Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Shad are coming.... IN A WEEK!

It doesn't take a piece of string to see that today would not be the best, or safest day for boats on our rivers. Due to weather conditions, our trustworthy Captain Jim, was unable to go out and collect our eggs today. For this reason, we will be receiving our new additions to the Maury family on APRIL 30th!

What does this mean?

1) Maury students will have a whole other week to learn about this amazing fish before it comes in its fragile state to our building.

2) The Be Water Wise team will have time to hone their water quality testing skills.

3)  The 1st grade field trip to Bladensburg Waterfront Park to release our Shad fry will take place on May 4th instead.

A new schedule of events for Shad week will go home in Tuesday folders.

Until next time,
Mrs. Ford

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Only a few more short days until our fragile Shad eggs arrive on site! Initially, we signed up to complete the Schools-in-Schools Shad Recovery Project for our 1st grade.  I should have known that Maury's young thinkers in all grades would want to be involved!  The project will now include all students in grades K-4, as well as Be Water Wise team members in Preschool, PreK and 5th grade.

While this project diverges from some of our other Think Tank Challenges and delves deeper into specific science content, we will still be utilizing many of our "smarts" and practicing some very important Habits of Mind.

This project will take a lot of diligent work by Maury thinkers. Students will test Ammonia, Nitrate and pH levels multiple times a day, and keep track of the water temperature.

They will also do "egg sorts" that will involve separating live eggs from the ones that have died.  Your children will be doing all of these things! Live eggs will be clear, and the ones that have died will turn white. It is crucial that they are separated because the decomposing dead eggs will poison the live ones with Ammonia and Nitrate! They have practiced using these petri dishes, clear and white beads and mini pipettes.

Please stop by our hatchery in the front lobby to read the questions that students have posed, answers to their questions, posters about the life cycle and to witness this exciting project.

In order to get eggs as part of the Schools-in-Schools program, the eggs must be collected from female fish and fertilized. Kindergartner Sophia Beffert ,4th grader Xavier Hill  and their moms Erica Beffert and Kim Frietze went on this expedition over Spring Break. What an experience!

Please don't hesitate to come and explore our wonderful Maury hatchery!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Think Tank in Pictures... Part 1!

Hello all Thinkers!

   As we return from spring break, I realize that I have not updated the blog in a long time-- and that's an understatement! I guess that we have been so busy DOING that I havn't taken a moment to post here and share! So please take this blog post as a "snapshot" of the last six week and a look into what's coming next.  Captions and more pics coming sooooon!

-Mrs. Ford

Third Grade takes on force and motion and begins their Rice Rangers Program!

Students in 1st and 2nd grade explore ramps, slope and take on the challenge of contributing positively to a group and inspiring teamwork!

Students in 3rd grade, along with a few 2nd graders work with Casey Trees to plant 7 wonderful new native trees in the front of the building!

The morning Be Water Wise enjoys bagels ( thanks Max!) while making water conservation signs!
Below, the Be Water Wise recess group makes Water Use Detective badges!

5th Grade learns about using a the flow meter bag to determine the water efficiency of their sink faucets. From their they explore what happens to stormwater runoff in DC and  complete a service learning project by cleaning up our block. Would you believe that we filled two large trash bags on Maury's grounds alone??

More coming soon!