My students are an inquisitive and energetic group of second graders in Worcester, Massachusetts. They come to school each day eager to learn new things and full of curiosity.
Each morning before school begins, I write out our morning message which is a note on our dry erase board which outlines our plans for the day.
As I write, I see little faces pressed up against my classroom window trying to read what I am writing. Even during recess, before the school day has begun, my students are trying to find out what we will learn that day. They burst through the door asking me all about the day ahead.
Science is a favorite subject of the majority of my students. They love opportunities for experimentation, hands-on explorations, and learning all about the world around us.
Each spring, in conjunction with our habitat unit in science, I extend the inquiry area in our classroom by bringing in various specimens for students to observe and research. Each specimen is placed in the "mystery creature" area without explanation. Students take down observations in their inquiry journals, ask questions, research the answers, and report to the class. In past years, we've studied bird nests, small animal skeletons, caterpillars, a praying mantis egg sac, and ladybug larvae.
It's always exciting to read detailed observation notes and hear students in heated discussion defending their hypotheses about what the "mystery creatures" could be!
This year, I would like to give my students opportunities to once again observe live ladybugs and praying mantises as they go through the stages of their life cycle. I'd also like to add a set of insects preserved in clear resin for year after year observations. I've also requested an insect encyclopedia to further aid my students in their research and study of these insects.
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