What Pet Should We Get?

This week has been non-stop prep for Open House. Does everyone stress about Open House or is it just me?!?!? It's silly to worry so much about it, right? It's only an hour, the kids are always excited to show their parents around no matter what, and the parents always love it too. 

My goal this weekend is to not stress about it. (Our Open House is on Wednesday next week...)

Then of course, Spring Break! I can't wait!!!

Anyways, I've been doing my best to incorporate the Common Core standards into my curriculum this year. (Did your district adopt them yet???)

I had this brilliant idea what I thought was a brilliant idea at the time idea walking into school the other morning, and scrambled to make it happen before school started. We were going to do some opinion writing. (Like persuasive writing, but for whatever reason they call it "opinion writing" in the primary grades...)  

The kids were going to writing to this prompt:

In your opinion, what pet should we get?  

And oh boy, did this start some complete and utter chaos buzz and chatter. 

We talked about how an opinion is something that cannot be proved; it's something you think, but not everyone else has to agree. (I've talked about this a million times this year, but it never stuck....It did today, though!) 

And I wanted them to make an informed decision about the pet they choose to write about, so....

I posted QR codes for different websites; some about hamsters as pets, some about beta fish, and some about hermit crabs.

This kids walked around with their iPods and read about each pet. 

And oh my goodness..... I have never seen them so excited about anything in my whole entire life. :-)

They were talking, discussing, excited, arguing, reading, and writing about what pet we should get (Everything a teacher wants to see happening!!!!)

I heard things like:

"We should get a hermit crab because they can hang onto your shirt while you walk around"


"We should get a hamster because they're cute and fuzzy and eat vegetables." 


"The hermit crabs are really cheap. I'll have my mom buy it for our class!" 


"We shouldn't get a hamster because they're nocturnal so they'll sleep all day and we won't even be able to see it because it'll be sleeping all day."


"We should get a hermit crab because you can teach them to do tricks!" (I'm not sure about that!?!?!...but whatever???) 

No one was interested in the fish. Poor fish. Oh well. 

Anyways, it was one of those moments where I just stepped back and wished the principal or superintendent or the secretary or a parent or someone, anyone would come in to see what was going on. No one did, but still. I'm sharing it with you, and you can appreciate the beauty of this, right? :) 

But now, here's my delema. We have to get a class pet. I should've thought this through better. I don't want a class pet. That means I'll have to take care of it. And keep it alive. And I don't have a very great track record of keeping things alive in our classroom. (This does not include kids!!!!) It does include two tadpoles belly up in the tank, 23 very dead flowers that we each planted for mothers day that never made it home, and an ant farm that lasted for about four hours. I'm nervous about this. I think I would be okay with the hermit crabs. They seem easy. I'm not sure about the hamster, though. A little bit they creep me out. (Don't judge me!!!) Something about their resemblance to mice and rats... 

But I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I wasn't about to tell them that we weren't going to get a pet at the end of all this. As Reagan would say, I don't want to be a dream squasher! And if it motivates them to write, then fine. I can live with that. I just hope I can keep the darn pet alive. 

On Monday we'll start the prewrite and continue to persuade, or give our opinion, or whatever it is about what pet we should get. I can't wait to see where this goes. 

My helper thought it was ridiculous that I didn't include corgis as one of our pet choices... 

Anyways, do you have a class pet??? Any suggestions...???? What have I gotten myself into...??? 

Happy weekend!!! 



  1. I loved reading about your dilemma. Isn't it great how it was all based on a real live reason to read and write though? :) Good luck!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Oh my word!! Look at all the learning and excitement happening in those pictures! Kuddos to you - that looks awesome! :) I love the QR codes. Do all of your students have iPods?

    I don't have a class pet nor do I want one haha. But I vote for the hermit crabs - they seem pretty easy to care for! :)

    Second Grade Sugar and Spice

  3. Love how the kids are rationalizing it!

    For class pets, I've seen everything from gerbils, to fish, turtles, snakes, crabs, and hamsters.

    My vote would be the crabs!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  4. No class pet here, district won't allow squirrels-

    But I totally suggest the hermit crab.
    I love hamsters, but if "something" happens to the crab- very easy to find a twin!!!!

    Going Nutty!


  5. I have had hermit crabs for 2 years. They're pretty low maintenance and easy to keep alive. The nice thing about them is that they're cheap, so if they die, it's no big deal. (Just buy another one and tell the kids the crab has changed shells--they'll never know!)

  6. We aren't allow to have any pets! Ugh! I know right! It is totally sad because I would have a whole zoo in my classroom if I could!

  7. I did something like this one year and then felt obligated to get a class pet. I got one of those "invisible dogs" and the class was hilarious with it.

  8. Just say NO to class pets! I am the dream squasher after all!!! I had a beta fish in the classroom one time for a year. It was pretty ok except it would stink and I would have to clean it. Somehow he lived a long time. Nothing else seems to stay alive for me either....ok except for those students. They aren't even getting sick this year and giving me a day off. darn.
    Anyway! I love that you gave me a shout out! how exciting!!!
    I also really really appreciate your house feedback. I have been in dumpsville with the rejection of all the buyers...I appreciate your words!

  9. Oh my gosh...those QR codes are AWESOME!!! We were not allowed to have class pets...and I don't think I would want to have a class pet. Great post:)