class pets

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lareed, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. lareed

    lareed Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    I just bought 2 new gerbils for my classroom this year! I am so excited because I know the kids will be so excited!

    They are both females. One is a light tannish color and the other is black.

    I want to name the tan one Butterscotch but I am drawing a blank on a good name for the black one.

    Some options I have, but haven't fallen in love with are: Olive, Mocha, and Raven

    I really want to name them two names that go well with each other. I also thought of Dot and Jabber (anyone familiar with that story?) or Whiskers and Squeaker.

    What are your names for either gerbil?
     
  2.  
  3. janney

    janney Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    How about Mocha for the tan one and Espresso for the black.

    You could use naming the gerbil as a class team building activity this year. You could give the students your top three or four choices for names and choose as a class a name for her. You could even get an early idea of their writing ability by having them write about what name they want and why.
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    Congratualtions!

    How about Chocolate, Cocoa, Ebony?
     
  5. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    When I had hermit crabs, I let the kids name them, and they really enjoyed it.
     
  6. Couldntbhappier

    Couldntbhappier Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    How about Chip? :)
     
  7. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 5, 2009

    I would definitely let the class help with this! You could pick the final names and who ever suggested the name you pick win a prize or something.
     
  8. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    Hey lareed - glad to hear you finally got your pets! How's your hubby with them? My husband still says NO. lol
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    65

    Aug 6, 2009

    I just got 2 mice for my room and named them Thelma and Louise. The kids won't get it, but they were running on the wheel like wild women and the names stuck. Normally, when I get new pets I let the kids name them. I had a pair of rats a while back that were about the same colors you described. The kids named the tan one Sugar Baby and the black and white one, Oreo. LOL Kid names. :D
     
  10. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 6, 2009

    Gerbils make such great classroom pets! As long as you make sure you have 2 girls. I learned the hard way to double check. :p

    One pair I had were called Go-jira and Gamera. I chose the names, but the kids loved it once they knew where they came from. So if you would really prefer to choose the names, I'm sure you can sell them on it!! :D
     
  11. lareed

    lareed Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

  12. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    Okay you guys talked me into it. I think I'll get a couple for my classroom too. I'd prefer just one, but they like to have a friend, don't they... *sigh* Mice actually might be better 'cause they don't need as much room. ?

    lareed - I tried to view your pics but it didn't work. It was asking me for a user's name and password! ??

    Hey wait... should I wait until school starts to see if any of my kids have allergies? Did you guys do that and check with parents or did you just go for it?
     
  13. newteachfl

    newteachfl Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    I wanted to get a classpet too. I think I've decided on the Frog-o-Spheres from Brookstone. Easy to take care of, and no need to worry about allergies kids might have.

    Just a thought.
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Aug 6, 2009

    I had a class hamster once upon a time. We named him Lovey, before we ever got him. There was a whole project behind this.
     
  15. lareed

    lareed Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

  16. ZookeeperVA

    ZookeeperVA Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    I have heard that rats are very good pets for a classroom because they are very social and clean and they don't bite. They work best in pairs and are pretty easy to take care of. Check your school handbook and be sure you are allowed to have a class pet or if you need approval first:)
     
  17. Just_Beginning2

    Just_Beginning2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    lareed... have you ever read the Chapter book the World According to Humphrey? I read it to my kids and they absolutely love it.. it is actually about a class pet that is a hamster but could relate to your class taking care of their gerbils and there are other books in the series (I haven't read them) but the kids really love them.

    Orea is definitly cute... I had a friend who had a black gerbil named chocolate chip but they called him Chip, which I thought was cute too
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Aug 6, 2009


    Rats are great. The pre-school where I did my student teaching had a rat named Lucy. She was VERY well-behaved. The kids would hold her and play with her.

    Just be careful with gerbils-they bite! (We had them as a class pet in 3rd grade.)
     
  19. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    My kids have always named out pets, too. We've had Sugar and Marshmallow, both white hamsters. We had a couple of frogs, too-Frog and Toad. They named my bunny Thumper, but I've always called him Bunny. We had a guinea pig for a while-it was black and they named him Midnight.

    I think pets make a classroom so happy!!
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    6,699
    Likes Received:
    65

    Aug 6, 2009

    Here's my two mice. They love the wheel, which is hilarious to me. My rats would never get on the wheel. (I've had 4 or 5 sets of rats.) The gold one is Thelma, and the black and white one is Louise.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. lareed

    lareed Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    Christyf-that pic is so cute! So far only my black gerbil will run on the wheel. The tan one is more shy altogether.

    DrivingPigeon-I had gerbils when I was a kid and they never bit, and the one's I have now haven't yet either...but I will make sure to watch for it. I know if you wake them up they will be more likely to bite. I already have rules typed out and displayed in my room next to their cage.
     
  22. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    We got two koi last year and they will be class pets again when I take them back to school. Their names are Flop and Meat. This class will continue training them like last year's class did. We have a FishSchool kit that has all the goodies to teach them amazing tricks!
     
  23. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    I remember a while back someone posted about using webkinz for their class pet. I thought that was a cute idea- if you cannot have an actual pet in the classroom.
     
  24. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 6, 2009

    How cute! I love gerbils. My daycare kiddos have a hamster. We voted on the name together, and Marshmallow won. He is a really lucky hamster....he could have ended up as Mr. Maracas or TRex.
     
  25. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 7, 2009

    lol @ Space. Yeah, I heard the kids named a lizard a few years ago and he ended up being called "P-Diddy." I'm sure if I had a girl anything, they would name her Hannah Montanna. lol I don't care though. It's all kind of hilarious to me.

    lareed and Christy - your gerbils and mice are really cute! And I love the Thelma and Louise names. You need to get them a tiny blue convertable and stick it in there! lol

    I also liked the "Lucy the rat" story because I'd prefer to get a rat for those reasons. But if you visit the "rat forums" - those people get super mad if you want to keep classroom pets. They argue that you can't give an animal the room they need, a lot of teachers only get one and they need a friend, and the care will be poor. Part of me is like, "Yeah..." and another part of me is like, "Uh, it's a RAT."
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 7, 2009

    The only time my rats have bitten my own kids is when they stuck their fingers in the cage. I think many times these rats are cage fed (fed through the bars) and rats can't see too well. I had to really train my students to know that they cannot stick their fingers in the cage. Really it only happened twice at home and after that the rats got used to having someone pet them this way but I was super cautious about this.

    Really rats are very friendly and social but my very favorite part...they are easy to CATCH. The other furry creatures have sent me spinning through the room trying to catch them.

    One of my rats I would approach it and stay STOP and the rat would look up at me and I would cautiously bend over and pick him up (ie, I didn't make sudden moves or that might startle him). Really all three of my rats are easy to catch.

    One of my rats likes to play games with me. He hides his rat food in my closet (I let them roam around in my walk in closet while I work on their cage). If I "catch" him doing it, he changes the location of the food. He'll be still, look at me and wait for me to turn so he can go do it. What's even funnier is he will come to me and BEG for the food. I give him one and he'll wait for me to turn my head. Of course I can see what he is doing but he doesn't know that.

    I brought my rats home with me everyday though. They would roam my van and one of them would just sit on my shoulder as I drive. Okay, maybe this wasn't the safest thing for them but they really are social.

    Rats are fun but I wouldn't say they are easy to take care of. You do have to change their litter pretty frequently (1-2 times a week). You should change the layout of their cage semi-frequently as well. That's the fun part though and sometimes kids get into that and it teaches them how to repurpose things. Rats need changes in their environment for stimulation. My first Rat was litter trained. Then I heard they need friends so I got 2 more. The other 2 rats were not litter trained. The other two rats were babies. I never could figure out how to litter train them. So this meant they were a bit messier with their poop. If you change the litter often, it doesn't really matter.

    They should eat rat food for a complete nutrition but they also can eat most anything humans can eat. This leads to class experiments and science recording logs. They cannot eat lettuce (poisonous) and they should not eat red meat. Otherwise they really do love table scraps. My kids love to feed the rats.

    Oh, and we grew a trash can garden for the rats (individually) to roam in. That was fun.
     
  27. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 7, 2009

    I've had all kinds of class pets and gerbils are by far my favorite. I've never had one bite but I also don't let the students hold them (petting is okay) because gerbils are good jumpers and might take off. Gerbils don't get scared easily so they aren't likely to bite. I think the best part about gerbils is that unlike hamsters they are diurnal, so you get to see them run around and play.

    I put the same mix of materials my local pet store uses in their gerbil cages and it was so cool to watch them dig tunnels and caves underground. They could still be seen through the glass cage.

    I also had mice and my experience was that they were stinky. They were super cute, but not as easy to take care of as gerbils.
     
  28. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 7, 2009

    I agree that gerbils are the best class pet. My students just pet them as well. Students can bring in toilet and paper towel tubes, boxes and pieces of cardboard for them to chew. I saw a really neat idea how to feed the gerbils. Instead of using a feed dish, you use 3 ox Dixie cups. Each gerbil gets their own Dixie cup of food a day. They get their food and a chew toy in one! It really works and is also a good way for the kids to help take care of the pet.

    I also agree that mice stink! One trick when I had mice is that when you clean their cage leave a little bit of the old bedding in the cage. If I didn't do that the mice stink was worse!

    Good luck to everyone with their class rodents!
     
  29. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2009

    Okay but do you HAVE to have TWO gerbils? Would it be horrible and mean to just get one? I'm just thinking two would need more space, etc. I'd prefer to have one small cage. Also, one would be less clean-up/maintenance and easier to cart home over the weekends.

    And by the way, CnG - it's nice to hear from you again. You disappeared there for awhile! Did you get the job?? :hijack:
     
  30. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 8, 2009

    Yep! I'm a Kindergarten teacher! I disappeared for part of the summer because I was taking intensive summer courses.
     
  31. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2009

    THAT'S GREAT! Congratulations!! :celebrate: Are you at the school for the deaf or gen ed? And regarding your rats, how big of a cage did you have them at school? Will you be taking them to your new classroom?
     
  32. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2009

    I guess you couldn't name it Schnapps? ;)

     
  33. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 8, 2009

    I'm still at the same school (deaf school). We moved to a brand new building so I will be a brand new teacher in a brand new classroom :D

    I will not be taking the rats to school. Two of my rats started losing hair. It mostly has come back but the vets here will not touch rats. Otherwise they seem healthy and fine but obviously something made that happen. So we are taking care of them at home instead. Those are the two my children saved from being snake bait. The rats weren't even displayed as pets. The kids would have enjoyed them. My other one died of old age (3-4 years life span). That's the one I will really miss bringing into the classroom. He was great! He was the size of a guinea pig (add a tail of course). He was a sandy brown color and everyone thought he was an oversized hamster. I had 2 cages. One was a smaller tower cage that was actually a converted bird cage. The other one is a larger 3 story wider cage kept at home.

    Some things I did to make the birdcage have more room:

    I attached the bottom of a baby wipes container to the side of the cage (mid-level) with tie wraps to creat a bed.

    I took a corner shelf peice from the bathroom that has suction cups to help secure it through the bars. This became another platform area.

    I put cardboard tubes and other toys in the bottom for chewing and hiding.

    I put a bird ladder in the cage for climbing but my rats just use the bars from the cage for that and the ladder for chewing.

    If you really want a good cage and have a little skill, try converting a bookcase into a cage. They have plans for that all over the internet. That gives the rats more room to run and play and the kids can see them better. Just be sure to pay attention to the saety instructions on how to make them fit for rats.

    My rats were quickly trained that if we form a human circle, not to climb over it. The younger rats will try it but they don't just jump, run and escape like most furry critters. The older one just sniffed, knew and respected the boundary. So the kids were able to form a circle with their legs (while sitting), put food in the middle and watch. Of course the rats were usually more interested in the wide open circle and we petted them instead. Then fed them in the cage and watched (as a backup).

    They are fun and fun-loving creatures with proper love and attention. They aren't, however, in my opinon the most low maintenance pets. That award goes to fish or webkin animals. Rats are more like dogs and cats. They require a little bit of work but are extremely affectionate (if socialized with frequently). I heard guinea pigs are much the same way. They need lots of attention to be really happy.

    Gerbils are probably less maintence but I've never had them so I don't know. Just don't let them escape. They do take up less room though.. Plus they look cute in those wheels. My rats wouldn't touch a ball or wheel. Darn it.

    Whatever animal you decide on, make it a part of your curriculum. Pets are excellent for motivating learners. We made books about them, kept science observation journals, grew a trash garden and so much more.
     
  34. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,598
    Likes Received:
    35

    Aug 8, 2009

    The black one could be named Licorice. Just think, they're named after candies and you could have the only 2nd grade students who can spell licorice correctly.
     
  35. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2009


    Gerbils do really well in pairs; they are pretty social. I had my girls in a 10 gallon tank at first; then I upgraded with a tanktopper and a final upgrade to a 20 gallon tank. They seemed pretty comfortable in all three set ups. They are very funny to watch; they play together and groom each other.

    That being said, I have also had single gerbils, and they did not seem miserable.
     
  36. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 8, 2009

    Two gerbils are best. They thrive on the attention of the other. A ten gallon is suitable. If they are properly caged and have adequate food and water you can leave them at school over the weekends. I did it with four gerbils and nothing ever happened. It might be easier on you if you have a tank at home and a tank at school. That worked well for me and the gerbils. Each tank was identical. I even do that with my bearded dragon.
     
  37. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2009

    Well here's an ironic story...

    My husband and I were driving around yesterday and I told him to stop at PetsMart so I could check out gerbils. He was reluctant but said okay. On the way inside, we noticed it was "pet adoption time" and they had cats and kittens in cages outside the store. Anyway we go inside and they have three gerbils left and they're all white - which I didn't want. So as we're leaving we pass by the cats again.

    My husband really likes cats. I started joking that we should get a cat. He didn't really look at them. So I talked him into going to our local animal shelter just to check them out.

    BAD IDEA. We are now the proud owners of a 3 month old black kitten named, "Jedi." lol oops

    So now getting a gerbil seems like overkill. Maybe I'll just take the kitten in once in awhile to show the kids.
     
  38. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 9, 2009

    Enjoy your new baby. I would love a new kitty but the rest of our pets would complain.

    When I did a bug unit one year I had a fish tank full of crickets. The kids loved them and we would feed them from left-over snacks. At the end of the year one family took them home to feed their snake.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 422 (members: 2, guests: 398, robots: 22)
test