I'm linking up with Michelle at Making It As a Middle School Teacher and TBA. Michelle is hosting one of the "There's No Place Like TBA" posts. Her focus is on classroom pets - one of my favorite things to talk about! Click on the links below to check out the entire series...it will be well worth your time.
So let me introduce my babies. Meet Daisy and Lilly...two of the friendliest pets I have ever had!
How did these girls come into my life? Through a wonderful foundation called Pets in the Classroom. If you are considering a pet, you simply must check this out. The grant application was so easy, then you wait about 4 to 6 weeks for approval and you're good to go.
here to read my previous post about Pets in the Classroom.
Moving on to my girls...these cute little critters have brought more joy to my classroom than I ever thought possible! I teach second grade and I confess that I was extremely nervous that my students wouldn't be gentle enough or kind enough or able to control their excitement enough... Boy was I WRONG! Not only were they gentle and kind and controllable (for the most part ;) ) but their desire to learn more was unbelievable. These little babies were the inspiration for many writing pieces and from several genres. Readers workshop read alouds often featured a guinea pig as the main character and my students brought in the books from our school or local library. Math lessons were easily executed and it didn't really matter which lesson I needed to teach. Daisy and Lilly always seemed to fit right into our topic of the day. And when it came to Science, the value of having these little girls as our classroom pets was priceless. Obviously, they fit right into our life science lessons but they also managed to be relevant during our physical science lessons as well. And believe it or not, we learned that guinea pigs have even been sent into space!
|Lilly (snuggling with my oldest)|
|Daisy at two months old.|
What about weekends and holidays? Well, before I decided to do this, I made sure that I would be able and willing to care for these animals on my own if I had to. My plan was to ask parents if they wanted to be "piggy-sitters" on weekends and/or school vacations. Ten of my 19 families happily agreed. I was SO nervous about letting the girls go home with people that I didn't really know but after the first couple of weekends, I was fine. My classroom community grew! The parents were so excited to help, as well as the older or younger siblings. Almost all of my families asked for a second turn and a few that declined at the beginning jumped on board as well. The guinea pigs were such a huge hit that two of my families adopted their own! My girls had play dates with their girl guineas. The travel bag that went home with the piggies included a journal and a camera. The pictures that came back were so cute! Unfortunately, they are all on my school computer right now. :(
|Moose - a 7 year old Shihtoodle|
|Ember - a 1year old deaf dachshund mix|