I realize it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Teapot Tuesday post, but I will soon. It’s just that I have so many teacher things going on in my world right now that I’m too excited to postpone them.
Today I’d like to talk to you about Miss Abby’s Quiet Critters. They are inspired by Pinterest and have been used on several other blogs. I don’t know that they’ve ever been used specifically the way I use them in my classroom, though.
Pom pom balls
Hot Glue Gun
A container to keep them in (I used a teeny trash can from Dollar General)
I gathered the biggest pom poms out of the bag (I made a few more than I actually needed just in case my kids’ sweet little hands loved on these critters too much and ripped their eyes off or something). I used a diferent color pipe cleaner for each critter’s antennae, and cut them down to an appropriate length.
I used the hot glue gun to attach eyeballs and little pipe cleaner mouths to the critters.
After the mouths were attached, I decided that they looked a little weird, and went and cut every last little mouth off. As a result, the critters have a little dent where the mouths were, but it isn’t really noticeable.
I use the critters in my classroom anytime that the kids are getting too rowdy and I need a minute to gather my thoughts, or whenever we’re in transition (example: when “Learning Time” is finished and we’re getting ready to go outside, but I need to put the papers in the kids’ buckets or sweep up paper scraps from an art project). I hand each of my students a quiet critter, and remind them of Quiet Critter Rules. The rules are simple- they may play with the critter where they’re sitting, but they may not talk, throw the critters up in the air, or use their critter to bother someone else. If anyone breaks a rule, I give one warning to the class as a whole. If anyone breaks a rule after that, I take the critter away and put it back in the container. If we are about to go outside, then that person is last inside and has to stand with me for two minutes before they can go play. If we’re about to do something else, then I modify the consequences to fit the situation.
I have been stunned by how effective the critters are. They do not want their critters taken away, and I have only had to take away two critters total the entire time we’ve been using them, which is over a week now. Considering we use them 2-3 times a day, and I have 11 four year olds in my room, I expected it to be many more per day.