Geckos & A Toad Make Learning Fun For Pre-K Scholars
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) The Lake Ridge Elementary Pre-K Scholars in Jamie Crow’s class are fortunate to have three class pets – geckos Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie and a toad named Libby.
“It’s a lot of fun, and the scholars love it,” Crow said. “We make rules with the animals, and the scholars learn about taking care of them. We’re able to incorporate a lot of standards and guidelines into three little creatures.”
Crow, a self-described “animal collector”, first discovered the idea of bringing small pets into the classroom when one of her Lake Ridge colleagues successfully applied for a “Pets In The Classroom” Grant.
“I definitely try to incorporate nature as much as possible into the class,” Crow said.
Cedar Hill ISD is currently accepting Pre-K Applications at chisd.net/prek
Crow is in her fourth year teaching Pre-K at Lake Ridge and sixth year overall. She was a first grade teacher from 2015-2017 at the campus.
She was initially reluctant to teach Pre-K, but now she couldn’t see herself teaching any other grade level.
“I love it – it’s the best,” Crow said. “Everything is brand new, and they’re excited for everything they learn. They’re very inquisitive. I feed off their energy.”
Crow said there’s nothing that can substitute for the foundation that scholars build at the Pre-K level.
“It sets them up for success, and it gives them a love of school,” Crow said.
Teaching Lessons That Help Students Cope
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is another important factor in Pre-K, and Crow’s scholars learn key SEL lessons. One of those lessons is about dealing with separation anxiety, taught through “Grown Ups Come Back,” a song by the popular children’s television character, Daniel Tiger.
She relates to the scholars by sharing that she misses her own daughters, ages 8 years and 11 months, but knows that she’ll see them later that day.
Crow is originally from Illinois and moved to Texas to work as an emergency medical technician. She worked in a Fort Worth emergency room for nearly a decade before deciding to become a teacher.
Crow graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Tarleton State University and will earn a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lamar University next month.