Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Hatch Day!

What an exciting day!

When the kids arrived to class today, they could hear the sound of tiny chicks!  After a quick preview, I pulled them all together and explained the process by which the chicks make their way into the world.  In the process of learning hatching vocabulary, they learned some very useful general terms:  internal and external.  During lockdown, the chicks align themselves head-up in their eggs.  Then, they "pip" into the egg's air cell.  (This is why having the correct humidity is so important!)  After this "internal pip", the chick can now breathe air.  The chick then makes an "external pip", which is simply a little hole in the shell.  I showed the students many examples of pipped eggs in our incubator.  They learned about the egg tooth, and how it helps the chick to break through.  Usually, the chicks take a little break at this point, but not always.  The next step is for the chick to begin pecking the shell in a line around the top portion of the egg.  This is called "zipping".  The kids in each class were able to watch a chick at this stage of the process.  Finally, the chick pushes the shell open!  I  could not have been more pleased with the timing of our hatch.  The kids each spent lots of quality time watching chicks go through the process.  In all 30 chicks hatched today!
Welcome, chickie!

After our lesson, the class gathered around and shared their writing assignments for the week.  I know I only see them once a week, and only for 16 weeks out of the entire year, but I think the breaks in between really make their progress with handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading aloud!

The class then grabbed a snack and listened as I finished reading "Peep in my Pocket".  Junie B. definitely has a way of getting little ones rolling with laughter!   We discussed the animals that Junie B. met in the story, but we especially talked about her fears.  Junie B. was first scared of ponies, then roosters, and finally goats.  We talked about how fears can sometimes be silly, but I took some time to impress upon them that they should always be careful around animals that they do not know!  So often, kids think that all animals (even cats and dogs) are going to be friendly.  I explained that, whether on a farm or just anywhere, you should always ask before trying to pet an animal!

After a little outside time, the class finished up both their felt chickens and their cup/masking tape projects.  They worked hard on them, and it paid off!

The bunnies have all been born, and by the time we meet again for our next workshop, they will be ready to play!  See you in a few weeks for the Bunny Workshop!

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