Good classroom pets

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by myKroom, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I'm thinking about getting a classroom pet but I'm not sure what I should get!? I currently teach Kindergarten. I would like to get something that the kids can actually touch and interact with...any good suggestions??
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I think a dog would be the very best classroom pet, but it might not go over very well with admin!!

    Hamster? Rat? guinea pig?
     
  4. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    We had an African Fat Tailed Gecko last year that was pretty cool

    He looked like this...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I have had gerbils and a betta fish. I need to get the betta and bring him home this summer. He is almost 4 years old and I'm afraid he will DIE soon! I don't want that to happen during the school year.

    I think I want to get some kind of turtle or reptile for a class pet next year. I really want a RABBIT but it looks like I am going to have a hard time getting everything I need for supplies, not to mention an actual rabbit. I tried the animal shelter and they said they wouldn't let me adopt a pet for the classroom.
     
  6. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    I would stick to something hairless/furless because of allergies. I have a daughter who's allergic to anything with fur (triggers asthma). Fish, maybe???
     
  7. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    A couple years ago one of our kindergarten teachers had a bunny rabbit named Marshmallow. It was the cutest thing ever! Plus she would let it hop around the classroom at times so the kids could pet and play with it.
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    When I taught Kindergarten one of the kids suggested we get a hamster. So we did a bottle drive to earn enough money for the hamster, supplies & the bus. This was like a 2 or 3 month long project.

    The day of our field trip to go get the hamster, the mother of the student who made the orginal suggestion told me that he was allergic to furry animals!! We stil got the hamster, he just didn't get to play with him.

    While we were the the pet store said that rats make great pets & aren't nocturnal like the hamster is. I can't stand the thought of the rat's tail!:blush:
     
  9. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    We actually do have a school dog!!!! It's actually a really big pain in the you know what!! The kids ALWAYS get distracted!

    I don't really want a fish...I like them but don't want them in my classroom. I really would like a rabbit...I've been researching it a little but need some first hand input! Anyone have a rabbit or know of someone who has one? :)
     
  10. SnowDaisy822

    SnowDaisy822 Companion

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    I have a rabbit in my class. She's awesome and the kids love her! I let her hop around the room when the kids are working well. It's just hard to get the kids to keep the doors closed so she has gotten out a few times, haha. Another teacher in my school had a huge cage for me. I also put in my wish list every year bunny supplies to try to cut down on the costs. She's cost me a lot, but I love having her. I take her home on the weekends and during the summer and my next class has to earn her before I bring her in.
     
  11. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    There is a cat that wanders around our school. It's a siamese, and the kids named him Simey. Every time Simey appears every kid jumps up to go see him through the window!! I have started counting down from 10 when Simey comes and they have to be in their seats again or back to work. That is a fine solution, but I would not recommend any sort of pet that wanders, such as a cat or dog!!
     
  12. Teachingin08

    Teachingin08 Rookie

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    Cockroaches!

    Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are great classroom pets! I had them in my 1st grade classroom during student teaching. They are easy to take care, the kids can handle them, and they don't bite. As far as food, they eat leftovers and could survive for up to a month without food if they had to. I also believe it is good to introduce young children to harmless things that people are often scared of at a young age so that they do not develop an uneducated fear. I know having cockroaches in the room may freak some people out, but I know from experience that the students love them, they don't make much noise, are easy to clean up after, and do not move quickly (which makes for easy handling and capture if a student drops one). I have pictures of the students interacting with the cockroaches if you are interested.
     
  13. mochateacher

    mochateacher Rookie

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    I'm glad this question was asked. I've been thinking about fish or a turtle. There was a first grade teacher at the school where I student taught who had two turtles and her students absolutely loved them. But, I think I may stick with fish as I'm used to caring for fish :).
     
  14. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I would love to have a furry classroom pet, but if I had to bring it home during holidays and on weekends my other pets would not appreciate it. So, I'm checking out insects, fish and other creatures instead. Thanks, Teachingin08, for the tip on the hissing roaches. They look fun!
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I think you should have two types of animals: A nice aquarium w/ pretty fish are nice for people of all ages & fish aren't too much trouble. They're relaxing.

    Rabbits are nice. They're not quite as delicate & small as hamsters or mice, so they're good for little hands.

    I'll never forget this one 2nd gr room I was observing in one day. They had their rabbit running loose in the room! :eek: But, surprisingly, everyone & the rabbit got along harmoniously. The rabbit never accidentally got stepped on nor ever hopped outside of the room. The teacher stated that this teaches the kids that the world isn't a sterile place.
     
  16. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Leopard geckos are easy to care for.
     
  17. Chef Dave

    Chef Dave Companion

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    I'd go with a nice aquarium filled with live plants, colorful rocks, and a sunken ship feature. You could populate the aquarium with colorful neon tetras and a few orange swordtails, a couple of algae eating snails, a fresh water shrimp, and a fresh water clam.

    The reason?

    Some children are allergic to animal hair. Hamsters and guinea pigs make messes that also have to be cleaned and if you're not good about cleaning them on a timely basis, they'll stink.

    You could put turtles in your aquarium provided they had a rock ledge or someplace to crawl out. The turtles could be physically handled by the kids.

    I have always found the burbling sound of an aquarium to be very soothing and have enjoyed watching the fish swim about. When I was a third grade teacher, my students always enjoyed watching the fish eat when it was time for "lunch."
     
  18. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Stuffed animals

    A stuffed animal is the best classroom mascot (pet). They don't stink, you don't have extra work or money involved.

    Before you buy anything be sure and check what your school rules are. Some schools don't allow any live animals in the school building.
     
  19. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    It's a pet you'll actually use money to buy? Interesting. I never thought of buying a cockroach.:woot:
     
  20. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I 've done a fish (hard because of water issues)
    a hamster (smelly, messy, allergies)
    a hermit crab (poor things don't survive)
    a guinea pig (very smelly, very messy, lots of care, allergies)
    a turtle (water issues, worried about kids touching her-she's still at home)

    My best pet ever is my Colorado lizard, "Shadow". The kids love him. I am considering getting a snake for next year.
     
  21. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I'm also leaning towards getting a classroom pet this year. I'm torn between the hissing cockroaches and a guinea pig. Its funny that I'm leaning towards a cockroach because I have always been terrified of bugs! For some reason I think that these would be fun and would maybe help me conquer my fear :) I've also done a lot of research and they seem to be easy to care for.

    I could never have a rat, gerbil, or mouse because the tail freaks me out too much.

    Turtles and reptiles are my thing, but there is always the huge risk of salmonella. Plus, I've had pet turtles before and they are really dirty.
     
  22. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I used to have a pet ball python. They don't get too big and are easy to care for. Corn snakes are also good options. :2up:
     
  23. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    Awww I wish I knew some of you wanted MH Cockroaches. I just gave away practically my entire colony, except for 6 of them. There were simply too many. I gave them to another lady who home schools her son. I'm guessing she's probably going to use some of them as feeders. There's simply too many.

    I'm trying to find a Giant Millipede to put in there, but so far, no luck.

    I have some tadpoles, but the darn things won't turn into frogs. It's been almost 2 months. I'm thinking of releasing them into the creek out back. I think they mailed me duds.
     
  24. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    I am interested in the cockroaches, but I have to check with my P first. Let me know if your population increases and you need to thin the herd.

    Everyone I know (male and female) freaks out because I swat away wasps and bees rather than spray them, touch house spiders, play with snakes and pick up June bugs and palmetto bugs (those giant flying tree roaches). There is one thing I will not touch, however -- millipedes! Bless you for liking them :)



     
  25. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I really, really wanted a rabbit for next year, as I could just imagine having a bunny in the classroom and it seemed so sweet. However, the animal shelter would not adopt to me, as a classroom is not what they consider a good home for a pet. I looked on craigslist, but both the people I called were getting rid of their rabbits because they were biting!!! I don't want to have to get it from the pet store and pay a lot for one. The cage I would need would also be almost $200 as it would need very good locks and be able to stay outdoors. We have raccoons, so we need a good lock.

    I think my hopes of a rabbit are going down the tube... bah!

    (I'm still getting a turtle though!!)
     
  26. peachieteachie

    peachieteachie Comrade

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    I wanted to have my ball python as a classroom pet, but the admin. wouldn't allow it because of the heat lamps :( Bummer! One teacher at my school had tadpoles and the students watched them grow throughout the year.
     
  27. chitownteach

    chitownteach Rookie

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    rabbits in the classroom

    In my opinion, rabbits are not a good choice for younger children. They get easily frightened and do not like being picked up. My bunny, Brownie, is 9 years old, so it's a long-term commitment. I don't think a school is the best choice, as you'd have to take the rabbit home every weekend. When I was younger one of my rabbits had a heart attack and died when a car backfired! Also they should be spayed or neutered or you'll have a spraying bunny and probably a biting bunny. Not fun to clean up or deal with. Here is a great source of information about owning a rabbit. www.rabbit.org

    I've seen it all when it comes to rabbits...many people think they are disposable. :unsure:

    I like the idea of having a Webkin in the classroom.
     
  28. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    I love hedge hogs and fresh water frogs--no allergy problems there!
     
  29. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I would bring my hamster home on the weekends. My cat would sit and stare at it for hours! The hamster died during the summer, the poor cat was so depressed after the hamster died. :( She sat on the table where the hamster cage was & looked so sad.

    I'm really thinking about doing a fish aquariam this fall.
     
  30. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    rofl. I think your cat just wanted to eat the hamster :p Everytime I go to feed the MHC's in the spare room, my cats sneak in right behind me and usually beat me to their cage. :p
     
  31. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    If you go for a reptile, research the cost and the personalities that come to your room. I caught a Bearded Dragon (large lizard) in front of our school last Sept. It would have died during the winter if I hadn't. Someone's parent "lost" that lizard, I'm sure of it. Anyway, when I went to a local reptile store, the guy told me that a Bearded Dragon was the "best" kind of reptile to have. They are cool to watch, very sweet, ate insects & veggies, and they don't mind being handled. So, I kept him.

    Well, my teacher aide wouldn't come in the room if he was there, so he lives at my house right now. Also, Spike really eats mostly crickets and super worms... just a little veggies. The cost of setting him up was :eek: and feeding him isn't cheap either. My 2 boys love him and told me I couldn't take him back to school...ever.

    I would do it again, but don't be fooled about the cost of pet. My Beta is the cheapest pet I've ever had and the students like him. He was just a pain to get to and from school during long weekends and holidays.

    ALSO, I worked for a school district several years ago that required proof of rabbies shots verified by a licensed vet, releases signed by every parent, and an official approval by God. That was only for an animal to visit the classroom.....
     
  32. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Rabbits poop more than any animal I have ever seen!

    I have had rodents (poopy), fish (they died), and a bird (a student developed acute asthma from the bird!!). My long term rodent died after 5 years of cleaning up after him. If I had older kids, I might have a pet, but with little kids, it is just another job for me to do each day. With the rodents, the kids fed and watered them each day, but I was the one who had to clean the cage.

    Check the rules before getting a turtle - I have heard they can carry salmonella.

    I admire anyone who has class pets. I still think a dog would be the best class pet! And then take him home with you each day and weekend!
     
  33. Just_Beginning2

    Just_Beginning2 Rookie

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    Has anyone had a hedgehog as a classroom pet? I am very interested in looking into this....
     
  34. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    A hedgehog would be my second choice...but they are really hard to get around here!!!
     
  35. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I was also considering a hedgehog...hmm.
     
  36. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I'm thinking I will probably have to get over my feeding baby mice to snake phobia then.....:blush:
     
  37. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    crickets have always been something that makes me coil

    I still HATE them, but love my lizard who eats them. YUCKO:unsure:
     
  38. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Where on earth are you purchasing your "pets"?
    I like the idea of getting cockroaches but not sure I'd pay for them. Please tell me the details.:thanks:
    What's the background of the cockroaches? Do you have to fear infestation if you bring them home for the summer and one escapes? When you have two do you then have a million?
     
  39. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I haven't read through all the other posts... but we have a hermit crab. He's our second one this year... we didn't know at first that their cages need to be heated! (Lame pet store for not telling us that when we bought he thing!)... and of the 4 classes who had pets this year, we're the only one who STILL has one. Although he's not particularly social, my kids LOVE Chad anyway ;)
     
  40. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I actually used to make my dad feed him for me...and I couldn't watch:eek: One time Zubie, as my snake was affectionately called, killed the mouse but then wouldn't swallow it because it was too big. I made my dad pick up the dead mouse too. I really did love having him, but I don't know about feeding time!
     
  41. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    I feel so bad about the poor hermit crabs they sell at the mall or even at most pet stores. Hermit crabs need so much more than what they tell you. I finally stopped trying to care for them because I was not being successful. I wouldn't recommend having hermies as pets-it's too sad. :(
     

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