Our First Dragonfly!


This beautiful, twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella) emerged in our classroom on April 29! If you look closely, you can see the shell/instar/exoskeleton of the nymph. Dragonflies prefer to emerge at night. The previously aquatic nymph (also called a naiad) climbs out of the water and finds a safe place. It then goes through the final stage of its incomplete metamorphosis. The nymph’s exoskeleton will split and the adult dragonfly will begin to emerge. John and I observed emerging blue dasher dragonflies last summer in our pond. It can take from a few minutes up to a few hours for this process to be complete! After the dragonfly emerges, it will cling to the shell of the nymph and allow its wings to dry. After a few hours, the dragonfly’s wings are dry and it can fly away!

Malachi and I released our skimmer at the swamp. I hope she is doing well and is eating many mosquitoes!

If you have any questions about dragonflies, please post them here. I am no expert, but hopefully I can give you good answer!

Campfire and Nature Hike–At the Refuge!

Are you interested in going to the Wildlife Refuge? Are you disappointed that you missed the last campfire? Are you looking for a FREE activity to do with your family and friends? Head out to the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, NJ. There is bird watching, hiking and biking on nature trails, campfires/sing-a-longs and so much more!

Forsythe Explorer May 2009 Schedule

Directions to the Refuge


At the Refuge!

Last night was the first campfire, sing-a-long and nature walk at the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville, New Jersey. We did a month’s worth of campfires last fall and they were a BIG SUCCESS, so we are doing them again! Barry and Marcia play guitar and sing a variety of songs about Nature and the Refuge. Peter and John usually tend to the campfire, but we didn’t light one this week because it was too windy! A bunch of Refuge volunteers and friends (including Adam and Malachi!) went on a cool nature walk through the refuge! We saw red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons and even an osprey that was fishing! What a great way to spend a Friday night–at the Refuge!

Earth Day is Every Day!

Every Earth Day the students go outside and clean up the playground. Teachers talk about all the trash that is collected. Kids shake their heads in disbelief and say ‘I won’t litter. I don’t litter.’ Then, a week or two goes by and there is the trash again. Hmmm…

How can this Earth Day be different? How can we, the citizens of Room 309, exact change in our little corner of the world? In Rm. 309, Earth Day is every day. We live it, we breathe it, we walk the walk and talk the talk. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. What do the three R’s really mean? Is recycling enough? How can I (we) reduce what we use? How can we reuse more? Should Earth Day merely be a day to pick up trash and talk about recycling or can it be much more?

To my students:

 First–research the origin of Earth Day. Write a paragraph detailing Earth Day and its beginning. Include the founder of Earth Day and the date of the first Earth Day.

Second–how would you like for our class to celebrate Earth Day this year? Ideas could be: write poems, songs, stories about the Earth and our environment, go outside and hug a tree, etc. Write a detailed paragraph outlining your ideas. We will vote on the favorite ideas and complete them in our Earth Day celebration! 

And if any of you wish to do any ‘Extra Credit’ you can research Rachel Carson and her significance to all of this!

To our visitors: Please post your ideas about Earth Day. How will you celebrate? Or better yet, how do you celebrate Earth Day every day? We would really appreciate hearing from everyone who visits our blog. If you do, we would be glad to send you a postcard from our town of Pleasantville, New Jersey, USA!!

Some links to use when doing your research:





Third Eaglet! Bald Eagle Facts and Information

There is a third eagle as of this morning, April 14th! If you click on the picture to the left of this paragraph, you should be able to make out the three little heads of our baby eagles! The parents brought quite a lot of food today and there are feathers everywhere!! I guess I won’t be getting any papers graded today! lol!

If you are interested in learning more about bald eagles, go to this link: http://www.baldeagleinfo.com/

And of course, the link to the Eagle Cam is HERE!

Questions for my students:

  1. What is a baby eagle called?
  2. What do bald eagles eat?
  3. How long can a bald eagle live?
  4. What are talons?
  5. Which is larger, the male or the female eagle? What are their sizes?
  6. Are there any questions you would like to ask me about eagles?

PS–You can get all the answers to these questions (and more) from the website above. Happy Eagle Watching!!


Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Spring Break!

I hope everyone enjoys their time off. Get lots of rest, exercise and fun! Happy Birthday, Alexandra!

And don’t forget to check out the bald eagle cam from our northern neighbors in Canada. (to be more accurate, it is British Columbia, Canada which is northwest) The link can be found in a previous post with a screen shot I took of the nest and the eaglets!


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