Aug 4, 2013

Sciencey Saturday Snapshots...On Sunday

I'm linking up with Miss Nelson for some Saturday Snapshots on Sunday.  This is my first Saturday Snapshots of what I'm sure will be many.  I love the themed day blogs.  It is helpful to me as a newer blogger.

My Saturday Snapshots come from PDs I attended this past week.  Insect investigations will be an ongoing science unit in 2nd grade.  I don’t know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of bugs.  I know they will not hurt me.  I know they are a very important part of our ecosystems. And on and on and on I still don’t prefer bugs.  I can feel them crawling on my feet as I write this.  Ewwwww!

To help myself get over the creeps of the creepy-crawlies a little bit I took a few insect PDs.  Lucky for me I have Ah-Mazing elementary science teachers in my county that were very supportive and helped me to ease into the idea that I would need to put on my brave face and touch bug some bugs.  For the sake of the children of course. 

The first PD I went to was about Lady Bugs and a citizen science project that ANYONE can participate in.  I have to admit, I cannot wait to take the littles out on a ladybug hunt!!! Visit the Lost Ladybug Project to see what you can do to help.  Trust me, it will be such a fun science investigation.

I also went to a full day PD where we went on bug hunts and learned about the school gardens AT MY SCHOOL! So lucky to have a run through before the school year.  We have sooooooo many gardens thanks to many fabulous volunteers and a marvelous green team.  BLESSED!!!!  Basically, we caught bugs in our clear containers, took note of which plants we were finding them on (Good thing we had some outdoor educators and gardeners because my answer would have been tree, bush, and flower.), placed the buggies in petri dishes, put the dishes in an ice filled cooler to slow them down, then observed them on the microscopes. SO.  MUCH.  FUN.  The kids are going to love this!!!

Here’s the placard showing the way down to our meadow, vegetable garden, vernal pond, winter garden, and wetlands.

This is our school’s brand new butterfly garden, host of a citizen science project that our school’s green team is working on with the monarch butterfly.  This view is the nectar garden.  To the left of the nectar garden are three separate beds that the students will be using for research.  They will observe to find out if the monarchs prefer to lay their eggs on common milkweed, tropical milkweed, or butterfly weed.  We found this little guy in the butterfly weed.  There were 8 other monarch caterpillars that we found, measured, and reported.

This next picture was taken in the winter garden.  I'm ashamed to say that I didn't look in the field guide to see what these guys were.  Some type of stinkbug it appears.

Our make and take portion was an experiment that anyone could try.  The instructor gave us each a grasshopper in a small deli container and the directions were to ask some observable questions about the grasshopper with your table then decide on which one you’d like to observe.  We were also instructed to think like a kid.  Some of the questions we came up with were --- How do grasshoppers eat? What do grasshoppers eat? Do grasshoppers poop? Do grasshoppers make noise?  We went with “What do grasshoppers eat?”  Our instructor had a small variety of foods for the grasshoppers.  I chose a cucumber, carrot, cantaloupe, and potato.  I thought the grasshopper would LOVE the cantaloupe.  Turns out Cricket Bill preferred the cucumber.

Have you had any fun PDs this summer?