Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vic le Vache–the World Traveling Cow

Please let me introduce you to Vic le Vache, the World Traveling Cow.  He’s a classroom management tool.  He’s an inspiration to increase creative writing.  He’s a class pet that doesn’t require feeding or cleaning.  At the end of the year, he’s often my students “favorite part of the year.”

Use Vic le Vache as a free, easy classroom management technique that also promotes creative writing.

Here’s how Vic le Vache works in my classroom.  Throughout the week, if you are caught doing something great (being super on task, being a good friend, showing great learning connections etc.), you get an extra Vic le Vache raffle ticket.  Each of my students started with one Vic le Vache ticket at the beginning of the year, but after that, they must earn their next ticket.  On Friday, or the last day of the week if we have a long weekend, I choose one raffle ticket from the bucket.  The person whose ticket is chosen gets to take Vic le Vache home.

Use Vic le Vache as a free, easy classroom management technique that also promotes creative writing

At the beginning of the year, I tell my students this story of Vic le Vache:  Vic is a cow who has traveled all around the world.  He has been everywhere there is to be.  He loves to tell people about the places he has been, but he has learned that children are better listeners than grown ups, so now he will only talk to children.  Because he has hooves instead of hands, he can’t write down his stories, so it is up to them to write down his stories to share with others.  So, each weekend, one student takes him home and writes a story about one of the places Vic has traveled.  We keep all of the sheets in a notebook so that it can be re-read during independent reading time.  Over the years, I have read a huge variety of stories of where Vic has gone.  Some students keep it simple and tell me about his trip to the beach or a nearby city, but many students like to write about far away places, and some students get super creative.  I’ve had students write about Vic’s time playing in the NBA, his trip to the moon, his scuba diving adventure and this year, we even had a story about his trip down into the sewer! 

Use Vic le Vache as a free, easy classroom management technique that also promotes creative writing

Bringing Vic le Vache home is a highly coveted event in my classroom, and it’s a great way to get kids motivated to write creatively.  For the cost of a cow stuffed animal and a notebook, it’s also truly the cheapest management tool I’ve ever used!  Both the Vic le Vache Raffle Ticket and the Vic le Vache Writing Sheets are available via Google Docs, so feel free to download them if you’d like to use this with your students.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources