Monday, June 25, 2007

Why Let Students Blog?

This movie says it all and I'm so glad Rachel Boyd created it! Posted on TeacherTube she includes links to her school website at the end of her movie. If the print is too small, try

NOTE: There is some odd, unknown reason that the video is not playing in the space below. Please click the title Why Let Students Blog to see it. Don't know why it's not running on this page but ... it's technology!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Grunion Run, June 2, 2007

Learning and fun is a great combination. I know that I learn better when I connect the learning to a memorable experience, even more if it's full of fun. The CA DEN (Discovery Educator Network) hosted a grunion run for its members and their families and students on June 2, 2007. The evening began with a bonfire BBQ. Hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked by our special BBQ chefs, Laurian and Ward (love those DEN spouses!).

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium open their doors in the evening for a special grunion event. DEN members roamed the aquarium and discovered the different inhabitants of our local coastline. DEN received a private screening of the aquarium's grunion presentation. Scientists do not know where the grunion come from nor where they go. They do know that grunion spawn only during the two weeks between the full moon and the new moon.

The CA DEN added the "Grunion Dance" to their dance cards and enjoyed an informative question and answer session. Young Jake understood that the female and male came onshore and left their eggs in the sand. His question, "Do the baby grunion miss their moms and dads?" brought "ahhhhs" and "ohhhhs" from everyone.

Following the screening we met the scientists and young docents on the patio where they gave us a small baby food jar adding a small amount of water and grunion eggs - so tiny we could barely see them. Swirling the water gently, the small grunion began hatching so quickly just like popping popcorn. It was so exciting to see!

Heading back to the beach about 9:30 for s'mores we shared our new knowledge. Soon it was time to head to the shore. The waves brought brought small groups of grunion "scouts" to see if it was safe to come to the sand and spawn. We were as quiet as could be with our lights out. Scientists from the aquarium went out to the water with a special screen to collect water samples and material from the ocean to test later. We waited and whispered for about 45 minutes catching glimpses of grunion as they sparkled in the moonlight both onshore and in the oncoming waves.

Suddenly, someone ran to the ocean and the race was on ... we saw a few grunion swim in on the wave, but the charge was too early. The "scouts" were still checking the shoreline and no more grunion came out that night. A few were able to catch the slippery fish so everyone had a chance to touch a full grown grunion, if they could hold on. The night came to an end with sandy feet, full stomachs, and a wonderful school of information about grunion and their remarkable appearance and spawning.