Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009 Day 45 News from the Terrarium

I visited the Monarchs In Space website today and was inspired to make some changes in the terrarium. Though we have not encountered any problems with the current set-up, I was curious about the recommendations posted to the website.

Instead of boiling water on the stove to humidify the air in the kitchen, I purchased a spray bottle so I can mist the top of the terrarium every day.

I knew the pompoms in the feeding trays needed to be replaced very soon due to the fact that they were slowly disintegrating. Instead of pmpoms, we will use 4 sponges. The sponges will soak up the Gatorade as the pompoms did in the original feeding trays.

To make the new feeding platforms, I followed the directions on the website and suspended a feeding tray from the top of the terrarium, putting the Gatorade-soaked sponges in the feeding trays.

With the trays suspended at a height the butterflies can find it on their own, I will not need to place them one by one on to the sponges every day as I had been doing with the pompoms at the bottom of the terrarium.

I will make some observations of this new feeding arrangement and post the news tomorrow!

December 29, 2009 Day 44 Winter Break Post Card #3

To: Kindergarten
From: Teacher Ann

Dear Kindergartners,

Will you help me figure out how many days have passed since our butterflies came out of their chrysalides? We could count the days and know how "old" they are in their butterfly stage.

First, find a calendar and turn the pages through eleven months, beginning in January. When you come to the twelfth month, stop. What month is it?

December is the twelfth month in our calendar year. Today is December 29. Find the 29th on the calendar and circle it with a pencil or marker.

Now, let's look on the calendar for December 10, the day our first butterflies eclosed (came out) of their chrysalides. When you find December 10, circle it with a pencil or marker.

Here is the question: If the butterflies came out on December 10 and today is December 29, how many days "old" are they in their butterfly stage?

Use the calendar to help you! Count the days between December 10 and December 29. What number did you get? That's how old the butterflies are today in their butterfly stage!

Teacher Ann

December 27, 2009 Day 42 Lost and Found!

Today when the sun was streaming in the windows I went on a search for the missing butterfly that escaped the terrarium at feeding time on December 23rd. Although I searched high and low for it at the time, I could not locate it. Each day I looked for it in the den, being careful where I stepped and how I moved things on the shelves. Finally, on the 27th, I couldn't bear it anymore and got out a flashlight, intending to search in every nook and cranny of every shelf and piece of furniture.

Eventually, I found the butterfly between my desk and the wall where I keep large artist sketch books propped at an angle. The butterfly was resting, wings folded over it's body between two books. As I gently pulled one of the sketchbooks forward, I saw the butterfly move! As I moved it into the sunlight, it opened its wings and extended its tongue. Gently, I returned the butterfly to the terrarium where it could feed on the Gatorade.

It had been "lost" for 4 days!