Monday, September 4, 2017

Life Cycles....Cycles of life...

     As I begin preparing for another fun year of
learning in our first grade classroom, I naturally reflect over the previous year. The highs, the lows, the ups and the downs of last year led me to remembering that on my son's birthday we lost our entire tank of beautiful Brook Trout. Definitely a low for all of us here at Lack Tuscarora! But in the true spirit of our school, we planted our trout in our school garden seeking to help the students see that life truly goes on in cycles.  We must endure them all...
    Mr. Hart's flowers benefited from the burial of our trout. The trout were planted in a line where the marigolds are growing. The Indians were on to something for sure! Last week on the first day of school we planted alfalfa and grass seeds. The alfalfa sprouted first with the grass following. Again this year we will fertilize our plants with our brook trout that do not survive. However, I am truly hoping never to have to hold a burial of our entire tank of trout 11 days before our release date.


  The students were so excited to see the seeds sprout.

    At the foundation of learning about life cycles, is the concept of change... Learning to accept change can be difficult for us all, but the results can be something truly amazing. Mr. Mitchell, our new principal, brought us this jar containing a caterpillar and some milk weed. I brought it home over the holiday weekend expecting to replenish the milk weed. However, that was unnecessary as it began to build its chrysalis on Saturday. I cannot wait to show the students on Tuesday! This year we will not only release trout, but hopefully a monarch butterfly that we have yet to name.
     Our trout tank is eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Brook Trout eggs due the first week of November. Another year of adventures in learning await as we learn how to navigate the cycles of life while learning first hand about life cycles! Check back to share our journey.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Thank You Penns Creek TU Chapter 119 AND Lost Creek Trout Club

Penns Creek TU donated T-shirts to my first grade class. They truly are wonderful sponsors!

It will be hard to convince the students to release fingerlings next year after releasing these beauties! Thanks for saving the day Lost Creek Trout Club...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 13, 2017 Trout Release at Lost Creek

What an awesome day we had at the Lost Creek Golf Course and stream releasing the trout donated by Lost Creek Trout Club! Thanks goes to our wonderful community for making this day happen for the students of Lack Tuscarora Elementary School and Juniata High heart is full!

This was our ninth trout release participating in Trout in the Classroom through our sponsors Penns Creek Trout Unlimited. They have been a wonderful group to work with over the years and have had a tremendous impact on the streams of Mifflin and Juniata Counties. This program would not exist today in our school without this group of anglers!

 Thank you parents and students of Lack Tuscarora Elementary for braving the weather which held out better than expected and for embracing our efforts! I greatly appreciate the help and support of Mrs. Jessica Morgan and the students of Juniata High School who taught a valuable lesson on stream conservation and assisted Penns Creek Trout Unlimited with our release, fly-casting, and macro-invertebrate study. Shout-outs to Michelle Lauver from Cocolamus Creek Disposal for our lesson on recycling and Mr. Lucas Book for his lesson on the importance of trees to the health of a stream.

 It is my hope that the students will realize the precious natural and human resources we have in our community and that they will be inspired to protect them for the future. A final word of thanks to the members of Juniata Watershed Alliance  and the Juniata Conservation District for their vision to make stream conservation a priority for our community beginning with the efforts at the Lost Creek Golf Course. Here are a few pictures of the day...

  these smiles....

are the reason I love this program!

and a link to a video...
If this looks like fun to you... Juniata Watershed Alliance would love to have you be a part of our efforts to enact our vision for Lost Creek providing for our students authentic opportunities for stream conservation within our community. Please feel free to reach out to us through our Facebook page to see how you can be a part of local efforts.

Our Vision Statement:
We envision a healthy and beautiful stream that enhances and reflects the spirit of our rural community and its carefully stewarded landscape.

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 2, 2017

May 2 is usually an exciting day for me as it is my son's birthday. However, last Tuesday, May 2, was a disheartening day at Lack Tuscarora Elementary. We had 119 beautiful fish as you can see from the pictures below in other posts but a 2 hour power outage on Tuesday was more than they could endure...we lost the entire tank of Brook Trout.

We had a burial for them on Wednesday in our school garden and then I began frantically trying to find a way to make sunshine from our rainy day...Thankfully Lost Creek Trout Club has come to our rescue providing adult trout for our students to put in the stream on our release day which is scheduled to be this Saturday, May 13. What a whirlwind of emotions the last week has been. I am thankful for the willingness of Lost Creek Trout Club to come to our rescue. I am always amazed at how our community rallies together to make this event a success...
   We have moved our event this year to the Lost Creek Golf Course to highlight real-life conservation efforts in our community brought about by our newly formed watershed group Juniata Watershed Alliance of which I am the President. I believe our students this year had a first hand lesson on how fragile the balance of life can be.
    On a positive note...we will have our book on display! Hoping that we get all the rain out of our system this week and praying for a sunny day next Saturday! Check back to see some pictures from the day!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Final Countdown!

With only 11 days left until...

our trout release at Lost Creek Golf Course on
Saturday, May 13, 2017 ....
we are all getting so excited to take our trout to the stream.
Today for nearly 2 hours...we went without power at our school due to high winds...thankfully, power was restored quickly and everything worked out fine! Hoping for no more power will be a huge relief to put our trout in the stream...we have worked so hard to keep them all healthy and alive!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Teacher's Treasures!

     A plastic coffee lid, three earth worms, one lilac flower, and seven rocks ... at first glance these items may not seem to hold any value. However, to this teacher they are priceless gems of learning.
    Each day over the last week a different student handed me a precious gift representing something learned in our was not happened innocently has inspired me to continue to connect the learning of our classroom to the larger picture of life. Thanking my students for helping me to realize true treasures!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Juniata Watershed Alliance...

JWA Logo

     We are in the process of forming our county's first watershed organization!  This has been an evolving process that began almost 3 years ago when I was approached by a parent of former students to become involved in local water conservation efforts. These students collaborated in creating the logo for our organization! Makes me smile every time I see it.
    We have had tremendous support through the Juniata Conservation District guiding us through the process providing direction and purpose to our cause. This year we will release our trout at Sis and Brent Robinson's residence in the Lost Creek and hold the other release activities at the Lost Creek Golf Course to highlight our local conservation efforts through our newly formed watershed group!
     It is my desire to connect our Trout in the Classroom Program with real life conservation efforts in our community! We share our release with the Juniata High School's TIC Program to allow the older students an opportunity to connect with our younger students around a common goal. Counting the days until our release...and praying everything continues to go well! Take a peek at our Brook Trout!