Do you have a class mascot in your art room? I do! Actually, I have a few class mascots. And they all have assorted backstories. They help me with my classroom management and they can help you, too!
It all started with Mr. Brush. He was singling and mingling for too long, though.
Then Mrs. Brush joined us.
And then it turned into a menagerie of plush, crocheted friends. Next thing I knew, I was creating enough characters for a book.
(Hey, that’s a pretty good idea!)
What is a Class Mascot?
The best way to describe class mascots are buddies that help students make the right choices, guide them in their learning, and create a warm classroom environment.
If you work with lower elementary students, you understand how difficult it can be to guide their thinking to make good choices that positively affect themselves and others. Class mascots can be effective classroom management tools to help with your students behavior issues. Let’s break these down one by one.
Class mascots are an awesome behavioral management tool for your art room. I find that my students never want to disappoint my band of class mascots, like Mr. Brush.
You see, friends, when the kids are acting all kinds of nuts? Mr. Brush doesn’t hand out the paint to everyone. He directs me to take my sweet ol’ time skipping misbehaving students while I serve the ready and willing.
Me: “What’s that Mr. Brush? You think I should go to tables that look ready? Will do!”
Now, I tell my students they don’t have to sit like show ponies. You know what I mean, right? Like when we were little: hands folded on the table “nicely,” body sitting perfectly straight up, and smiling big. Quiet, looking, and listening is the goal because let’s be real, some of our students today have a hard time sitting still.
But they can’t be mouthing off, doing the Running Man, and crawling the ceiling. That gets Mr. Brush upset as well as paint and brushes put into timeout. That’ll earn low scores in classroom management skills on an observation, especially during a pop-in observation!
To this end, they are external motivators that help foster a positive classroom community. Students look forward to seeing them weekly and what antics they play on us. And they help me build positive relationships with my students because that’s one of the keys to successful classroom management.
I love incorporating our class mascots into the learning. The primary reason I use them is as a teaching tool. I integrate them into our daily art lessons, especially when we’re talking about cultural arts. I mean, give Mr. Brush a camera and passport and he’s a world class traveler!
Mr. and Mrs. Brush have made appearances in the slideshows I create for studying global art. “Mr. & Mrs. Brush Go To….” is a popular theme in my art room. I’ve even made them real passports with stamps so that my students can verify where they’ve been. For realz.
Now, be prepared for the naysayers who will call you out. You know what I mean, the ones who are all, “Nuh-uhhh! He’s not real. You made him up! He’s just a doll!”
You might have to pull out a selfie to prove it’s real. Maybe even make a fake firstname.lastname@example.org email address and have your mascot email any and all selfies to you. (winky, winky) Do what you have to do, friends.
One thing Mr. Brush sometimes does is leave special notes on the board. Sometimes they’re funny and humorous like:
Why was the artist afraid he might go to jail?
Because he’d been framed!
What a great way to use humor to introduce topics and concepts! It’s also how teachers can connect with students on a more personal level. There is no better way than with some humor.
Other times they are important directions for the project or art techniques. In the example below, Gary the Glue is instructing the kids to, “Dot, dot, dot and not a lot!”
And they can even ofter words of encouragement when art room life is tough. Mr. Pencil helped us out with this one:
Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip. – Jon Bon Jovi
Students need to know that their class mascot cares about them and their well-being, just like their teacher. <3
Ideas for Class Mascots
I’ve made several mascots over the years using my crochet skills I learned as a child. But you don’t have to crochet yours. You can knit it. Sew it. Sculpt it. Or shoot, just run to The Walmarts and snag yourself one on the quick and cheap. You’re an art teacher. Figure out a creative solution for your class mascot!
Do you. You dig?
I would love to hear how you’re all using class mascots in your art room and how you use them in your classroom management plan. Drop direct links to your social media where you talked about and showed yours. Would love to see! If this blog post helped you out, please re-pin. Thanks!