Our middle school is on the outer edge a large urban and suburban district. We have a diverse population ranging from the very affluent to the very impoverished.
We are a STEM and PBL (project based learning) focused school and our students love to be creative in showing what they know.
We have great elementary schools feeding into our one middle school and our kids are generally familiar with the idea of project-based learning at the start of middle school. Sixth grade is spent focusing on refining their knowledge and developing deeper content understanding.
Our greatest challenge is the broad range of student access to resources created by our large and diverse school cluster. While all of our students are eager to learn through hands-on, student-driven projects, not all of our students have equal access to the resources that will allow them to participate in these projects to their fullest.
Shortly before winter break, our class was lucky enough to receive a juvenile bearded dragon as a class pet. Having a class pet will help to build student engagement in their school environment while supporting science instruction and teaching care for living things. However, we need habitat supplies to make sure our dragon is happy and healthy in the classroom.
In order to bring our classroom dragon home, we need the materials to ensure that the habitat is the appropriate temperature and is comfortable for daily life.
Currently the bearded dragon has a large size terrarium for the classroom, but no heat lights, floor covering, temperature gauges, or reptile furniture. Providing these items for the classroom set up are essential before our bearded dragon can come to the classroom. This will allow student "zoo keepers" to assist in regulating the habitat temperature, providing resting and basking areas, and feeding. The plastic containers will allow us to store appropriate food items and to have a lizard bath tub for weekly dragon baths in the classroom.
Since one of the primary goals of a class pet is to help students learn about pet care it is essential that a safe and healthy habitat be provided before our classroom dragon can come home. Many middle school students struggle to feel connected to their school environment, and bringing our bearded dragon home to our classroom will provide another way that students can connect with their science class on a daily basis.
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