What is a science classroom without classroom pets? While this may be a rhetorical question my experiences from my student teaching clearly illustrated the countless ways classroom pets offer unique learning opportunities. Classroom pets allow students, some of which may not have access to pets outside of school, to interact, bond with and care for animals responsibly establishing healthy child-pet relationships. Well-cared for classroom pets, i.e. animals living in environments set up to mimic their natural habitats, also provide an excellent opportunity to tie in the ecology, physiology and behaviour of the animals with material covered in class, e.g. life cycles, behaviour, ecology, etc., as well as connect with Nature of Science concepts such as the value of observational studies (i.e. recording observations, inference and drawing conclusions; think a classroom version of Jane Goodall)
Over the last few weeks I have been busy setting up habitats in my classroom for a leopard gecko, fire-bellied toads and mystery snails. Last week the big day arrived as the first group of classroo animals moved into their new habitats, three mystery snails, two fire-bellied toads and one leopard gecko. The animals do not have any names yet - who is better to name them than their future care takers - the students. The same day I also found out that I had been approved for the Pets in the Classroom grant..., so there is more to come.
Science classrooms are unique learning environments unlike any other classrooms. As a matter of fact, some things only happen in science classrooms. Here is a collection of event that happened in my own science classroom over the last school year. It's a growing list, so check back for updates.
Report from yours truly live-tweeting and navigating the melee at GETCA 2015 (Annual Greater Edmonton Teachers' Conference).
Can a pencil be more than just your average run of the mill pencil? The legendary Palomino Blackwing Pearl can take a student or teacher's writing to new heights. We have taken a batch of the Pearls for a spin and are blown away by how much writing and sketching can be transformed by this unassuming pencil.
Dr. Pineda's Classroom is going YouTube with the release of its first screencast on the exciting topic of calculating percents. Only time will tell if this is the start of something big and shiny or just a passing fad.
After several weeks working on setting up habitats for new classroom animals the big day finally arrived. The newest addition to our classroom include aquatic denizens in our new aquarium and a teenage bearded dragon with lots of attitude and no table manners.