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Classroom Pets! September 23, 2013

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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The Science Center offers all-year pets to interested classrooms throughout the Burlington Public Elementary Schools.  We provide the animal, cage, food and bedding for the year.  The classroom provides all the care and attention the animal will need, which includes over the long weekends and vacations throughout the school year.  The animals used for this program typically include hamsters, gerbils and fish tanks.

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gerbils

Ms. Pavlicek delivers the animal and provides a lesson to each class.  They learn characteristics of the animal, the specific needs to care for the pet, and the correct  techniques of handling.  There is also a discussion of how the animal should be treated and some extra time spent answering the student’s questions.  Each classroom teacher designates certain students as “zookeepers” or “pet care takers” for the week.

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Ms. Pavlicek recently dropped off a classroom pet to Mrs. McLaughlin’s second grade class at Memorial School.

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Mammals are “vertebrates”, an animal with a backbone

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Learning about rodent food

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Details of the gerbil tank

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Correct way to pick up a gerbil

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Overall, the classroom pet program provides insight to students about the responsibilities of taking care of something on a daily basis. We feel it is important to give each student the opportunity to care for a living thing, teach them how to respect and treat these living things and to be able to experience the wonder of animal behaviors.  This program is also very beneficial to students who may not be able to have a pet of their own at home.

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