Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Classroom Pets

Meet Valentine. He's our current classroom pet.  I firmly believe in keeping pets in the classroom, although I've found that some are better suited to the environment than others.  For one thing, you want one who can be left alone over the weekend and not need daily feeding.  For another, it helps if the pet can be handled by the children (although it's not mandatory.) 

I've found the guinea pig to be the best overall, next to the rabbit.  I'd stay away from hamsters as they tend to be more nocturnal and less active during the day, and the kids love to watch their pet in action.  Gerbils like Valentine are fine as long as little fingers don't poke through the bars (gerbils will try to "taste" them to see if they're edible).  Also, the kids are eager to bring him treats like raw carrots and apples.

Of course, for week long vacations and holidays, you have to take the animal home with you.  Otherwise, this is a great opportunity for children to learn about other species other than dogs and cats.

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