Students Get to Know Roz the Hamster

Students Get to Know Roz the Hamster
Posted on 02/08/2019
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Third graders in Mrs. Jackson’s class are excited to welcome Roz - a furry, white hamster - to their room. Named after the robot character Roz from the book “The Wild Robot,” Roz has already brought great joy to many observers during her first days. Students will be busy in the coming weeks learning how to care for Roz in terms of cage maintenance and food/water needs, while also observing her eating and sleeping habits. Students will also read about the habitat and behaviors of hamsters in books Mrs. Jackson has selected from the library. Plans are also underway to soon acquire a rolling cage ball for Roz, so that she can safely engage with students, while rolling herself around the room as they work.

“Having an animal in the classroom helps our students to develop a sense of responsibility. They enjoy having a creature to care for, and quickly develop a deep curiosity and sensitivity about an animal’s needs,” says Mrs. Jackson. “An animal provides a prop for almost every lesson, from science to literature to math. Students remember lessons and examples so much better when we have a real example to refer to. Roz also allows me to help continue building a sense of connection and family between students and our classroom. They spend almost more time here than they do at home when we are in session, so it’s important that we do special things to keep their interest here. Many kids will never get to have a hamster at home. This is a fun way to make the classroom more engaging and more interactive.”

Students have been confused and then excited to learn that she is mostly nocturnal, as she is most active when they first arrive in the morning, and then in the late afternoon. Mrs. Jackson describes how students enjoy “checking” on Roz during breaks between lessons. They know to not disturb her, but enjoy walking to her cage and watching closely for when her behavior changes.

Roz was provided to Mrs. Jackson’s classroom by a gracious donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

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