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If you want the scrap book to include photos, some parents may not have a camera or be able to print photos so giving opportunities for them to be able to do this or making a camera available can help. I have seen this in practice when I was on my teaching practice.

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I'm usually really positive about ideas and love the idea and reason for it but I'd advise a little caution on this one - it can cause some issues amongst parents and children.

 

I remember a similiar idea many years ago - (I think it was Barnaby Bear or related to the qca units) to send a bear with a passport with parents who would take him on their travels and was personally glad when the thing was stopped - the bear would get lost, forgotton and inevitably end up with Dad's on their work trips abroad and not with the children.

 

My niece's school has it and it has led to a lot of competition amongst parents and one-upmanship and become more of a thing for the parents than the child. The parents have been trying to out do each other about where the bear goes with the child - trips to increasingly expensive and extravagant places as the term progresses and the writing more often than not done by the parent than the child (either on the PC or copied by the child having been dictated by the parent. It has become more about the parents outdoing each other rather than the original reason - to get the children writing. My sister showed me it when it was my nieces turn and yup - so obvious it was not the children's work apart from the poor child who was the first one....

 

If you were to do it, think about when you are going to send it home and how long for - please think about how busy & tired children and parents are from when they leave school and the short amount of time there is before bedtime. It's hard enough trying to get them to read their book and do any other homework in that time!

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Thanks for the ideas and thoughts to ponder everyone! I agree a weekend is more ideal than overnight due to time constraints but we umm'd and ahh'd so long that now time is marching on. May leave this till next year- not sure.Depends how brave we are feeling!

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I have an owl that goes home with my children and so far there has been no competition! But something that helped my lot get excited about it is the fact that they actually built it. Did you know build a bear shops give every class in schools a bear and accessories worth £25? I know sometimes it's getting them there but if you can my lot had a fantastic time - each of them pushed the pedal, kissed a heart and they had to decide together what to dress him in. Depending on our topic we send it home in a matching outfit - at the moment it's a cowboy and they have a task to go with it. So this week the child has to design their own checked shirt. It works really well but I do completely agree with how competitive it can be. Good luck

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Attached is the format I used, the children drew lovely pictures about Eric's adventures. Print enough pages for each child to have a visit and bind with a laminated front and back cover.

 

The hints on what to write about were very useful for parents (and also encouraged reading stories at home).

 

He carried a small plastic (unbranded) shot glass with a small electric toothbrush brush in it.

Your 'friend' could have a bag / small case to travel with, including maybe some clothes made by the children, night shirt etc.

 

Our parents really enjoyed this as much as the children, fathers especially got involved, one I remember took photo's of Eric playing 'hide and seek' in their garden, a mum reported how she found hubby brushing Eric's teeth, long after their child was in bed. (ahhh, he obviously missed playing, and this was an ideal opportunity with the excuse that it would make a good photo :oxD )

 

Even if Eric didn't go anywhere there was plenty to write about. On the morning of his return the child would tell us about his stay at 'news' time and the other children were encouraged to think of open ended questions to ask, such as What did he like playing the best, What was Eric's favourite food etc?

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Peggy

erics_adventure_diary.pdf

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Ahh, I love this format Peggy!

 

We have Rosie Cat, bought her a lovely basket and little book with pic on and a short explanation, stupidly added the ticklist of children who had taken her home to the book itself, therefore when Rosie went missing could'nt pin point her exact whereabouts!!!

 

Up went the missing posters with picture etc. Thank god for 3 year olds, one said she was at home but she needed a new basket!!! The parent then explained that they had the same toy and we could just have it if we wanted!!! Hmmm, we'll never know but the list of who's had a turn is now pinned in the book corner!!!

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I have been sending home a writing bag for some years now and have had no issues. We have a special person each day and so that child takes the bag home for the night. All parents know that it is vital to bring it back in as the next person would not get a turn. I also put a little note in the bag to make it special for the child.

 

A lovely parent made the special bag and inside I include a whole range of mark making materials from pencils to glitter gel pens. I try to relate it to our topic each term for example this term the children are drawing a picture of their favourite book character and writing a sentence about them (I create proforma sheets and photocopy enough for the term). There is no pressure to produce an outstanding piece as long as it comes from the child. By the end of the year the last theme is my special bear 'Ginger' who goes home with the bag and a special scrapbook.

Hope this helps.

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My friend was just telling me about what she does in her year 1 class which I liked the idea of. She has 'Make it up Monkey' who goes home at the weekend and the children have to come up with an imaginative idea about where the monkey has been - it doesn't have to be real, e.g. it might be the moon. The children don't have to write anything down, as long as they have talked about it and used their imagination. Then on Monday, the class do a shared writing activity based on that childs ideas and all children help with the spelling/punctuation etc.

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