Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guess what???

Remember my blog that told everyone how I adopted Squirtle?  Well, it is now on the website for Pets in the Classroom! Rachel, from Pets in the Classroom, contacted me and asked if I would be okay with sharing the news.  I said, of course!  So now, my blog is featured on their site.  So excited!

Check it out!


PS - Squirtle is still refusing to eat due to his hibernation...but today he climbed in his fake tree and gave us all a giggle!  He makes a lot of noise when he is climbing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Who would have thought that my new pet in the classroom, Squirtle the Turtle, would go into hibernation....

It happened shortly after we got him.  He stopped eating and started gaining fat pockets around his legs.  He became inactive and I got worried....So, I took him to Pet Smart and spoke with the reptile specialist who had helped me purchase him.  Sure enough...he had gone into hibernation!

Why?  Well it is cold in my classroom!  Our county decided to regulate our temperatures in the classroom at a cooler temperature.  They turn the heat off on the weekends, too!  My students are always chilly and I guess it was too cold for Squirtle. 

Some observations we have made....he doesn't completely sleep.  He does move around a tiny bit, but not much.  He likes to stay in the water more often now.

More updates will follow...

Pets Add Life Children's Poetry Contest

I found this poetry writing contest via Facebook and I am sharing the details below.  Good luck if you enter!  To enter the contest, click the picture below.  Your student could win a $250 gift card for pet products and you could win a $1,000 scholarship for your classroom for pet-related education!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hatching Eggs?

I received and email from one of our readers, Heather asking for advice on purchasing an egg incubator.  I have never hatched eggs in my classroom, but thought maybe you could help her.  If you have and know of an incubator, please comment below.

I have to say, that I am not entirely for the process of incubating eggs.  I adore chicks and ducklings.  I have raised an orphaned duckling and rehabilitated it back into the wild.  Yet, I have heard too many horror stories about hatching chicks/ducklings.  For example, this one, where a custodian accidentally knocked the plug out of the incubator and the teacher came back to school in the morning to more than a dozen dead quails!  One of my best friends, also a fellow animal lover, hatched duck eggs with her kindergarten class and had a hard time finding homes for all the healthy Peking ducks.  She did not want to return them to a farm because she did not went them to be killed.  She could not set ducks "free," since wild birds are territorial and will peck at and chase out intruders.  She ended up giving the healthy ducks to a petting zoo.  The ducks that struggled hatching and therefore had birth defects, required tons of vet visits and special care.  These ducks became her pets and guess what, ducks can live 20 plus years!  After 5 years of caring for the two remaining special needs ducks, she finally found a local rescue group that would take them.

As with any class pet, I want you to be informed and realize that these creatures will be your financial and physical responsibility.

More Critters Outside the Classroom

Linda of Primary Inspiration also has a bird feeder outside her classroom.  She created this great little word wall to help the students write about what they see.  She also posted about Valentine's day bird treats.  Click on the picture below to go check it out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Taking Care of our Pet

Hi Critter Friends!!!

If you don't remember me, Im Rachel from Ms. Rachel's Room.  I have a sweet guinea pig named Gina!
I teach in a special education classroom, and I know we all have rules about our pets, but mine are pretty specific, the first thing Im going to share with you guys is about Gina's food.  Guinea pigs LOVE fresh veggies and fruits but I wanted to make sure my kiddos got the idea!  This is also for anyone else who comes into the classroom and doesn't know about guinea pigs!  I made this on Word and then I blew it up on our poster-maker, laminated it and hung it up! The visual's are very helpful!

We also all have classroom jobs, but it addition to that, we also have a Gina "caregiver" that rotates weekly.  This is a pretty exciting job!  This person gets Gina's water, fills her timothy hay, fills her regular food, and helps with anything else that needs done!  It's pretty basic but this is what it looks like:
That's how we do a few things with Gina, not all of my students can do the caregiver job independently but they get help from myself of my staff.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Atlantic Salmon & Growth Chart Printable...

I am so excited to finally be posting on this awesome blog Erica created--thanks Erica!!

Each year, our class raises Atlantic salmon from eggs to the fry stage.

We study their growth, their predators and prey, reasons they have been endangered in the past, and more! Then, in April, we release them in the river. It's one of my students' most anticipated units of the year.

This year, I'm adding some new elements to our study and will be sharing the printables I create on here, in case anyone can use them as well. I'll be sure to keep them open-ended, since I know we all have different animals in our classrooms!

The file I created this evening is a growth chart, to record observations on the salmon in the coming months. Since they take awhile to develop, I plan to use this about once a week. Here's a preview of the file...
If you'd like to download it, please click here!

I'll be posting more about the salmon on my other blog as well, if you'd like to stop by. Thanks for reading! :)