Friday, September 21, 2012


Student in Mr. Scott's class observing the newly hatched larvae.

Early Tuesday morning the 11th, an overnight shipping box arrived in the front office with 62 just hatched Monarch larvae. Some of these babies were sooooo small that we were not sure we could even get them onto milkweed without squishing them!

Day 3 of life!

Since that morning, each class reared at least 3 larvae and will spend the next weeks watching them eat, poop (called frass), grow and change. Classes will ensure that our very hungry caterpillars will have all the milkweed they could dream of from our very own butterfly garden.

Ms. Covington planting our butterfly garden with students during last school year.

Each class will approach their study differently- some singing songs, others getting down and dirty with investigations and parasite testing, however all students will experience the amazing phenomena that is metamorphosis. Ms. Bomba and Mr. Rogers are also in teaching science lessons on these special insects since they went to a special training this summer!

Mr. Rogers and Ms. Bomba

Student in Ms. Levin's class explains what she observes.

                                        Ms. Timmons' class singing the Monarch Life Cycle Song

Students closely investigating the holes left behind by their hungry larve.

Student in Ms. Timmon's class makes his rendition of a leaf and chrysalis.

"Can you see them in there?"

Stay tuned to the large bulletin board over the next two weeks as photos of our pets are documented through the process (including pics from the upper grades!). Please feel free to grab a magnifying glass and look at the two growing outside my office and leave a post-it note with questions.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


PreK students already out making observations in our schoolyard (ignore timestamp)!
 This is the question I've heard many times since the first day of school from excited students and families. It comes in many forms. The __________ has been filled with, but not limited to:

                                         * raising Monarchs again?
                                         * going on boat trips?
                                         * building towers and ramps?
                                         * having Think Tank nights?
                                         * raising and releasing Shad?
                                         * having Lego Club?
                                         * able to come to you and explore?

The answer to all off these questions has been a resounding:

 "YES!!! (Followed quickly by) "It's the second week of school, I'm working on it and we are doing even MORE fun things this year!"

I love working where students, staff and families are so devoted to inquiry-based learning! It's the best.

Seriously though, I can barely contain my excitement for how Think Tank and Science programs here at Maury will EXPLODE this year! Before you look below at some of our new programs, please note that parent and community support is crucial to the success of my program. Please look through at what interests YOU and email me at to get on my " Think Tank and Science Support Team"! ( Perhaps I'll make "Double T, Double S, T stickers!)

So what IS coming to Maury this year?? Take a look...( Many headings are "clickable".)


What do you get when you combine two parts Capitol Hill Community Foundation grants, 6 parts parents willing to pick up and  put together IKEA furniture and one part amazing Maury mom/Hill store owner of Labyrinth Puzzles and Games? You get the new THINK TANK LENDING LIBRARY! Packed with games to help you and your child engage in problem solving and strengthen your habits of mind, you will be able to check out games for periods of time to play at home. I'm looking for some parent volunteers the week of September 10th to start putting the pieces of this library together ( library cards, game description inserts etc) so please email me at  if you can help!
                                              A WORLD IN MOTION

 Thanks to a grant from the GM Foundation, Maury will be provided with an engineering curriculum called "A World in Motion". I will be working with various grade level teachers to implement this amazing curriculum. The video below outlines some of the challenges our intermediate grades will complete, while this link shows what our K-2 students will work with. Take a look!              


                                     JUNIOR FIRST LEGO LEAGUE

This Lego-based challenge program is for students ages 6-9. It will start in the next few months and occur during student's recess time once a week. More information will be forthcoming!


This particular competition will take place with a group or groups of students along with parent volunteers! All projects are due in January so this will start happening in the next few weeks!

Next week, approximately 60 instar stage 1(aka baby) Monarch caterpillars will arrive at Maury. Each class will have a few to observe, learn about and raise through their entire two week "journey" to become Monarch butterflies. You will see a tent in the front lobby housing our butterflies as they emerge, and we will have multiple send-offs. This year we are tagging them too! We have a wonderful staff of Monarch experts who have participated in intensive training about these amazing natural wonders. Ms. Mitchell, Mr. Scott, Ms.Kelly, Ms. Bomba and Mr. Rogers are our resident experts! Stay tuned and PLEASE volunteer to help out

Are "farm to table" issues of interest to you or your child? Contact me to help develop events for the week!

* Two Think Tank Nights!
* A Science Fair!
* Work on our outdoor classroom as part of our "RiverSmart Schools Grant"
* Celebrating National Engineer Week!
* Recycling Programs!
* Partnerships with The Anacostia Watershed Society and Living Classrooms DC!
* Work on becoming a Silver member of Eco-Schools!

Get Thinking Maury Cougars!

Mrs. Ford

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome Back Thinkers!!!!

Welcome back!  If you are new to Maury... WELCOME "home"! We have some wonderful programs here. (I'd like to believe that Think Tank offers some of the coolest although I know our teachers do amazing things each day!)

As the school year progresses, this blog will be the place where you can find pictures of our activities, extension activities for at home learning and information about amazing Think Tank and Science initiatives.

Before my next post, please enjoy browsing through last year's entries!

* Take some time to look at the "Think Tank at Home" section!----->----------->---------->

* Learn about Multiple Intelligences, Habits of Mind and Think Tank HERE!

You will soon see that Think Tank is driven by two theories: Habits of Mind and Multiple Intelligences-- two theories that drive my program. This year I will be explicitly teaching the Habits to students and have actually been working directly with the original authors of the theory! Who knew that sending an email to people that famous would get little ole me a conference call and connections! YAY!

Here's to an amazing year!

-Mrs. Ford