class pet?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by karalotta, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. karalotta

    karalotta Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2006

    What class pet do you have/have had in the past?

    I am thinking about getting some hermit crabs. Any suggestions?
     
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  3. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Aug 18, 2006

    I am simply not a pet person. When I taught pre-K we did have hermit crabs. The only thing is that they are nocturnal, so they really aren't all that interesting after a while!

    I had a fish one year. His name was Little Bowwow. The class voted on the name. I was so disappointed that this one won. I was rooting for Johnny Appleseed.

    I really like the IDEA of a classroom pet, but I just don't handle pets well. Even fish!
     
  4. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I had a parakeet for a while. One of the kindergarten teachers didn't want the bird anymore so i offered to take her home. I kept her in my classroom for a week though, just for fun. The kids enjoyed the bird and even wrote some journals.
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I don't like pets in the classroom. They make the room stink. They cause extra work. I'm not a pet person either.

    I love plants in the room. They make the room healthy and homey.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I have many pets. What you have depends on several factors, what pets do you like, how much time do you want to spend daily, do you mind bringing them home in the summer or on long vacations, and what are you scared of. I have 2 box turtles (Sheila and Chance), one red-eared slider (Lucky - he's a water turtle), a giant African Millipede (Legs), and I just added fish (no names yet but they've already multiplied even though I bought them all out of the female guppy tank!!). I am adding a frog this year. In the past I've had a couple of sets of rats and loved them. I don't know if I'm going to add them again this year. I don't want to buy them from the pet store (they are too old and hard to train). During the year we have "visitors" that students bring in. This past year I had a snake (2 actually one was brought in by a student, one was caught in the cafeteria), frogs, turtles, a sugar glider, and a chick. I use the pets to teach the students about responsibility. They are taught how to feed them and help clean their cages. They also become part of our science lessons as we learn about habitats, adaptations, and food chains. I am very comfortable dealing with the pets and they come home with me for the summer (I live about a mile from the school so I can easily take care of them during holidays). The only one we have to watch for smell is the water turtle. Anytime you have water and expose it to the sun you have algae growth. For him, that growth is fine and I let a small amount, but I have to change his water weekly because it can smell. Other than that, they are fine and easy to deal with.
     
  7. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I am having hermit crabs this year. I think they are easy to care for and bring home. I had a tree frog last year, but he died when we had an unexpected snowstorm on a Sunday night. No one knew it was coming and therefore, I did not bring him home. He ran out of water even though we filled up the dish before we left on Friday. I also hated having to get crickets for him.
     
  8. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I just added a lizard to my menagerie. Unfortunately, one of my hermit crabs just died. They are not as easy to care for as one would believe. Just make sure you keep them moist and they have salt water with sand they can burrow in. You may even consider putting a warming pad on the tank too.
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I have always had a guinea pig. My kids love him (or at times, it has been a her). I've also been fortunate to have custodians that will feed him/her when schools are closed for snow (they still have to come in and shovel). My one hint - do not buy a cage with wire bars. Kids can stick their fingers in, the animal feels harrassed, and bites happen. A large aquarium is the safest bet for a rodent.
    Kim
     
  10. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Aug 19, 2006

    I have a gerbil but the kiddos don't touch him. They just like to watch him run on his wheel and chew on the paper towel rolls. I also have two fish and they are easy because I can fee them every two days or so.
     
  11. skiteach

    skiteach Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2006

    tadpoles

    Hi-
    A few of our classrooms had tadpoles during the last couple of months of school. We trained the kids how to clean the tank 2x per week, then set up a Tadpole Cleaner Schedule, where 2 student volunteers would be scheduled to clean the tank during the beginning of recess (then teachers didn't have to do it!). I had a rotating schedule so that everyone who wanted a tun to be a Tadpole Cleaner got to do it. They liked that responsibility. I thought the tadpoles were great. We could really see them grow. When they grow into frogs, you can keep them or some classes let them go in a nearby pond. Some tadpoles died, the kids weren't too traumatized (I was worried!!)--we had a student be an official "tadpole funeral director" and would respectfully bury any floaters in the playground bushes.
    I would recommend getting a pet that your students can take an active responsibility in taking care of ---it's not your pet---it's theirs! Also, if students do clean any sort of tanks, make sure they wear gloves---tanks can get gross.
     
  12. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2006

    A good pet to get is a rat :) They are very social creatures, and it's necessary to interact with them often or they get lonely and won't socialize well. They are also very smart, so you can train them to come to you. Like any animal, they bite when they are defensive, BUT this is only usually when someone comes at them fast or behind them (their eyesight is very poor).

    However, it's quite an investment. The rat itself is cheap, but you need a two level cage made from metal with a metal bottom. If that cage is small, they would also need another play area cage. The cages become quite an investment. You would have to socialize with them for at least an 1 hr a day too.

    Because of the expense, I'm just going to get a beta fish :p
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    I have had every pet under the sun in my classroom. I now have a bearded dragon. The kids love her. She is my pet that I bring back and forth to school. I am able to teach them geography (beardies come from Australia) nutrition (beardies are omnivores like us) and correct reptile husbandry. I have made songs up about her and we sing to her every morning.
     
  14. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Aug 20, 2006

    All this pet talk reminds me of Upsadaisy's AWOL Houdini from last February! I had to go reread the thread!! That teacher with 30 or 40 mice...I wouldn't get a class pet if you PAID me, especially after all that last year...
     
  15. lw3teach

    lw3teach Companion

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    Aug 20, 2006

    This year, we will be having an albino frog in the room. It has these red eyes and it's pretty cool.
    I think that a pet is great for teaching kids about the importance of a life and taking care of it.
    I am fortunate also, to have a pet store on the corner, so if I need crickets or food, it is not hard to get!
     
  16. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    I raised guinea pigs for 7 years. they are great for younger chidren. They are docile. They hardly bite and they are smart if you play with them. they are adorable. Terry G.
     
  17. benemma

    benemma Rookie

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    I was thinking about getting one. Our director isn't big on them, but as long as I take care of it, I'm sure she wouldn't care. Would have to be something that kids aren't typically allergic to. I was thinking a beta, but I don't know.....
     
  18. hillsidefogo

    hillsidefogo Companion

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    I have had guppies in my classroom for years. they are livebearers so the children get to see the tiny babies and to watch them grow. They are great fish to keep, they don't mind a greater range in temperature and do very well on the weekend food blocks when I'm gone.

    I set up the breeder trap several times a year to catch the babies and let the children watch them grow, otherwise I just let nature take it's course-some babies get eaten but usually 2 or 3 will hide well until they get too big to be someone's lunch. I have not had to buy fish in 3 or 4 years although occassionally I will buy a new female or male to keep the genes varied.
     
  19. smile

    smile Companion

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    I have had beta fish for the past couple of years. The fish stays in class during the weekdays. I send the fish home over the weekend/holidays. The kids/parents help clean the water/bowl.

     
  20. kteach618

    kteach618 Rookie

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    anyone ever had a hamster? i let the kids vote on a class pet (i made the list) and despite my every effort to make frog, snail, and fish sound awesome, hamster won. I told them that I would see if the store had any and if they didn't we'd get a tank. But I think hamsters are cool, I just don't want my room to smell...
     
  21. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    I had a hamster last year. As`long as you change the shavings every week or so you should be okay. I also had a glass tank vs. an open wire habitat. Sorry to say our pet escaped and although she turned up two days later she quickly became ill and died (another teachable moment) I am getting a dwarf hamster this year.
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Personally I like rats the best out of all the rodents. My sister had a flying squirrel for three years. It passed away last Monday.

    This year I am going to bring Mya my dog to school with me. I'm lucky none of the kids are allergic. And it a small school so they said it was ok.

    I may get the little kids a pet rat. I can take my mom's cage.
     
  23. Teacher13

    Teacher13 Rookie

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    Sep 4, 2006

    Turtles, fish, frogs, hermit crabs

    None for me this year though.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We had several pets last year. It was a great motivational and academic tool. Science wise we learned about the animals. The children learned to make predictions about which veggies the rabbit (for ex) would eat and log it. Then after testing the hypothesis, they would share what actually happened against their predictions. They kept writing journals (they had to write something about what the animal was doing before they were allowed to hold them). This is a first grade class. We learned about how to tell the difference between female and male guppies. They researched zoo animals and made posters (before we went to the zoo). They learned about the habitat of toads (we paired 2 kids to 1 toad). We learned about not disturbing the habitats and having hands that are relatively germ free for amphibians. There are a lot of concepts that were covered. It was great.
     

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