Classroom Animals and Pets - my primary class

Our Class - 1998/99

Division 11 is a Grade two class (mostly 7year olds) with 24 students, 14 boys and 10 girls. (Hmmm... same ratio as last year!) I couldn't believe one thing, though... not one first name the same! I added a new Monitor Job this year, as the Zoologist had been getting quite overworked. The new seventh job was the Entomologist (who also took care of the fish), with the other jobs remaining as: Zoologist, Horticulturist, Meteorologist, Classroom Librarian, Classroom Custodian, Artist’s Apprentice. The hamster again got the most cuddles... but then it's hard to cuddle a Prickly Stick! Sad news was that the anole died, after about 3 years in the classroom. We decided to try out tree frogs in the tank... what a wonderful idea that was! Those little guys have the most appealing croak ("quack, quack, quack") and they loved to surprise us with a song at unusual times. We also had the opportunity to add a few more Giant African Millipedes to our new large tank (which had turned out to be "too big" for collecting pond water the year before). Spike the hamster was the big winner, though. He inherited a second lovely hamster cage, which we made into a double decker townhouse, complete with a winding tube access. He set up his main residence in the basement but enjoyed dining on the main floor.
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Our School - Nestor Elementary School 1998/99

Our school size remained at about 450 students in our second year as a Kto5 format. It still is hard doing without our old "Grade 6 and 7 buddies" (both teachers and students!) but we continue to learn about our new identity. The Grade 5 students have really shown themselves to be a capable bunch! This year our Parent Group managed to secure a Greening the SchoolGrounds grant and tremendous changes were seen. What a lot of dedicated volunteers we have here! Numerous beneficial changes occured in the playground areas. A cement wall was added along the entire mid-field hillside, and a local college student was commissioned to design a mural depicting Canadian animals and scenery. Each child in the school was brought out to the wall to help paint the scene and a special tree planting and unveiling was done on Earth Day 1999. Beautiful (huge!) wooden planter boxes were given to each division for outdoor plantings. The most spectacular addition, however, was the creation of a wonderful pond and fountain in one of our courtyard areas. The school voted in the name "The Sanctuary" for this lovely area. We are one lucky school... lucky because we have so many devoted contributors to our well-being!
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Our Classroom Pets 1998/99

Grade 2: We sit in six groups, with four desks at each group. We also have six different kinds of animals too! We’d love to hear about the pets or animal visitors in your classrooms!

Fish: by Laura, Travis
I like the fish because they're cute and pretty. They can swim. They are colourful. They like to eat shrimp. They like a special temperature.

Giant Millipedes: by Alyssa, Craig, Khalil, Sunoma
Millipedes look like big caterpillars. They are interesting because they have so many legs. The legs are short. A millipede is all black and it has at least over a thousand legs. Maybe it has 200 legs. It is a good climber. It is interesting to watch. It likes to eat rotten stuff. We learned how to feed them. It is interesting that such amazing pets exist. It sticks to your hand. That's cool.

Hamster: by Edith, Nathan, Sean
The hamster looks like a climber because he climbs a lot. It is neat how the hamster can climb. It looks like a rat but with fur. The hamster looks like a fuzzball. Having a hamster in our class is neat. I liked having the hamster in our room because he is cute. I learned they like vegetables. We learned that hamsters sleep in the day and at night they wake up.

Leopard Gecko: by James, Lorne, Sheldon
Leopard geckos are yellow and have black dots. They have four legs. They are long. They lay eggs. Our gecko likes to climb on the cactus (plastic!). I like him because he likes to climb. I liked having it in the class because it is fun to pick up.You can learn that it likes to dig. We learned that he eats mealworms and crickets.

Tree Frogs: by Aidan, Dustin, Marco, Nelson,
The tree frogs look like a rock sometimes. They are green and a little brown. They camouflage on things. They are a medium size. They have interesting feet. You can learn about different feet and how they walk. You learn about how they eat and what they look like. They eat mealworms and crickets. They make noises. They sound funny. The tree frogs like trees. I like to see frogs in the wild too.

Walking Sticks: by Caris, Clarke, Jarek
Walking sticks look like little sticks. They are skinny. Their legs are long. They look cool and their legs do too. Some can fly. It is very nice when they fly. I learned what they eat. They eat blackberry bushes. The walking stick can straighten its body and look like a stick. I think walking sticks are good because I never saw one before. I learned lots of stuff like they grow and shed their skin. They lose their skin when it is time.

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Our Class - 1997/98

Division 7 is a Grade three class (mostly 8 year olds) with 24 students, 14 boys and 10 girls. It’s a bit unusual because we have three Amandas, two Davids, and three Ryans! Everyone gets a turn at our six Monitor Jobs: Zoologist, Horticulturist, Meteorologist, Classroom Librarian, Classroom Custodian, Artist’s Apprentice. Can you guess which job everyone is most excited over... yep, it’s the Zoologist! Not everyone likes to feed the mealworms to the geckos, however, but that’s okay because previous Zoologists never mind helping out! Everyone seems to like taking care of the hamster! Classroom Zoologists get a one week turn to take care of the pets. (Mrs. Boekhout does the major cage cleaning!) At the end of the week, there is a “Job Description” sheet that the Zoologist fills out. This goes in a special duotang folder of Monitor jobs that becomes part of our classroom library. At the beginning of the next week, this “experienced” Zoologist has to train the “new” Zoologist!
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Our School - Nestor Elementary School 1997/98

Nestor School is one of the largest Elementary schools in Coquitlam, B.C. Our enrollment last year was 655 students. The 1997/98 year will be our first time running as K-5, as our Grade 6’s and 7’s have moved onto the newly formed Middle School in the area. It will be interesting to see what kinds of changes we see in the school dynamics as a result. We already are having to scramble to take over all those extra-curricular jobs that our wonderful Gr. 6/7 teachers used to handle for us! We still have about 450 students and four portables! We have two separate playgrounds and two large fields, so we are very lucky! We are only a few blocks away from the Coquitlam River, which is exciting to visit when the salmon are running. We are also only a few blocks away from Town Center Stadium, the Aquatic Center, and a small man-made lake. There certainly are lots of wonderful places for field trips in our own neighbourhood!
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Our Classroom Pets 1997/98

Grade 3: We sit in six groups, with four desks at each group. By coincidence, we also have six different kinds of animals too! We’d love to hear about the pets or animal visitors in your classrooms!

Anole Lizard: by Amanda Me., Amanda Mo., Caity, David, Gilson, Karen, Ryan L., and Ryan M.
Spike is small and green. He likes to hide. He camouflages himself in the leaves. He changes color. Sometimes he is greenish and sometimes he is brownish. He always likes to go on the side of the tank. He can climb glass with his special pads on his feet. He doesn't climb out of the cage very often. Spike is afraid of us most of the time. He always jumps away from your hand. He moves very, very, very fast! He likes to eat crickets a lot.

Giant Millipedes: by Adrian, Amanda K., JoJo, Megan, Melanie, Mitchell, Mike.
Zid and Zid Jr. are our millipedes. They are interesting to look at. They have hundreds of legs. It's interesting that living stuff can have lots of legs. They are very long and black. When you look at them you think that they are soft and slimy. They're not! They are cold and hard. It feels weird to touch them. They are cool because they come from Africa. We learned that they eat vegetables, sometimes kind of rotten ones. The babies eat down in the soil. They all like to hide under the moss or bark, or sometimes under the water dish.

Hamster: by Adrian, Amanda Mo., Caity, Chris, David, Gilson, Martin, Megan, Mitchell, Mike, Ricky, Ryan L. and Ryan. M.
Fluffy Too is our Teddy Bear hamster. There are lots of different kinds of hamsters. Fluffy is brown and fluffy and small. He has lots of hair. Fluffy has long yellow front teeth. He has really tiny feet and a stubby tail. He's very cute and a good pet. He's fun to play with but he sleeps a lot. Hamsters sleep in the day and are active at night. They are nocturnal. We learned that hamsters like to sleep with Kleenex tissue. We watched Fluffy stuff it in his cheeks and chew on it and then carry it up to his bed. He can climb really well backwards and forwards. He likes to eat seeds and vegetables and fruit. He likes to store food in his cheeks. You have to clean his cage a lot. It is interesting to have this pet because you get to experience what it is like to have one when you don't. He is a nice pet.

Leopard Geckos: by Amanda Mo., Andy, David, Howlie, Ryan H., Ryan M., and Mr. Nobody.
Speedy and Spotty take turns coming to school. Speedy is the male and Spotty is the female. They have different colors of yellow and pink on their skin and have black spots. They can blend in with their background a bit. They can shed their skin. It is really interesting because we kept one of the skins. You could see the toes, and holes for the eyes, and even some spots. Most of the time they eat the skin. They have bumpy skin on their backs and smooth pink bellies. Spotty has a fatter smoother tail because she probably lost her tail once (before Mrs. B. got her). They come from far away, near India and Pakistan. They like to sleep under their rock cave a lot. Speedy sometimes climbs on his plastic cactus. They can't climb glass like an anole lizard. They like to eat mealworms and crickets. They eat really fast.

Tropical Fish: by Adrian, Megan, Martin, Mitchell, Mike and lots of Mr. Nobodies!
Our tropical fish are quite colourful and pretty. They are so bright! They are neat to look at. There are lots of different kinds of fish. Some are small and some are fat and some are thin. They are interesting because they can breathe underwater. They are so good at swimming. They swim everywhere they go. They can't live in hot water, though. We learned that they only need a little bit of food each day. Our fish are nice.

Walking Sticks: by Karen, Rebecca, Martin, Ricky, Ryan H., and Mr. Nobody.
Walking sticks are cool insects! There are lots of different kinds. Our biggest are the Giant Prickly Sticks. They come from Australia, just the same as our "pen friend class"! The females curl their bodies so that they look like scorpions, but they don't sting. The Pink wings can fly. The Indian sticks like to fall down and pretend they are dead twigs. The Vietnamese sticks are long and green and thin. Walking sticks come from lots of different places. They camouflage themselves by looking just like sticks on a branch. They can stay very, very still. Sometimes they are very hard to find. They do weird stuff like hang upside down. Sometimes they walk in a very slow swing motion, kind of like they're dancing.
They are really neat to watch.

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This page revised August 1999.