We are not the first class to have a mascot that gets sent home with each child so the child can write about his adventures with the mascot, but the origination of our mascot is a little unique. As a farewell gift at the Winter break, our Australian student (who had been with us for a year and half) left an adorable stuffed koala bear for the class to enjoy. The class named him Koaly Finn, after the student, Finn.
We developed a journal that traveled to each child's home. The idea was that Koaly Finn would spend a night with each child and the child would write about their adventures together. Finn chose his longtime partner, Jehan, as the first student to take home Koaly Finn. As each child returned from their overnight adventure, they shared with the class and then chose the next person to get the beloved koala. Children loved when it was their turn and for the most part, students kept Koaly Finn for a night and then returned the journal and shared. He did get lost for about two weeks when he went home with Jaxon in the middle of a move to a new house, but Jaxon finally discovered the stuffed koala and brought him back to go on yet another adventure! Koaly Finn has now traveled to each student's home so we will soon pack him and the journal up to be returned to Finn in Australia so that he may keep this keepsake of his American adventure.
Finn will be excited to know that Koaly Finn went to Extended Day and enjoyed the swings, slide and monkey bars. He went to Christmas parties and saw quite a few Christmas trees. He even climbed to the top of Mrs. Ruark's Christmas tree while she was at dinner because he wanted to be the angel high on the top. He went hiking and wanted to jump over the railing into the waterfall but was caught at the very last minute. Koaly Finn met lots of other stuffed animals including a few "elves on the shelf" and had an adventure with a pet cat! He went through a car wash and got scared. He went to Boy Scouts, read books and ate marshmallows. He went bowling and won! He attended soccer games and football games, watched basketball games, played dress up, rode a bike, went to the doctor, jumped on a trampoline, and went to swim practice. He played Monopoly, helped with homework, and watched TV. He tried to climb a tree (or so he said), and had his temperature taken (it was 75 degrees!), and even went to church. He went to Publix and got a cookie, went to Outback to celebrate a birthday, and went to Rita's for ice cream. He ended his adventures most appropriately on the Memorial Day weekend, a specifically American celebration, at my house with a bubble bath. With almost every single child, he slept with the child, gave lots of hugs and just reminded us all of how much we loved and miss Finn! As Finn would say, "See ya soon matey!"