I love all of the cute and clever themes that I see posted for classrooms. They are color coordinated and keep a uniformity in decorating a classroom. Long, long before Classroom Themes became all the rage, some of us were doing something similar but different.
Ever since I started teaching decades ago, I have had a Classroom Mascot or Character instead.
And...yes, you guessed it, it is...
I have always loved having a little character with a personality to encourage best behavior & best efforts and caring about others.
When you have a little guy or character in your class it is easy to have students acclimate and feel like they belong to something special. Giving your little mascot some human qualities can be beneficial as well. Many of us have created our own classroom incentive programs based on our classroom mascots.
When students are displaying some specific behavior goals that need to be addressed, we just add that quality to our character as a focus for that year. For example, I once had a year where "Coping Skills" became our major goal for the classroom. That's when the Silly Sam Let's Make Lemonade Program was created. Then another year, the group needed to focus on becoming more independent and our awards and incentives reflected that. Another time, Blurting was our main issue and the blurt chart incentive was born.
Having a character can also take some of the pressure off of us too. A brilliantly talented special education teacher that I worked with many years ago, told me to use the "Clock" instead of myself when reminding students of what they need to do. For example, "The Clock says it is time to clean up", etc. I loved making the clock the bad guy, and letting them know it wasn't me that wanted all the fun to end, it was our dreaded enemy...THE CLOCK!
Well, with a character, I don't want him to ever become the enemy, but with a well established back-story and personality, they can encourage the behaviors that "they" want to see. "Remember, Silly Sam is watching for the quietest worker, nicest friend, neatest handwriting...whatever skill or work habit you are working on.
Now, Silly Sam is absolutely available, as well as the entire classroom management system to go with him. In fact I am so thrilled that Silly Sam has entered thousands of classrooms around the world since we have joined TpT.
However, if you decide to adopt a Classroom Mascot, you may want to find something special for you. My wonderful colleague uses Sunshines in her classroom. Another wonderful colleague created Chip the Dog for her classroom, and modeled the personality after her actual pet. I have seen Frogs and Monkeys and Ladybugs too. Many times a mascot and a theme can go together hand in hand.
Even if your character or mascot is not part of a theme per se, they can still make your classroom special and make your students feel like a part of something special!
So, answer below...
Do you have a theme or a mascot for your classroom?
Anyone interested in checking out the Bundle of Silly Sam items,
you can find them here at
Silly Sam Productions at TpT.