home. I love how it helps as a motivator for good behavior!
6. Students share on Monday what they did with the monkeys.
Did I mention I also send a small snack(left over from the week)? I tell them that it is for the monkeys and one of my students actually brought the snack on Monday. He said the monkey was not really hungry. How cute!
Would you like to use it in your classroom? Click here.