Saturday, January 31, 2009
This post on turtles is from back in December and it is only from one of our 2 meetings. Here are some of the things we did:
From this site we drew our own diagram of a turtle's carapace. We also discussed scientific terms like "vertebral", "costal", "dorsal", etc.
We played an Adventure Game from Euroturtles. It's a great survival game which demonstrates how hard it is to survive as a turtle. Not all of your baby turtles will survive in this game! (Since we have so many kids, I made a large board for this - you could even do a chalk drawing outside - and we only played 4 kids at a time.) This game can also send you "backwards" and we were very proud of one of our little girls who kept being sent back yet stuck in the game. It was a great lesson in sportsmanship!
You can also play this game online! You can play the full version which starts with the mother turtle trying to lay her eggs on the beach, or the shorter version which starts after the eggs have hatched. After trying these games of chance, you might try the Brain Game version where you get to make some decisions and see how they affect your turtle.
While half (4) of our kids were playing the board game, the other half played Once Upon a Beach (scroll down to page 9). This is another neat game where you learn how hard it is to survive as a sea turtle. And, again, not all of your baby turtles will survive!
We made our own paper plate turtles from this site. I actually just threw these out yesterday and didn't realize I hadn't taken any photos. They turned out so cute!
I like this project because it not only uses science, but also math, geography, and research skills. Possibly more! I haven't decided if we'll try to determine all 10 mystery sites or keep it smaller since it's our first year. Also, this project is geared to a classroom setting where each group of 2-3 students are only trying to find one of the mystery classes.
To prepare, we will be doing a few projects early in the week. I'll try to get them done on Tuesday (if it isn't too cloudy) so I can post about them.
We will also be learning more about what causes the seasons using this Sunbeams and Sundials site. And, I've just requested a few books from the libary.
Has anyone ever done this class before and can offer some tips? Or have you blogged about what you've done in past years? If so, please let me know. I'm a little unsure of what I'm doing, but ready to jump in this time. (Update: I just found where Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen posted about these mystery classes last January. She wrote a wonderful post!)
Anyone want to join us on this mystery???
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
When we first got to the zoo, we took the bus tour. It helped us to learn our way around some. And, we were able to get a great view of some animals.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I liked seeing this sign about the tides, weather, etc. I enjoyed looking at a calendar that posted the high and low tides. Approximately every 24 hours, there is a high and a low tide, but they are all at different heights.
These are the rocks we walked on at La Jolla Cove. (This is just a few blocks away from the seals.) If you'll notice, the tops of the rocks are light grey while the rest of the rock is kind of brown. It's kind of sad, but these grey spots are where people walk and have killed all of the moss, etc. I was really nervous walking at the tide pools on the first day - there were some very slippery spots! But, after walking all over these rocks, I got pretty comfortable.
I believe there are 7 caves in La Jolla. You can actually go kayaking into the caves!!! We decided not to do this, but Alexandra and I almost made it to the one "real" cave that you could walk into from a store. We just ran out of time! It is just about a block from this spot.
This is the first camera I've ever owned that has an "aquarium" setting and I'm just amazed at the quality of photos I can take at an aquarium!
Friday, January 23, 2009
This seal was our favorite - mainly because he was the closest. We walked out almost to the end of the walkway (see top photo) and he was lying on those rocks by the walkway. So, he was only about 15 feet away from us. I took lots of photos of him. Sometimes he'd stick out his tounge or move a bit or scratch himself. (No, I don't really know if it was a boy or girl - I'm just calling him a "him.")
But, I was really sad to see a hook in his mouth when I looked at him with the zoom lens. Can you see it? It's on this side by the corner of his mouth. You can see a short piece of wire curling around a few times, too. But, it does look like it has probably been here for some time and the seal is doing fine. (Also, you can note his ear "holes" - another sign that these are seals.)
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This was one of my favorite finds. It is probably about 4 or 5 inches long and is a Key Whole Limpet. Limpets browse on algae along the cliffs and some return to a "home" spot during low tide.
On the left is a green sea anenome which is opened, and on the right (the whitish "tube") is a tube snail. The tube snail starts its life with a coiled shell, but as it grows, the shell straightens.
A photo of Alexandra out on the slippery rocks. I was really timid at first, but my sil kept helping me along. After awhile, I was getting around pretty well!
My sil and Alexandra, who were both usually ahead of me!
And, my absolute favorite "find" - a sea star!!! The volunteer told me it was a knobby sea star and that they don't see them very often around this beach anymore. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show the colors as well as in real life. He had beautiful blue spots with yellow, raised centers. Gorgeous!!!