Friday, October 18, 2013

Something From School

I'm a special education preschool teacher.  I teach three, four and five year olds.  Due to the nature of my job it's not often I can share pictures from my classroom, but today I have something I can share.  I went to a fabulous workshop this summer where I learned about caring for about Monarch Butterflies. The workshop is offered by The Monarch Teacher Network. Our first preschool unit is "Changes All Around Me" so this fall we have been raising monarch caterpillars in my classroom.

Here we have one caterpillar in it's chrysalis and a second in a J getting ready to go into a chrysalis.  This rearing cage in made from a tomato cage and tulle, it's been great for raising our caterpillars. I learned how to make it in the workshop.

Today, two weeks after the first caterpillar went into it's chrysalis I arrived at school to find two beautiful monarch butterflies.  The children haven't seen them yet as my students don't attend on Fridays. I've emailed butterfly pictures to all the families and have my fingers crossed that the flowers and the apple juice I left in the rearing cage will tide them over until the children & I arrive on Monday morning.

We've been working on patterning in preschool so we looked at the patterns on our caterpillars to create these paper caterpillars.

We also created these little butterflies by rolling marbles in orange and black paint then cutting them out to be the size of an actual monarch. We're participating in the Monarch Butterfly Symbolic Migration. Our paper butterflies were tucked into the larger butterfly before being mailed off.  They will eventually be sent off to children in Mexico to symbolize the journey Monarch Butterflies make each fall.  Then in the spring we'll receive a set of paper butterflies made by children somewhere in North America to symbolize the Monarch's journey North in the spring. I'm excited to participate. It's been a lot of work to care for these little creatures but it's been well worth it.   My kids have been so excited to see how they have changed.