Thursday, February 17, 2011

Classroom Pets and All That!

Our barn and pond at my house.
For those of you who don't me I am country kid who goes to the city to teach!  I live out in the country on 22 acres and we (my husband, son and daughter) have raised horses, cows, pigs, cats, and dogs. Our kids participated for  10 years in 4H, and we enjoyed every minute. Alright not every minute but most of it.

So when my 5th grade team decided to rotate for science this year I volunteered eagerly for the Life Science rotation.  I had already had a class pet, a turtle named Franklin,  before so I was ready to start again! Our 5th grade indicators focus on the process of photosynthesis, food chains, food webs, ecosystems and how animals adapt as well as carrying capacity and the positive and negative impacts that can occur in an ecosystem.

When I starting thinking about my unit, I visited my friend Andrea Smith and fell in love with her classroom and all of her class pets. She does an amazing job of linking all of the pets throughout her day and then intertwining technology and non fiction reading. After talking to her, I decided to purchase a leopard gecko and two mice.  I chose these animals for a few different reasons. First they both live in different ecosystems and second most parents would not allow their children to have these as pets at least the mice.  I then proceeded to apply for the free grant called Pets in the Classroom which I learned about from Mandy Robek @ Enjoy and Embrace Learning. I would encourage you to read her article about pets in the classroom because I can't say it any better!

Our pets are now named and loved!  In order to be in the contest to name the pets the students had to research and find out about their environment including food, shelter and adaptations.  Drumroll please, I would like to introduce Munch and Crunch the mice and Spot the gecko.  I would encourage all Life Science teachers to apply for the Pets in the Classroom grant. I received $150 free money which was a wonderful start to our classroom pets.  Next on the list is an aquatic habitat, perhaps some fire belly toads?

Sound asleep after a fun day at school!

Can I come out to visit?


  1. Munch and Crunch!!!! Perfect names. Your mice can email my gerbils named Scooby and Shaggy :) I am so excited for your new class members. I think our kids could exchange short movies revolving around our pets....would be fun. Think about how we could fit this in.

  2. What a great idea for the movies. What about the point of view of being a mouse/gerbil and all the secret things they observe about their class when the teachers are out of the
    room :)

  3. Thanks for the compliment and I'm so glad you were able to use the grant to help you with your journey. I love how your students were able to pick their names with thought and intention and learning!

  4. I loved sonic pics so much I hope we can do something similar to that again sometime!!!!!!!!