In our last blog post, we heard a little bit about teacher Rodney Crouse’s experience with classroom pets and the Pets in the Classroom grant program. Since teachers are such a wonderful source on the Pets in the Classroom experience, we thought we would share a little more from Mr. Crouse…
On the Pets in the Classroom Grant:
The Pets in the Classroom grant allows me the opportunity to bring in and support the needs of animals that my students would normally not have the chance to interact directly with.
District representatives and other local faculty members have been amazed at how easy it is to both apply for the grant and put it to use. Since my first year applying I have helped several co-workers apply for, and then set up their aquariums, hamster habitats and am scheduled for even more wild adventures!
On his Students and their Classroom Pets:
I have one student who is mesmerized by Grace (parakeet) on a daily basis. Sometimes when he doesn’t want to communicate verbally he will just go and stand by her cage. The aquariums are the same- students vie for the job to be the fish feeder! We also love looking for babies.
On Using Classroom Pets for Teaching:
Pets in the classroom ties in perfectly with my first grade science curriculum. We study the needs of living organisms and two different ecosystems. The first year I applied for an aquarium. I loved it so much that I got two! The students are able to use the aquariums later in the year as stations for practicing math word problems, imaginative narrative writing, as well as a place to read quietly and relax.
To Learn more about applying for a Pets in the Classroom grant, visit http://www.petsintheclassroom.org/grant-app/.