Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top 9 Uses for a Mr. Potato Head, a FREEBIE, and a GIVEAWAY!

I have been inspired by my 2.5 year old son's love and fascination with "Toy Story" lately to use my Mr. Potato Head as a classroom management tool. I don't use it often, and I certainly can't use it the whole year. It loses its novelty after that long. But I thought it would be perfect for the end of the year. It is novel. It is fun, and the end of the year is a little more laid back than ...March (standardized testing, dun-dun-dunh!).

However, Mr. Potato Head has MANY uses in the classroom, and I wanted to share just a few of those with you. Some are my examples of how I use them, and others are from fellow Pinterest users (genius, how did we ever live without Pinterest?).

Here are 7 uses for Mr. Potato Head in the classroom. (Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post. You might have a little surprise at the end!)

1. As mentioned, CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT (whole class)
I like to bring him in and set him at the front of the class. Almost always, students are familiar with exactly what it is. I let them name him and then I explain how he will help us behave for x amount of time. This can be the last 20 days of school or the last 2 weeks before a holiday or break. You can use it at any time of the year.
I've done this two ways - you can do a positive, add-on approach. Take off all the Mr. Potato Head pieces, put them all in a box or container and as the students earn behavior points each day for following the rules, being kind to one another, or just keeping it together before a holiday or break, I add one piece at the end of the class (or at the end of the day).
Or you can do a take-away approach. You can deck Mr. Potato Head out in all that he can wear, and if he keeps all of his clothing, accessories, and parts, the class earns x reward. This can be a popcorn party, or even just an extra recess at the end of the day or the end of the week. The rewards must be geared towards your kiddos - do what works for them and motivates them!
picture found here

picture found here

This is similar to the classroom management approach, except he's just a member of the class. You can have your kids name him, dress him, make accessories or signs for him. Use toothpicks and tape to hold signs to his hands. You can decorate him according to seasons or holidays. It's just an extra, fun way to encourage classroom community. He could even be a buddy to read to, or if you want at times, he can be a reward to sit on someone's desk for extra good behavior for a day or so.

For younger students, this is an excellent way to start labeling and spelling body parts.
For older students, you could use this as a spelling/vocabulary activity. For example, they could find synonyms for "shirt" or "shoes". You could easily do a "shades of meaning" type of activity with this - you could have students find versions of clothing from casual to dressy.
I created a very simple FREEBIE for you to use. You can get it here, or click on the picture.

I saw an example of this on Pinterest. I even thought of the line "I'd give an arm and a leg for a good book!"
(picture from Pinterest - Enokson on flickr.com)
Younger children could learn the 5 senses and list something you do with each sense.
Older children can write creatively using adjectives to describe what Mr. Potato Head (or Mrs.) might see, smell, taste, feel, and hear!
I have found that teaching students to write a diamante poem is a great way to get them to express and describe the 5 senses creatively!
picture found here

You can take pictures of each step in "building" a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. Students could follow the steps and directions and complete it in a center. You could also take pictures of completed Potato Heads and have students "build" him/her and write down the steps/order they followed to build the Potato Head.
picture found here

I wouldn't advise having students just color to color (well, maybe only a few times a year), but you could use coloring sheets to have students practice a variety of skills - sequencing, labeling, spelling, writing, etc. Also, if you are using a center like I listed in #6, you could have a coloring sheet as a follow-up activity. These could also be used as morning work. You could use them as an entrance or exit ticket, having students write a new word they learned or one of the 5 senses they've learned about. 
There are tons of coloring pages out there. You can Google it or search on Pinterest. Here are two I found. 

picture found here

picture found here

If you teach health or food/nutrition, you could have students create a "Healthy Mr. Potato Head". Here is one example I found on Pinterest. 
picture found here

Ok, this was just cute. It's not necessarily academic. If you have a toy class theme or your kids like "Toy Story" or just Mr. Potato Head in general, this would be so cute. 
picture found here

I hope you can use some of these in your classroom. If you want to enter to win a Mr. Potato Head, I'm giving one away. This is only a 24-HOUR GIVEAWAY, so if you want this little guy, don't wait! :)

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Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to enter this week's Birthday Blowout giveaway. It's "BACK TO SCHOOL" themed products! You can enter that giveaway below.

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1 comment:

  1. I love the positive behavior idea!! I can see my 3rdies loving the chance to add to him throughout the day! Perfect!

    I also love that you little one loves Toy Story. My now, 19 year old, loved it at well. He called him Tota Head.

    3rd Grade Pad