For Classroom, Home Distance Learning, and Homeschool Students
My daughter recently alerted me to a new trend — Desk Pets, which is actually a behavior plan. Children “buy into” caring for their pets and earning them little erasers to represent food, toys, and more pets. It seems these eraser pets are making a splash in the classroom. I thought it might be nice for parents working with distance or home learning, as well. This plan may be tailored to different rules and ways to earn points. One size does not fit all, so teachers and parents may adjust the rules and ways to earn points.
Really, any odds and ends of animal erasers and those little erasers that accumulate would work. The pets are larger erasers, and their “food” and water and toys are other erasers. The idea is children adopt the pets, sign a contract, and help the animal behave. Oops, they forgot the rules? The pet goes on the teacher (or parent) desk for some period of time. Some teachers use this with Class Dojo, where students may earn or lose points as the teacher deems best.
First, this video shows how to edit a PDF by typing in the blue squares. It is for my free calendar through 2022 but the editing works the same. Nothing has to be typed in blue squares at all. The page will not print blue squares. They will just be white like the paper if printed on white, or whatever color paper is being used. Information may be entered by writing on the paper by child or adult.
Since desk pets are really a behavior system, children find it a fun approach to following learning rules. This would probably not be an ongoing system all year long. Like any system, different approaches work best for a shorter time. This seems great for the end of the school year when behavior chemistries may be low and children are anxious for summer vacation. The sun is shining, isn’t it time to play?
Basically, first children apply to adopt a pet, sign a (behavior) contract, and then earn points to provide the pet with food and fun. Children may optionally create habitats that supply food, water, shelter, an area to sleep, and an area to play, which may be creative or reality-based.
The editable forms allow teachers and parents to decide upon some of the rules and ways to earn points. This may be different for individual children or the same across a class. For distance learning, different ages of children may require separate forms. This approach is flexible.
At home, parents could add rules such as brush your teeth or make your bed, if wanted. Keep it light as the idea is to enjoy following rules while learning.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn
Two pages of points are provided as one option. Classrooms may already have a system that could just continue to be used.
After adopting the pet and promising to care for it, the children may be given a container and pet. These must remain on the desk or location designated. Children should not play with other pets and houses, and for school use, they should not be allowed to go home.
This pet is having a tea party courtesy of good behavior.
The pet adoption certificate could be filled out by an adult, or simply printed (no blue squares will appear) for the child to complete.
These pets have already earned some points. The Pet Shop sells the little erasers for points.
This pet is having a little picnic provided by a caring student. Lids may be used creatively, such as this one recycled from a jar. White plastic caps may be colored with a blue sharpie inside to represent water for the pet.
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