We at Pets in the Classroom received this letter that we just had to share with you. What an incredible learning experience for these students!
I wanted to thank you for the grant that has allowed me to have a bearded dragon in my classroom. I was very excited to get the grant and to go learn all about a new creature. My students were even more surprised and amazed by this generous gift.
This bearded dragon (who we named Norbert) has been a learning experience from the moment he came into our classroom. I placed the tank and him (still inside the cardboard box) on a table and had the students write about what they thought might live in the tank, and what clues they used to make that decision. We had a voting experience when we were naming him, going through the entire process from idea, to speeches and then to ballot, the students loved every minute of it. My original plan was to use him for part of my literary unit on animal defenses, but he has become so much more!
This animal has influenced more than just one classroom. We have had the third grade and two different first grade classrooms come in and have a science field trip to come and see our dragon and leopard gecko. They have done a question and answer where they got to ask me questions that they have always wondered about lizards, as well as pet them and see them to study how different these two types of lizards are. In my class, we have learned safety protocol in handling them as well as how to clean up after them. It has been great fun as well as a learning experience for everyone. The younger students still stop me and ask about my lizards. I think that every student in this school knows that I have two different lizards and they are all excited about them.
This grant has allowed me to explore different areas of learning with authentic purpose and I have let my students’ natural curiosity guide our learning. When it has come to Norbert, every student in my classroom is engaged and excited to learn new things and be the first one to bring new information back to share with the class. I have a student who did not want to do homework of any kind, who is now volunteering to do research on his own time to discover what foods are best for the bearded dragons to eat as babies, because he read somewhere that the diet for babies and juveniles should be different from adults.
This has been by far one of the very best things that I have ever done for my classroom, so thank you for the opportunity to give my students this amazing experience with lizards that they may never have gotten otherwise.
4th Grade Teacher
Compass Public Charter School