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!

B is for Butterfly!

On September 14, 2017 our Butterfly named B emerged from the chrysalis. The students were thrilled to release her on the day of our school bug fair. B did not want to fly free from the jar that had been her home in our classroom. It took some encouragement, but she eventually flew to a nearby bush in front of the school. Hopefully, by now she has made it to Mexico for migration.
We predicted that our butterfly would fly to the flowers behind us. However, B flew to a  taller bush.

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...