Saturday, March 27, 2010

Class Pets

For months now, my fourth graders have been asking for a class pet.

Here's how one recent discussion unfolded:

Student: Mrs. H, can we have a fish?

Me: No.

S: A lizard?

Me: No.

S: A turtle?

Me: No.

S: Oooo-kay. :-(

S: How about you bring your dogs in for the day?

Me: No. Lucy would jump all over everyone.

S: How about just bringing in the mellow one? You know the smaller one? What's his name again?

Me: Rudy.

S: Yeah, Rudy. Can he come and visit? Can your husband bring him to school?

Me: No, I don't think so.

{I know, I'm so mean!}


Two weeks ago, though, I got an idea.

This Shrek Chia Pet could be our class pet!

I originally purchased Shrek for a "white elephant" gift exchange, but our work holiday party was cancelled at the last minute and Shrek never made it back to Rite-Aid. (Truth be told, I really wanted an Obama Chia Pet, but Rite-Aid doesn't carry them.) Anyway, Shrek has just been riding around in the car with me, and it's too late to take him back, so I brought him to work.

As you can see, Shrek has been busy growing quite the hairdo. It's getting longer on the sides and in back, but doesn't seem to want to grow on top. One of my students says we might have to trim his "green growth" before it starts to look too much like an Afro. He said that's what his brother did when his hair got too big. :-)

I pick a new student each week to take care of Shrek, filling up his head with water each morning and dumping the water from the plastic tray into the sink.

Move over Line Leader; S.P.A (Shrek's Personal Assistant) is the hottest class job now!

You know that expression, "When it rains it pours!"

Well, pond snails have also taken up residence in our classroom.

Lined up on the back cubbies are eleven water bottles, each filled with a pond snail, tap water, and elodea (a plant resembling seaweed).

It's part of a science experiment we are conducting.

We've been discussing ecosystems lately--specifically the living and nonliving parts and how they work together.

Each morning, the kids check to see where their snail is located in the bottle.

I've noticed that a few of the snails have not moved since they entered the bottle. (Truth is, that they may have been dead on arrival, but I'm not going to tell the kids that.)

The students are watching to see if the snails eat the elodea.

So far, we've yet to see any snails devour it.

And now that I think about it, we probably won't.

Why? Because snails are nocturnal animals and get their grub on at night.

Ugh...Why didn't I think of this earlier?!

Oh well.

While it may go down as the most boring experiment ever, at least the kids have 11 more class pets to enjoy for a few weeks.

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