New classroom pet an opportunity for learning

West Jefferson Hills School District  |  Posted on

Students in Ms. Brody’s classroom at Jefferson Hills Intermediate School recently welcomed a new classroom pet! After reading books from the According to Humphrey series about the adventures of a classroom hamster, Ms. Brody’s students were convinced that they needed their own “Humphrey.”

To state their case, Ms. Brody gave the students the opportunity to research how to care for hamsters and provide data on what they would need in the classroom to safely provide for their pet. Students began gathering facts on the internet about what hamsters like to eat, how often their cages need to be cleaned, and what kind of toys they like. According to Ms. Brody, “The biggest selling point for us was that they don’t eat bugs!” After they completed their research, the students presented their “pet” project to Mr. Very and Mrs. Merwin, and received approval to proceed! Students then made a list of exactly what the class would need to purchase for their pet hamster, and Ms. Brody successfully applied for a “Pets in the Classroom” grant to provide the necessary funds.

Students love having Humphrey in the classroom, and he even made a special appearance at recess in his little hamster ball! In terms of the educational value, Ms. Brody plans to have her students read aloud to Humphrey in small groups to boost confidence and literacy skills as well as gain responsibility by caring for Humphrey. What a great learning experience for all!