Monday, August 24, 2009

Jana's latest adventure in teaching

If you have read this blog since the beginning, you know about how I raised butterflies with my class last year. Well, being that the class I have this year is PERFECT, I have decided we should raise multiple living things to observe varying life cycles. So, we had a small tank of tadpoles (that I already almost killed) and a plant holding butterfly eggs day of one (maybe two) of school this year. One of the other second grade teachers actually supplied me with all of these goodies which is fantastic because I spent like $30 last year on the butterfly stuff. However, last year's "kit" came with instructions. These sets of creatures did not. I thought I just had to keep them all fed and we would be in business. Not true. So toward the middle of last week I notice that the tadpoles aren't frantically swimming around as they had been before. Luckily, a parent of one of my students takes care of the massive fish tanks in the front of the school and he revived my tank of polliwogs (another word for tadpoles...funny what you can learn in 2nd grade). Crisis averted. I mean seriously, if you think about it, I would have had some seriously distraught kids on my hands if I screwed this up.

SO, I walk into my classroom this morning to see that the fennel plant that our caterpillars were living on is MIA. It was in a cup filled with water and it looks like someone just came up and chopped it off at the top of the cup. I went straight to the teacher who gave them to me thinking maybe she was checking on them or borrowing them or something and she busts out laughing. She said that no one took it. The caterpillars ate it all. Being the teacher, I should have researched this more right? I should know what's going on. Well, I can tell you every stage of the life cycle but the care of them seems to be eluding me. She can now see the wheels turning in my brain right before her very eyes as I am trying to figure this out and she is laughing even harder at me..."so where are they?" is the predictable next phrase that comes out of my mouth. She (through her laughter) tells me that she spent quite some time looking for her five caterpillars and she only found three. Just to paint the picture, I am running late. I haven't done half the CRAP I need to do in the morning before picking up my class and now I have to spend every last precious moment scouring my learning cottage for creatures no longer than my pinky finger that blend in with the carpet.

I promptly high tail it back to my cottage and begin the search. I find one immediately crawling up the wall. After that, no luck. I go to get the kids and realize quickly that I am going to have to let them in the loop. As perfect as they are, I got many more reactions from this situation than expected. We found two more caterpillars, which left one on the loose. One girl freaked out and spent the entire day twitching because she thought it was crawling on her. Another girl almost started crying out of fear that someone would step on our missing friend. One of the boys began calling himself the caterpillar investigator and he would yell out frantically if he thought he saw a piece of caterpillar poop (which is the size of a piece of salt). Needless to say, the missing caterpillar never presented itself. We did write stories today titled "The story of the runaway caterpillars" about what the caterpillars did over the weekend as they roamed our classroom. I will share more on that later this week.

Overall, I'm glad the little buggers went on an adventure. It made for a very exciting day!


  1. Oh my goodness that is hilarious! The girl twitching all day long? That would've been Kathryn if she were in your class. The boy finding caterpillar poop? Matthew.

  2. This post had me cracking up!!! Sounds like you are still enjoying your class! :) Hope your runaway caterpillar makes it back...

  3. I love it! That's something they'll remember forever! --Katie


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