Category Archives: Next Generation Science Standards

The eggs have started hatching!

I was met with quite a surprise yesterday afternoon when I checked on the eggs in their incubator, which is really nothing more than a food storage container half-submerged in a 10-gallon fish tank and a aquarium heater set to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). At that temperature, most of the babies produced should grow up into females, which I am hoping might

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Well, this is a surprise!

Time to do some editing of my turtle profiles! For the past three years, I had assumed that Bloopy Beans was a male, due to a slightly concave plastron and the fact that she (formerly he) was so shy that I never saw her eyes.   Yesterday evening, however, Bloopy Beans surprised me by digging a hole with her back legs, which could only

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Funding for an idea whose time has come

Over the fifteen years that I have been a teacher, two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and fourteen years as a parent, I have become increasingly aware of a profound disconnect in modern society. As we have become more and more heavily dependent on technology in nearly every aspect of our lives, we have lost our ancient contacts with the natural world. This

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Updates!

Well, I hadn’t expected to be buried under grant applications for the better part of a month, nor did I expect to spill water on my personal Mac and render its RAM inoperable, but both of these things happened in the past few weeks. Even worse, several pictures that I took of emerging turtles are currently locked on my personal computer’s hard drive, so

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Welcome back, Megan Spots!

Actually, there isn’t any reason to welcome her “back,” since she didn’t really go away, but this was the first day that I found a definite female above ground. I can only say “I” in this case, and not “we,” because everyone else was on spring break. Here is Megan Spots, named when she was found last year (2015) in the courtyard and photographed

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Turtle #7 of the year, more frogs…and lizards?!?!?

Weighing in at 99 grams, just like last September, Tortuga was the seventh turtle to come out of hibernation… or the fifth to come out voluntarily (sorry Ford Prefect and Googol). Interestingly, Tortuga appears to be another offspring of Yedlin and Boxy, and only these siblings have come out of hibernation  so far (with the exception of Bloopy Beans, who doesn’t appear to be

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Four turtles in one day… sort of…

Fifth graders did it again! Ms. Tulizewski’s fifth grade class found two additional turtles emerging for the first time since November. These two also happen to have the most unusual names–Golden Sparkles and Bloopy Beans. I also found two turtles that were still hibernating, while digging up a clump of grass. My intention was to move the grass to an area where we have

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We’ve found turtle #2!

With today’s high temperatures, the ground warmed enough for the emergence of our second turtle. At the end of the day, while leading a group of second graders through the Riverside courtyard to take temperatures of the air, water, and soil–which we will later try to correlate with turtle and frog behavior–we spotted Coquí coming out of the soil. As usual, the sighting of

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The story of Cutie, our toughest survivor

I have refrained from telling this story until now because I wanted to make sure that it had a happy ending, but now, one month in, Cutie’s looks like she’ll make it through. On Thursday, February 4, after thawing out from a big snowstorm the previous week, I decided to go into our courtyard and check on our fish and frog pond, which was

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First turtle of (almost) spring!

Why should a groundhog get all of the credit? Since they are ectothermic, or “cold blooded,” box turtles care about temperatures a whole lot more! Now he may look grumpy in this photograph, but Dot Dot Dash made his first appearance of the year. Ms. Nichols’ fifth grade class receives the credit for finding him sitting in the sun at 11:05 AM on March 1,

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