First up, our plants are growing like weeds! The seed packets listed the earliest germination at 7 days, but ours have sprouted up after only 5 days! So far our forget-me-nots have outpaced the cantaloupe and turnip seeds, but yesterday we saw the first sprouts in the other pods, so it shouldn't be long now before the whole greenhouse is full of green shoots:
In order to monitor the progress of our plants, each student has their own folder containing their Plant Life Cycle materials. So far we have started our observation journal, completed the plant labeling page and started working on the life cycle pages.
Next, we got our eggs this week! We have at least 3 different breeds of chicken eggs. I put out a call on Craigslist, and had a sweet woman who raises chickens bring 42 eggs to our school! We have green, blue and reddish brown eggs and it was fascinating to see the differences in width and length. We set them up in our incubator in the corner:
Here's what the different eggs look like:
We also started our Chicken Observation Journal, which provided some interesting insight into who my pessimists and optimists are:
I was rather amazed that so many students had so little faith in me to think that 0 of the eggs will hatch! I counted about 6 that said "0" while many chose numbers < 10! I've actually had tremendous luck with hatching - each year we have better and better results. I may soon have to retire and take up chicken farming if I get any better at this! If you have been thinking about hatching chicks and haven't taken the plunge yet, I recommend this incubator and turning rack. This site is also full of great advice!
All of our Chicken Life Cycle materials are kept in blue paper folders, while the Plant Life Cycle materials are kept in green ones. I scored them for 10 cents a piece before school started, and it makes it so much easier to keep everything organized to have individual folders for each student and Life Cycle! Now I can just say "Pull out your blue folders." and know that everyone will have the appropriate materials at their fingertips.
I also have the file saved to my laptop so I can pull it up on the Smartboard as needed. Check out how intently my kiddos were studying our KWL chart:
We also added that we need to find out what the comb and wattle are for, after we completed our labeling page (I honestly had no clue when they asked and decided I would wait until they found out and could tell me). Unfortunately, due to testing our school library is closed for 2 weeks, so we can't go to the library en masse to do research. I will just have to check out a huge assortment of books and have them research the topic in class :)
Before I forget, Jennifer was the lucky winner of my Plant Life Cycle pack - congrats Jennifer, I'm emailing you the pack now!
(Who says 13 isn't a lucky number?!)
That's it for our Life Cycles this week, hopefully next week we can start our Butterfly Life Cycles if the caterpillars arrive!