Looking for ideas on how to get your students involved with and excited about caring for a classroom pet? Last week on our blog, we posted about Mr. Powell, a teacher at Weaverville Primary School who has made getting a classroom pet an excited project that the students have really invested in. Take a look at what he has to say about it:
I have been teaching for eleven years now and have had a pet in the classroom for most of this time and was able to see first-hand the educational value and joy a pet in the class can bring. Just this year I transferred to a new school and no longer had a pet in the classroom. One of types of writing that we teach in first grade is the persuasive paper. So I decided to use this as an opportunity to get a class pet and show the students that their work can achieve something. The students have been so engaged throughout this project which has just grown and taken over our classroom. They have written papers not only to me but to the principal as well and they have worked with several other adults to accomplish their goals. Mrs. Jewkes the other teacher in our classroom has been a guiding force helping the students to write and edit their papers, Mr. Ussery our media specialist helped take the students idea for a commercial and make it a reality, Mr. Bridges our principal has been very encouraging and supportive throughout the whole process, not to mention the students parents who have brought things in for our yard sale, and who have worked with their students at night to write and research about their pet. The benefits to this is that the students are engaged, excited and that they can see actual real world results from the work that they are doing. We are able to use this to academically work on writing, science, math and social skills. We have e to talk about how to get our point across to others how we should respond and be respectful and polite when people help us. Students are having conversations, taking notes and doing research that might not have happened without this project. It has built up their confidence and creativity within themselves. The student in the video who sings the jingle wrote that herself and has taken real ownership of that. Students that are often quite and a little withdrawn in class have been more outspoken and even have speaking roles in our commercial. Thank you and Pets in the Classroom for helping to make all this happen.