Classroom pets

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by Mrs.Bran, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    Jul 23, 2008

    I was wondering how many of you have pets in your classrooms. What type, and how do you manage it? I would love to get a hamster for my class, but need to know how to handle it with the kids.
    Thanks!
     
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  3. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    Jul 23, 2008

    I haven't had a classroom pet, but this is only my second year of teaching. I remember in 2nd grade our class had a pet hamster named MC Hamster and the teacher would let us take it home on weekends. I thought that was really cool, but I don't know if I'd want to do that with my class. Hamsters would make a nice classroom pet though. I thought about having my ball python as a classroom pet, but I don't think the idea would get accepted primarily because of the energy cost with the heat lamp and lights. A fourth grade teacher at my school had tadpoles and the students were real excited about caring for them and watching them grow.
     
  4. sweidl

    sweidl Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I have 3 hermit crabs as well as fish during the school year. The hermit crabs are very easy to take care of and extremely low maintenance. The kids like holding them, but I only let them hold them when the room is quiet. The fish can be easy to take care of if you take good care of the tank and make sure you have good water quality. I had a suckerfish last year, and because of that, I only had to clean the tank twice during the entire year. I use an automatic fish feeder on the weekends and I also drop in "weekend/vacation feeders" for christmas break and spring break. I am seriously considering bringing in a small turtle this year too. Some people don't like to go through the hassle of having pets, but I am a HUGE pet lover and enjoy having them in the classroom. The kids love it too....it makes their room "cooler" than the rest of the other 5th grade rooms. :)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I'm bad with class pets. Had a fish tank- that worked OK except for the occasional dead one, also what to do with them in summer- I dont have a tank at home so sent home with kids every year, tank eventually sprung a leak so I was done with that. Tried 'grow a frog' this year- was going well, brought home over Christmas break and it died- kind of hard to explain to the second graders that the frog died at my house. No more for me.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jul 24, 2008

    This year I have a pet rat (I had 2 last year, but the mom had to be put to sleep) and 2 pet turtles. In the past I've had millipedes, fish, lizards, etc. The kids have jobs with the pets, helping feed, water, and clean. My rats have been very friendly, and at times were allowed to visit at students desks, the turtles are often out and "running" around. I use the pets in a lot of different ways in the classroom. Of course responsibility and kindness are a big part. I also use them for adaptations, story starters, writing (researching how to best take care of them), etc. Class pets can be a lot of fun and very special for the kids. Good luck!
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 24, 2008

    I love my hermit crabs. I have four. The care is a rotating job the kids nearly fight over. I'm almost ready to consider making it a prize or something instead. The hermies are easy to care for as long as you remember to use only bottled/treated water; tap water kills them. We don't usually take them out of the aquarium (I'm always scared they'll scamper away) except when we change the bedding (once every couple/few months). I raffle off holiday crab-sitting privledges. The kids love it.
     
  8. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2008

    Hi Runs ;-)
    Hermit crabs sound like a fun and easy classroom pet to have. Something to think about!
     
  9. garland

    garland New Member

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    Jul 25, 2008

    I think I will get a mouse. That way students can write about it and make stories about it if they want to.
     
  10. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2008

    No, but there used to be a big black lab that lived next door who often came to visit. Some kid would think it funny to let him in and he'd wonder around the hallway and say "hi" until a teacher would send him back out. Very friendly and laid back dog.

    But that was before all the big security concerns.
     
  11. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    My three children convinced me last summer to get two mice. I was unprepared for how bad their cage smelled! I found myself cleaning the cage every other day, because I couldn't stand the smell. One of the mice died about six weeks after we got them; however, the other one is still going strong a year later.

    While cute, she is so skittish that the children have never been able to really hold or play with her.

    I would consider a different classroom pet if I were you...just my :2cents:.
     
  12. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    We have had fish, a trantula, a mouse we caught in the school, a lizard, and a guinea pig all at different times. The kids absolutely loved them all. They begged me to be the ones to take care of them. These were all pets I let the kids bring for a while and sent them back home when they started smelling. (We let the mouse go at the end of the year on the outside of the playground and I think that darn thing was jumping for joy! Every three or four feet he would turn around look at us and jump up and down before he took of scampering again. I am not joking! It was hilarious!!) :)
     
  13. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I have a class bunny. She's so much fun! I tell the kids if they are working on task, Bootz (named by my class) will get out. We close the doors and let her hop around. She's fully litterbox trained so we don't find berries around from her too often. She does chew a lot and has chewed books, cords, and homework. (The kids like that excuse). The kids have jobs feeding her and cleaning out her cage so I don't have to do much. My first year I sent her home with kids on the weekends until she came back with fleas. Now I take her home every weekend and summer. If I leave town for the weekend, I have kids bring notes from home saying they can have her and I do a drawing. She's a lot of fun!
     
  14. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    How do you litterbox train a rabbit? That would be a great pet to have!! :)
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Most rodents are pretty particular about where they do their business. I had a hamster as a kid and he always used the same corner of the cage even after I cleaned it. Maybe it's something like that.
     
  16. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    It's pretty easy. She didn't go far from her cage for a while, then I built an enclosure around her cage. She had a litter box and I put hay on it. When bunnies are in the wild, they like to eat and do their business at the same time so the hay helps with that. Eventually she just learned to go there. It didn't take her too long. For a while she did pee in other places (for some reason she liked our futon which we had to throw out), but this last year she didn't have any accidents.
     
  17. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I want one!!!!! :)
     
  18. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    Jul 27, 2008

    She's great. My kiddos love her. They have to earn her in the fall before I will bring her in. They also know that if their behavior gets out of hand, she will come home with me. She is a lot of work though. (Don't get a male if you get one! They're really aggressive). She was getting too aggressive and was trying to nest into my carpet and tore some up so I got her spayed which cost about $250. I have heard a lot of stories from other teachers who tried bunnies and they didn't work out, but Bootz has been great. She has been kicked several times though because kids forget to watch where they're watching. Here's a picture of her. Bootz
     
  19. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Bootz is very cute!
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2008

    Funny story. When I was student teaching a teacher across the hall had two bunnies in her room. She'd let them out one at a time, but somehow one found its way into the other's cage. All of a sudden there is this terrible screeching noise (very regular timing too) and the kids (1st grade) all ran to see what was going on. How do you explain to 6 year olds that the bunnies aren't hurting each other on purpose? That this is actually like playing bunny games? ;)
     

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