Sunday, May 19, 2013

spreading our wings

We had some visitors to our classroom this spring.

They arrived in a little cup and got bigger by the day. The kids were enthralled with these little guys. Before we knew it they had formed their chrysalides and then emerged as butterflies.

I felt sorry for my kids because all of the big events just so happened to take place over the weekend.  They never got to see the caterpillars in their J formation just before forming the chrysalis. They never got to see the chrysalis wiggle wildly with the emerging butterfly and examine them as they dried their wings. For both big events, we came back to school Monday and "ta-da!"

And somehow, I forgot to take pictures of any stage past the caterpillars.

When it came time to release the butterflies, this was the first class I did not have to spend a lot of time convincing that letting them go was the right thing to do. They seemed to understand right away what we had to do. The letting go ceremony was very sweet as they cheered for all 9 of the butterflies as they left the the cage one by one. One butterfly didn't make it because his chrysalis fell and the wings never formed properly.

In the midst of all of this, we created the butterfly life cycle with these materials.

The pasta represents the various stages.  I still need to take pictures of the final product, then I'll show you how we did it.

This spring also saw the return of the science fair projects. Our previous principal did not support teaching science or social studies as separate subjects, so we haven't had the science fair project around for a lot of years. Second graders are not required to submit an individual project, but we were supposed to do one as a class. We tested various liquids to see which will stay mixed with water. The kids enjoyed it! They are looking forward to next year when they will be doing their own at home. I'm sure their parents feel the same level of excitement. Ha!

And finally today, in the theme of spreading our wings. . .

I'm moving to third grade next year. This will be my third grade level move in three years, but I'm most excited about this move. I taught 3rd grade once, many moons ago, during my second year of teaching. Loved it. Various events since then have prevented me from being able to go back to 3rd grade. But now, the time is right. 

I am staring a LOT of work in the face right now. I'm going to be moving rooms (again!) so there's packing to do. I have to decide what of my 2nd grade stuff and what of my 4th grade stuff I will possibly need in my room and what will come home to storage. This is the tricky part, because I am not familiar with the Common Core Standards for third grade just yet.  

We only have 11 student days left of this school year, then my little 2nd graders will be spreading their wings toward 3rd grade as well. I hope they are ready! I know that all eyes are turned toward summer and getting their attention is trickier than ever! Who are we kidding - my eyes are turned toward summer too.

11 more days.