Saturday, May 2, 2009

What's Up, Duck?

Although you can't tell by looking at them, our twelve duck eggs are undergoing some major transformations while resting in our incubator. On Friday, we were able to see what's going on inside the eggs, through a process called 'candling.' The modern update of this process involves using a flashlight (instead of a candle flame) to illuminate the inside of the egg, to observe whether the embryo has been developing properly. We candled a few, and breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they were well on their way to a successful hatch (sixteen more days). Below, you will also see photos of the children working on our 'counting systems' to keep track of the incubation. One method involves counting forward from 1 to 28 (length of incubation) on a chart, using feathers to mark each new day, and another involves counting backwards from 28, to see how many days are left. For this, the children made a paper chain, with each link representing one day. At the beginning of each day, one of the children puts a feather in the chart, and then cuts off another paper link at the end of the day.

Just as our ducks have been growing, so too have our seeds! Each student began by decorating a flower pot, and then began the preparation process: first, a soil sleeve was placed inside the pot (for easy future repotting), and then a small layer of gravel was placed at the bottom. Next of course comes the soil, patted down and filled almost to the top. Then the children chose between planting grass or wild flower seeds. If grass was chosen, the seeds were sprinkled over the top of the soil and then covered by a small layer of additional soil. If the latter were chosen, the children had to use their finger to make holes in the soil, which they dropped a few wild flower seeds into, and then covered with soil. Lastly, and most importantly, the children quenched the seed's thirst with water, and found a sunny spot on our windowsills for them to grow. Three days later, I think you know what happened.... be sure to check them out!

The children also assisted with repotting some smell-tastic herbs for our classroom! Let your sniffer discover the wonderful scents of lavendar, basil, spearmint, and rosemary.... mm! We will use our herbs to make something delicious (basil in a tomato sauce? mint in iced tea?) We are also planting green beans in our playground garden, alongside Mckenzie's cucumbers, and Tracy's lettuce.

Here are some more snapshots from our art show preparation. The children have been working really hard, and we are very proud of them. Don't forget to come see Art Show on Thursday evening!! As if you needed any other incentive besides seeing amazing preschool art, there will be wine, cheese, and shmoozing!

Enjoy the rest!

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