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Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by Suzanne D. on 5/08/05 at 08:51 (174471)

To all you mothers out there, I hope you have a special day!

May each of us honor our mothers - in our memory if she is no longer with us or with some remembrance if she is still here.

Suzanne :)

Re: Happy Mother's Day!

Kathy in Ky on 5/08/05 at 20:13 (174539)

Happy Mother's Day back to you & all the moms with tired feet! 20 more days of school before summer vacation!

Re: Happy Mother's Day!

Suzanne D. on 5/08/05 at 20:45 (174540)

Thank you, Kathy! We have 15 more days; our last day is Friday, the 27th. I don't have to tell you all the things that will be packed in those last days: Field Day, awards ceremony, end-of-the-year reports, grade cards, etc.

My class has really enjoyed 'raising' some butterflies this spring. I ordered the kit, and when we came back from spring break we had caterpillars to observe. I tried to impress upon the children their value and mentioned that I paid $25 for the kit, so we needed to treat them with care. One little girl said, '$25 for a little tiny jar of bugs! Mrs. Dennis, you got took!' :)

After watching them each make their chrysallis and later seeing the butterflies emerge, she changed her mind and said, 'Well, they were really worth it, weren't they?!'

Unfortunately, one of our four butterflies has deformed wings. The children named it Nemo (after the little fish in the movie with the small fin). Little Nemo has been a lesson all in itself. The children determined that Nemo would have a good life even though it could not fly like the others. They talk about the fact that at least it can walk and climb the butterfly cage and 'sort of glide', as they say. They bring in fresh flowers for the cage and give Nemo plenty of attention.

We released the other three last Friday. They were ready a week sooner, but the weather was unseasonably cool then, so I thought it was best to wait. The butterflies actually seemed hesitant to fly away. We released one at a time, and each one flew from child to child in our circle before finally taking off. As we walked to the playground, one of the children spied a bird hopping along the grass, and the whole class erupted into a chorus of 'Oh, no, a bird! Stay away from our butterflies!' Finally one noticed that it had a worm in its mouth, so they felt the butterflies were safe. It's been an interesting project.

Suzanne :)

Re: Happy Mother's Day!

Necee on 5/10/05 at 00:18 (174629)

I enjoyed reading about the butterflies Suzanne. What a wonderful project for your students. That's something they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: Happy Mother's Day!

Suzanne D. on 5/10/05 at 20:39 (174671)

Thank you, Necee. Our one lone butterfly is decidely less active now that the others have been set free, but I just couldn't keep one of them back so it wouldn't be alone. The children still keep a watchful eye out for it.

How's the weather in Texas? It was 87 here today and feels like summer. Do you have flowers in your new yard yet?

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: The weather, flowers and butterflies

Necee on 5/11/05 at 01:08 (174685)

The weather has been quite pleasant here, although we have had some windy days, and a few thunderstorms lately. It has been in the low 80's so far this week, and cooler temps are expected by the weekend.

We have been busy putting in flower beds, and planting shrubs around the house. I have hanging baskets of flowers, and lots of flowers in pots on the porch.

I was outside in the backyard the other day, when a swarm of bees came through. It was the weirdest sight, I heard this loud buzzing sound, and looked up in time to see this dark cloud coming right over my head, there must have been thousands of them, they were moving fast. That happened to me once before here.....I was on the mower when they flew right through me, luckly I didn't get stung.

Here in Texas the Monarch Butterflies migrate to Mexico for the winter. That's a beautiful sight to see all those colorful butterflies in one large group flying south.

Happy trails....

Necee

Re: The weather, flowers and butterflies

Suzanne D. on 5/12/05 at 21:31 (174860)

Necee, you may have read something I have written before about this, but four years ago I had the wonderful experience of traveling to Mexico with my daughter for a week. She wanted to experience a 'mission trip' during spring break from her college, and I had a long-time friend from my college days who had been a missionary there for many years. We flew to Mexico City and then rode with them on to Toluca where they lived. We both helped in different capacities while there, but we were able to do some sightseeing two of the days.

A highlight of the trip for me was getting to go to the mountains of Mexico where the Monarchs migrate during the winter. The very week we were there was when the Monarchs were starting to travel north. There were thousands of butterflies in the air and many thousands more hanging in clumps in the trees. I have a tape of a Reading Rainbow PBS show taped at that place from years before. I had shown it to my children at school many times, never dreaming I would get to actually go there.

It was only three months after that trip that my PF began. I have always been thankful that I had no foot problems during the trip as we climbed a mountain to see the butterflies and also many, many steps when we visited the pyramids.

By the way, our little Nemo butterfly died today. But we looked up information and found that butterflies usually live 2 - 3 weeks. Nemo lived almost 3. The children decided that was a good life. And there are some tiny black dots which I think may be eggs! One of the children said, 'That's the whole life cycle!' They are determined to bury Nemo tomorrow in a little decorated box. They have decided we should write 'Do not open' on the box in case someone digs it up someday. Some of them picked flowers on the playground for the 'funeral'. There is never a dull moment in first grade.

Suzanne :)

Re: The weather, flowers and butterflies

Necee on 5/13/05 at 01:20 (174869)

Thanks for sharing your Mexico trip with me. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and I'm so glad you were able to enjoy it 'before' the PF.

Necee

Re: The weather, flowers and butterflies

Julie on 5/13/05 at 01:39 (174870)

There certainly isn't in your first grade class, Suzanne! This is such a beautiful story. I loved your first post about the butterflies, and this one is really touching. How much your pupils learn from you! What they've learned about life and death from this experience will stay with them all their lives.

You are a born, brilliant teacher.
.

Re: Thank you, Necee and Julie...

Suzanne D. on 5/13/05 at 22:45 (174966)

The children were very serious about the butterfly 'funeral' today. Several brought boxes, and we chose the one we thought would be best. Two of the children asked their parents to come into the room to see Nemo when they dropped them off at school this morning. (The parents seemed to feel a little sheepish, but they realized this was important to the children.) One mother brought some flowers. We found an appropriate place and buried the box and arranged the flowers. I turned around from digging to see some of the children linking arms as we sang our butterfly song. Then one child blew bubbles. They seemed pleased and satisfied which, of course, is what I wanted to achieve.

Another first grade teacher who is next door lost her mother to cancer this week. Her funeral was this afternoon, and we(the three of us who also teach first grade)left school early to attend the funeral. One of my children said, 'Nemo and Mrs. P_____'s mother went together.' That seemed to make perfect sense to them and made them feel good.

Thank you again for your interest and kind words.

Suzanne :)