Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy New Year 2018!
  It appears that we have the fungus issue resolved. The few remaining trout appear healthy and strong.  I have replace all the sponges in the tank in an attempt to remove all the fungus from every nook and cranny of our tank. We have not lost any trout over the Christmas break! This alone is cause for celebration. I know of others who have lost their entire tank and remember all too well the feeling.  We are scheduled to receive another shipment of fry at the end of January...and we will begin writing our trout book! So much to look forward to in the new year!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fryday...battling to survive!

   Many TIC programs this year are battling a fungus that is decreasing our trout  populations. Despite our best attempts to remove the visible fungus and dead fry...the war rages on! It seems to be a losing battle.
      Our trout tank here at Lack Tuscarora has dwindled to approximately 30 fish fighting to survive.  We continue to lose around 5 fish per day.
    Finding humor in life is my survival technique...I can relate to this little guy as I have struggled to keep my head afloat this week....He just will not give up! Neither will I. I am inspired by his spirit. Hang in there's almost Fryday!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Swim-up Fry...

     Our trout are growing stronger every day. We had several escape the hatching basket which had me a little concerned because it is more difficult to get food down to them when they are on the bottom of the tank.
   Two of my strengths as a first grade teacher are patience and persistence. Both have paid off as we now have several  fry strong enough to swim-up to the top of the tank. This is so exciting to see. They look so tiny now, but they will quickly grow. Take a peek!
     Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

First Feeding TIC 2017

    We are so excited to share that we have swim-up fry searching for food! We even have a few that have jumped out of our hatching baskets and are on their own in the  BIG tank...we will do our best to get food down to them as they are not yet strong enough to swim to the top of the tank! Stay tuned to see how we make out!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Active Alevin!


     To help ease the idea of losing fish as we experience survival of the fittest first-hand, we place our nonliving trout on our classroom plants as fertilizer. We are hoping to have enough trout alive for each student to release one during our school-wide release scheduled for May 19, 2018 at Lost Creek Golf Course.  Above on the left is a container of the trout that died during the shipping process. On the right, two students are fertilizing our plant.
     Literally overnight our Brook Trout eggs hatched into alevin. The students really enjoy this stage of the life cycle because it is something most have never experienced. Some refer to this stage as sacfry because the trout have a yolk sac that sustains life during this phase, but the official name is alevin.  It takes some convincing for the students to believe that the trout are alive during this phase because mostly they simply lay there contently... as I like to say...fat and happy. Unless there is movement or light near the tank, then they scurry to hide. The students love to see this. Below is a short video of the alevin attempting to hide. As they grow, their bodies will become larger and the yolk sac will absorb. This is referred to as buttoning up. Once it is gone, we will begin to feed them 2-3 times a day at first. It will be a long few weeks waiting until we can feed them. The students are so eager.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Treat!

What a treat...our Brook Trout eggs arrived on Halloween... The students were so excited. We checked the temperature of our tank to determine how long the eggs would need to acclimate.
 Our tank was 54 degrees.
The eggs arrived in a Styrofoam box packed with dry ice. The temperature of the water inside the bag of trout eggs measured 58 degrees. We allowed the bag to float on the top of the tank for 1 hour before separating living and nonliving eggs.           
                This year's shipment contained 349 total eggs. Some of them had already hatched into alevin. There were 82 eggs that did not survive the trip from the hatchery in Bellefonte, PA leaving 267 living eggs to be lovingly place in our trout tank.
             The eggs and alevin below appeared to be struggling so I placed them in a separate basket to prevent any bacteria from harming the other eggs in the even that they did not survive the first night at Lack-Tuscarora. As you can see their color is a little gray. They should be peachy/pink like those above. I just had to give them a chance to survive...Hoping to see them looking better in the morning.

I place a sign over the tank to help keep the Brook Trout from being stressed in the busy hallway and to help keep out the light until the trout transition to swim-up fry and begin to eat. This should occur right before Thanksgiving break.
Just for fun, I gave the students a pack of Swedish fish candy. The students were thrilled to have the trout arrive on was definitely a treat!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Trick or Treat...Take a Peek into First Grade at Lack Tuscarora!


     Each day we are getting closer to the arrival of our Brook Trout which is scheduled for Oct 31 or November 1. It makes me smile just thinking of the fun the students will have learning through this project. It also means that we will soon begin our Trout Book Project and yes another smile!
     In order to prepare for this, we have been doing a lot of modeling of the writing process together as a class. Then I allow time for independent practice of the skills I have introduced. I model both fiction writing and nonfiction writing and discuss the differences. I often use science to integrate nonfiction writing through our "Foss Science" Journals.

Shared  Class Writing

     Above you will see a fiction writing that the students generated about SpongeBob. They love using the Smart board and I love it  too because it often gets students involved who otherwise may not be willing to try to write. They were so proud of this writing and illustration. I have been encouraging them to add more details to their illustrations so we can see the story in the picture. The students didn't want me to erase it so I told them I would take a picture. I couldn't resist sharing.
     We are exploring air in science. We are learning that air takes up space and that compressed air can move things including water. I loved hearing the students giggle when we moved the water from the bottle by compressing air through the syringe. We followed with a nonfiction modeled writing journaling our learning.
      We ended this week with our PBIS reward of bird watching...we even saw a stray Monarch Butterfly. Some of the students insisted it was our butterfly B. Before we went outside to explore...we took a peek at our trout tank to notice the compressed air we add to the tank so our Trout will survive. Tricking the students into learning by making connections...I love it!
Check back to see if we receive our treat on Halloween or are tricked into waiting until November 1!