Something’s fishy

Published 8:43 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Something fishy is going on at Troy Elementary School, and the Troy City Schools Education Foundation is behind it.

The Foundation awarded a grant to Troy Elementary School first-grade teacher Debra Kelly to construct a goldfish pond to be used to provide hands-on learning opportunities about aquatic ecosystems and wildlife.

“Nature changes every day and our students need to be aware of this,” Kelly said. “With the goldfish pond, our students don’t have to sit in class and read about fish in their books. They can go outside and see for themselves.”

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The goldfish pond provides hands-on, outdoor learning opportunities that allow students of all ages to utilize multiple-disciplinary skills in a fun and exciting environment.

“The pond links to the Alabama course of study on animals, which directly ties into our AMSTI unit on goldfish and plants,” Kelly said. “For nine weeks, our first-grade students study the life of goldfish and their needs in a small container.”

The fishpond enhances the teaching of the unit on a larger scale.

“The children study the fish in our classroom as well as watching the varying sizes of the goldfish and how fish such as Koi get along,” Kelly said. “We release our AMSTI goldfish into the pond so the children can see them grow to their environment. Seeing the lifecycle of a goldfish is a wonderful addition to our unit.”

The students also study water snails, which are released into the pond to help with the maintenance of algae.

“The pond attracts birds and butterflies, and the children love seeing them all,” Kelly said. “The pond not only benefits my students and other first-grade students, but it also benefits all the students at Troy Elementary School. Higher grades have incorporated the pond into their AMSTI science units. Every day there is a group of students at the pond admiring the pond and watching the goldfish.”

Kelly expressed appreciation to the Troy City Schools Education Foundation for the grant that made the goldfish pond possible.

“This pond will be utilized and enjoyed by students at Troy Elementary School for a long time and will enhance our ability to teach in a different and special setting,” she said.