Class Pet

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by azteacher3, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. azteacher3

    azteacher3 Companion

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    Jul 7, 2010

    I've had frogs, fish, and crabs as class pets and am kind of tired of doing the whole aquarium thing.

    So I'm thinking about getting a hamster or guinea pig for next year. Anyone have one in their Kinder class? Pros/cons? I'm leaning more towards a hamster because I have a ton of hamster stuff (cages, wheels, tunnels, etc) from me and my hubby's old hamster:angel:.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Liljag

    Liljag Companion

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    Jul 7, 2010

    Pro - It's a hamster, cute and cuddly. You can hold them, teach responsibility by cleaning the cage, etc.

    Con - Maybe someone is allergic to them. I would mark this as a big reason why not to have them.

    I was tempted to get a turtle this year myself.
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Jul 7, 2010

    Our district has an animal center where teachers can check out various pets ranging from spiders and snakes to guinea pigs. They keep them for a week, then trade it in for another pet (or decide pets are not a good fit for them!).
     
  5. funnyteacher

    funnyteacher Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2010

    I had a guinea pig and the kids loved it, however it was a lot of work. My vote is for a guinea pig.
     
  6. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    The only reason I like my crabs is because they don't smell. Do hamsters smell?
     
  7. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jul 7, 2010

    Hamsters may bite. I had two hamsters (Billy and Christina) when I was little, well one was mine and one was my brothers, but we kept them together in the same cage. One day my brother's friend came over and she picked up my hamster and it bit her. The hamster never bit anyone else before or after though. I guess she just did not know how to handle hamsters, so make sure you teach that skill. We never had a problem with smell- we changed their bedding/clippings often enough I guess. I do not really remember how often or whatever. We loved them!


    Lynnnn- That is cool about having an animal center- I would love that! The variety of lessons and care taking skills and that would be so cool! What happens if it dies in your classroom though? Yikes, what happens? Do you have to get a new one? I would be worried about that!
     
  8. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    guinea pigs stink. I don't think I could live with the smell. My son has one and uggh. I won't even go inhis room.
     
  9. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    oh yes, some people are very allergic to guinea pigs. Unless they have been around them before they might not even know.
     
  10. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Jul 7, 2010

    i would make sure your schools is OK with having "furry" class pets. my school last year did not allow anything furry; it had somehting to do with creating a bad breathing environment
     
  11. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2010

    I used to work in a district where you had to bring the proof from a vet that mammals had all the required shots, then you had to get permission slips from every parent saying it was ok with them for the pet to be in the room. All the teachers got rid of their furry pets and got fish... (I guess there are too many lawyers in the world.)

    My sons had hamsters. They were really fun, BUT, you have to keep them one to a cage... they'll eat each other unless they were litter mates. Also, female hamsters REALLY STINK. If we ever get another one... it will be a male. If you have them at home... make sure their exercise wheels don't squeek.... it seems REALLY loud at night... :rolleyes:
     
  12. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Jul 11, 2010

    I have hamsters in my classroom, and the kids love them. They won't bite if you have them a wheel to exercise on at night. They need to run about 8 miles a night.

    We have two males in one cage who were not littermates and they do just fine together. Our kids take them out at school and hold them, put them in a ball to roll around the classroom, and take good care of them. They eat a ton, though.
     
  13. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jul 11, 2010

    we've had guinea pig and a rabbit. The guinea pig didn't smell as long as the cage was cleaned every morning. Same with the bunny. Newspaper was the best to use it was quick and easy to clean--just fold it up like it was a dirty diaper! Pet Keeper was one of the daily jobs and entailed filling the water bottle and putting the food in the dish. The teacher has to take care of cleaning the cage. During holidays and long weekends the teacher brought the bunny/guinea pig home. The only time it was stinky was Monday morning when we first opened after the weekend---and the teacher was one of the first in on Monday so she took care of it.
     
  14. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    oooh I just don't think I am up for keeping an animal that I have to clean the cage everyday. I'll stick with my frog and fish.
     
  15. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 13, 2010

    I would check with administration first. Allergies are a real concern.
     
  16. WhatchaDoin?

    WhatchaDoin? Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2010

    I had a hamster when I taught K. I agree about checking for allergies. The pine shavings made my nose a little twitchy - I'm not sure if that is something to consider, as well. I really did enjoy having the critter in the room. I kept him in a glass aquarium. I really worked at keeping his area clean, so the smell was minimal.

    I ran into issues when the hamster died. I chose to tell the students the truth. I had a couple of parents that disagreed with this decission.
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 13, 2010

    When I was in elementary school we had gerbils and they were so much fun to watch. However, you'd probably run into the same problems as with guinea pigs...
     
  18. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 13, 2010

    I have a guinea pig. I do not clean her cage every day and I have a very, very sensitive nose. I scoop out the offending poop a couple of times a week, and do a complete change of bedding about every 10 days. I agree about keeping in an aquarium...little fingers cannot poke an animal and make it defensive that way, and I do believe that it contains the smell a great deal. And the mess...no bedding bits all over the floor.

    I have ALWAYS had a piggie. I am on my 4th one in 16 years of teaching. They are really responsive. Mine squeaks for me as I turn on the lights, and she's learned that the crinkling of plastic wrappers means it's snack time - and she starts to beg...I let the kids, with supervision, give her one bite of whatever they are eating if they bring a fruit/veggie.

    Hamsters are nocturnal. Gerbils and GPs are not. Hamsters are also the most likely to bite of the rodents, GPs the least. General rule, the larger the animal, the more it welcomes handling.

    I do have to have the parents sign a waiver about allerigies before I introduce her to the class each fall.
     
  19. kinderella

    kinderella Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2010

    We have 2 hamsters at home. Separate cages.They don't smell! Easy to take care of. I would just tell kids to keep fingers out of cages as they do tend to nibble.
     
  20. meeko32198

    meeko32198 Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2010

    kimrandy - Do you have a copy of the sheet you have parents sign? Is it something you created or one from your district? I'd like to have a guinea pig for my class pet as well but was unsure what to include in the letter to parents.
     

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