Desk Pets for the Classroom: a Behavior Management Tool

I’m obsessed with how Desk Pets improve classroom behavior!

Desk Pets for the Classroom

All over the internet, in the teacher’s lounge, on TikTok, and on educational blogs, the latest buzz is about Desk Pets! The original idea came from Marissa Begay. Buying cute erasers is nothing new for teachers regarding classroom rewards, but Desk Pets take it to a new level!  I can’t stop creating new ideas for these mini erasers! Just like students, teachers love to be part of the fun! This is why I suggest teachers have their own Desk Pet Pal! Also, students see that even adults have rules to follow.  Clearly, the principal would give you your Desk Pet Dollars. lol

What are Desk Pets?

Desk pets are adorable small erasers students can adopt in the classroom. Undoubtedly, I found mine on Amazon. Students keep their pets at their desks.  If you don’t want them at their desks all day, you can have a designated time for them to be at their desk.  Not only can they write with them, but they can also read to their Desk Pet.  Students fill out classroom adoption papers.  It reminds me of Build-a-Bear workshops.  To turn these amazing pets into a reward system, students earn Desk Pet Dollars to purchase accessories or habitats for their pets.  They can even adopt pet friends if they earn enough points.  You decide on the points students have to earn to get a Desk Pet Dollar.  Teachers track points with Class Dojo or a simple, portable tally chart.

Desk Pet Adoption

How do Desk Pets work?

First, the rules need to be made clear. To make sure these Desk Pets don’t drive you crazy, set the ground rules, or better yet, have the students create the rules to help them take ownership.  Honestly, I don’t think it’s a great idea to begin the year by introducing this classroom management system.  I would wait until the classroom rules are being followed, and students have developed a respect for your classroom. Additionally, I  begin with using them as math manipulatives rarely, so students get a little familiar with the erasers before teaching the expectations. Before the holidays is a perfect time to introduce this system.

Desk Pets for Math

After students fill out the adoption application and adopt their pet, send home information to families to get them to reinforce the excitement and responsibility of having a Desk Pet Pal. Definitely, encourage parents to ask about the pets, earning points, and dollars.

There’s more…

Set up a way that students can achieve a Permanent Home Adoption Certificate later in the year if they acquire a large number of points. Every time students earn maybe 10 points, they get a dollar. Furthermore, create a pet store where they can buy food, treats, toys, beds, bowls, or habitats.  These can be felt pieces, simple construction paper, cotton balls for a bed, and bottle caps as bowls. Additionally, allow students each week to buy their pet something.

Desk Pet Habitat

Every day you should set time aside, even if it’s 5 minutes of quiet reading time with their pet.  This is “free time” that they don’t have to earn with points. Furthermore, have an Adoption Center where you display the pets in a safe area.

Desk Pets make great writing prompts! Students enjoy writing about their pets. If having them all day at their desk is a problem, decide on a place to store them until the appropriate designated Pet Playtime.  Teachers have pet daycares, hotels, or simple plastic bins for this purpose.  Another idea is to use the hotel to store the animals daily. It prevents lost pets. Even more, teachers create a class goal to have a pet party.

What are students most excited about?

Students get excited by spending dollars at the pet store and building new habitats for their pets.  Furthermore, students are learning about science, math skills with counting dollars, responsibility, writing, and rules. My own kids who are past elementary age loved these little erasers, so use them at any age. Without a doubt, students will remember you for the fun, engaging way you helped them to stay on task. I know as a parent, I love the idea of Desk Pet Pals!

Desk Pet Pals for Kids

I teach virtual school. Can Desk Pets work for me?

YES! Google slides make it easy to use digital desk pets. Also, digital clipart can be sent to the students. And, have students use writing prompts with their pets. It should be noted that you can offer clipart of accessories, food, or toys in exchange for Virtual Pet Points.

What happens if they get lost or stolen?

Great question! Without a doubt, you will experience cute erasers going missing. I have a Pet Detective form students can fill out and reward posters for students to create for missing pets.  Then, I tell the student their adoption contract is voided and they can adopt a new pet until the other one is found. Certainly, if someone gets caught stealing, remove points from their data log.  I like to track behavior points for difficult behaviors and use the data charts in meetings.

Desk Pets Data

I love that the mini erasers can be used for other educational purposes too! Here are some ideas:

  • Math Manipulatives
  • Creative Writing Prompts
  • Opinion Writing
  • Design Posters or Write a Book About the Pet
  • Hide them in the room to play I Spy or Write the Room
  • Sort by Colors
  • Create a Report on the Animal
  • Learn How to Care for a Pet
  • Design a Pet Habitat

Desk Pet Ideas

Check out these pre-made PowerPoints and Digital Google Slides that will save you time coming up with Desk Pet ideas and activities.

Try this FREE Sample to get started on your Desk Pet Journey!

How To Set Up Your Virtual Classroom

The end of summer is rapidly approaching! With the pandemic ongoing, many teachers may be preparing for another year in a virtual classroom instead of in person. For teachers used to teaching face to face in the classroom, things are different and you have to come up with new ways to do pretty much everything. This could either be exciting, or overwhelming. If you are feeling overwhelmed about it, don’t worry! I am here to help. 

While teaching virtually is a learning curve at first, you will soon learn that it can actually be fun! Going digital gives you so many more teaching resources to choose from. You can use Boom Cards, videos, audio, Google Slides, games, and last but most certainly not least, self-grading resources! 

Teaching virtually saves you valuable time grading, prepping, printing, and more. Furthermore, Google Slides make it so easier than ever to personalize your teaching resources and make them your own. What’s not to love! 

If you are just getting started with virtual learning and need some help getting your virtual classroom set up, I have you covered! 

My Virtual Classroom Templates will have you set for distance learning. 

virtual classroom

These editable templates are made with Google Slides so they are quick and so easy to use. They make it simple to decide which slides you want to use with your class, and delete what you don’t want. You can add clickable links, forms, images, a quiz, or videos of you to personalize your classroom.

Feeling nervous about how to use them? Don’t worry! I created a YouTube video instructing you on how to use it and make it your own. 

Included with this virtual classroom resource, you’ll get: 

  • 15 Google Slide Templates for Home Room, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, PE, Centers and a Brain Break. These include home buttons of the slides so students can use presentation mode and easily find their schedule on the Home Room slide.
  • 18 Google Slides with links for a DEMO. There are extra slides from my own digital resources for you to use as a demo or in your own presentation or if you are K-2, you can use the demo for an emergency sub plan if needed.
  • 3 Page PDF with Directions

Slides are 11 x 8.5 so you can add other slides that can be printed out by the students at home if needed.

virtual classroom

This will make teaching in a virtual classroom a breeze, guaranteed! 

virtual classroom

If you are looking for more digital resources, check out my post here on how to create a virtual All About Me presentation for Back To School night. Or, if you are looking for a way to do calendar time virtually, check out my virtual calendar resource here!  

Are you teaching in person or virtually this year? Let me know in the comments!

virtual classroom

 


 

How To Create A Stellar All About Me Presentation For Back-To-School Night

It’s that time of year again! Time to start preparing for your back-to-school night or “Meet The Teacher” night. If you are looking for an easy and super quick way to make an “About Me” presentation that will wow your new students and their parents, I have you covered! 

As many of you know, I love Google Slides. They are so versatile and easy to use in-person or online for virtual learning! You can easily personalize them and add your own flair without paying an extra cent on supplies. This makes them perfect for teachers looking to save on classroom spending. 

With all of that in mind, I created this All About Me Presentation Google Slides resource to make your back-to-school night experience easy and stunning. 

all about me

This All About Me resource comes with 13 slides that you can easily edit and personalize with your unique personality. The fun and colorful theme will help you make a great first impression! 

all about me

 

After back-to-school night is complete, you can still use these templates for your Star Student! Just switch out your information and add student info for a fun and unique way for students to feel special! 

all about me

Check out the video tutorial for how to use these Google Slides!


If you are looking for an easy print-and-go resource? You can easily print these! This resource also comes with a black and white version. 

all about me

If you love Google Slides as much as I do, check out my post here on how to use them to create a virtual calendar for your Calendar Time this year! 

You can also check out my Virtual Calendar Google Slides Templates here. 

Looking for more back-to-school ideas, check out these classroom decor tips!


 

Mother’s Day Celebration Ideas

I have always loved celebrating Mother’s Day in my classroom, and students do too! Mothers (or other primary caregivers) are without a doubt a huge and important part of a student’s life. They have unlimited amounts of love and guidance for their children, so students love to celebrate them!  

One of my favorite ways to do this is to have Mother’s Day Tea.

This is a special day where we show moms how much we care by having cookies and tea with them. 

Before the party you can have the students decorate the cookies especially for their moms using premade sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles. You can go around and take pictures of students with their moms to give to them at the end of the year. 

To go along with tea time, students create these sweet Mother’s Day lapbooks.

Mother's Day

With this craft, they can color and decorate a special gift for their mom. They can write a letter to mom, draw a picture of the two of them, give them tea, share what they love about her, create Mother’s Day coupons, and more. This gift is sure to be a hit with all moms!  

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Tea may be a little more challenging this year because of the pandemic. Some classes are in person again, but some students are still learning from home. If you aren’t able to bring moms into the classroom, you can send these gifts home with students as well. 

Mother's Day

If you are distance learning, and need something kids can gift virtually, they can create these digital Mother’s Day cards.

Mother's Day

This resource comes with 10 Google Slides. Just use the edit boxes to add your own text, add an image of mom and print to give to mom or their caregiver. 

Mother's Day Mother's Day

 

It may be a little different this year but students can still spoil their moms and show appreciation for all they do with these fun resources.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day with your students? Let me know in the comments!

Mother's Day