May 4, 2018

On April 23rd, the frog egg mass arrived in our classroom! We have had the opportunity to watch their life cycle begin—from frog eggs to tadpoles in a week’s time! Check out some of our observations below:

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April 11, 2018

We met Emilie at the vernal pool. We talked about the data that we had been collecting (air temperature, water temperature, weather, depth of water at the vernal pool) and she told us that the conditions were perfect for frogs to lay their eggs in the vernal pool! She showed us frog eggs and a wood frog, as well as salamander eggs and a salamander!

We created a model of the vernal pool in our classroom using a tank, water, rocks, sticks and moss. Emilie will drop off some frog eggs after vacation so that we can explore their life cycle in our classroom!



June 13, 2017 (Day 50)

We have a froglet! Children noticed it as they came into the classroom and checked to see what was going on. We are headed to the vernal pool tomorrow to let our tadpoles and 1 froglet return to their natural habitat. We all agree that the vernal pool is the best habitat for them!IMG_1675


June 7, 2017 (Day 44)

As we wait for our tadpoles to move along the developmental continuum, we have been busy observing and thinking about their life cycle. We have learned a song, “Wood Frog Song”, which helps us to share our understanding with others. We are also in the midst of creating models to represent this understanding.






June 5, 2017 (Day 42)

Dr. Erickson came to weigh our tadpoles. The scale that she brought weighs tadpoles in grams. We talked about pounds v. grams and tried to estimate the weight of our tadpoles. To give us a framework for our thinking, we tested the scale first and learned that a small paper clip weighs about .3 grams and a large paper clip weighs about .9 grams. Knowing that, Dr. Erickson weighed 4 tadpoles. They ranged in weight—.3 grams, .8 grams, .8 grams and 1.3 grams. We could see that the larger the tadpole was, the more it weighed. Dr. Erickson also used a ruler to measure the length of  2 of our tadpoles—one of the .8 grams and the 1.3 grams. They were both 4 centimeters long. We could see that the body of the 1.3 gram tadpole was bigger than the .8 gram tadpole, but not longer.






May 30, 2017 (Day 36)

We have three tadpoles with back legs. We are wondering: When will the rest of the tadpoles get their back legs? Why do some of the tadpoles have back legs and the others don’t when we got them at the same time?

May 18, 2017 (Day 24)

Dr. Erickson-

Thanks for your question. One of the things that we noticed when we came to school was that there were 10 dead tadpoles in our tank. We thought they might be sleeping at first, but they didn’t move all day, even when Mr. Flaherty-Dawson gently moved the tank.

We were wondering what might have made the tadpoles die:

Was it because our tank is not like the vernal pool–there are no leaves or sticks and the water is a different color? Did the tadpoles eat too much food? Is the food not what they like to eat? Did they eat the “scat” and get sick and die? Was the “scat” in the tank making them sick? Was the water too dirty? Was it because they needed to rest somewhere and we didn’t  have a rock for them to rest on?

After much discussion, we made a plan to clean the tank, get some new spring water, give them food that was more like the food in the vernal pool and to get some rocks, sticks and leaves for the tank. We also thought it might be a good idea to look at the tanks in Room 1 and Room 2 to see what was happening in those tanks.


May 5, 2017 (Day 11)

We noticed many changes in the tadpoles. We can see their eyes and mouths now. They also look “more clear” with spots instead of just one color. We think we noticed one or two tadpoles starting to grow back legs.

We were wondering whether the back legs grow at the same time or one at a time? We were wondering if it is the same for all Wood Frog tadpoles?

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April 26, 2017 (Day 2)

We started off with 3 tadpoles and Dr. Erickson stopped by and gave us more tadpoles. We used the Ladibug camera to observe the tadpoles. We observed their different sizes, shapes and colors.

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April 25, 2017 (Day 1)

Emilie, our vernal pool biologist, visited our classroom. Emilie told us how a Wood Frog’s life cycle works. She told us that this was a bad year for tadpoles because it got snowy and cold, and then warmed up, got snowy and cold and warmed up again. This confused the frogs. Emilie showed us some tadpole eggs, a Yellow Spotted salamander, Wood Frog tadpoles, salamander eggs and she had a frog puppet, that helped us learn the sound that a Wood Frog makes.

Emilie left us some tadpoles to explore. We put the tadpoles into a tank.  The tank was filled with spring water. It was clear, but now is a little yellowish. We do not have weeds, sticks, mud, frogs, leaves, tadpole or salamander eggs, fish, turtles or salamanders. We are feeding the tadpoles store bought food.

We are wondering if the tadpoles will grow as big as the tadpoles in the vernal pool? Should we put in some leaves, sticks and rocks? Will the back legs grow soon?



Eastern Spadefoot Toad tadpole relaxing in his new home.

We had new arrivals to our classroom this week—Eastern Spadefoot Toad tadpoles! These are a threatened species.  The interesting thing about these tadpoles is that the mothers lay their eggs in basically puddles on the Cape. For the last 2 years, they have not bred.

Kindergarten scientists noticed that the Eastern Spadefoot Toad tadpoles have the same basic shape, colors and sizes as our Wood Frog tadpoles. Unlike our Wood Frog tadpoles, the new tadpoles do not have any back legs yet. Kindergarten scientists are wondering:

*Do they have the same life cycle stages as the Wood Frog? Will they turn into toads before the end of the school year? Should we feed them the same as the Wood Frog tadpoles?  (Yes) How did they get to Weston from the Cape? (Mrs. Erickson) How will they get back to the Cape? (Mrs. Erickson?)


We have been busy learning about the life cycle of our wood frogs. One of the most fun ways for us to remember the stages in the Wood Frog’s life cycle is our Wood Frog Song and movement activity. Check it out!



Back Legs Bob posing for a picture.

After much searching through the muck of our tank, we found a rather large tadpole with back legs. Mrs. Erickson visited this morning and weighed three of our tadpoles. They weighed .6 grams, .5 grams and .5 grams each. “Back Legs Bob” weighed in at the most. We had a couple of ideas as to why: it might be because he has legs and the other two did not, or he probably ate more of the food than the other two. Some kindergarten scientists noted that .4 and .5 are close together like 4 and 5, so it’s not a big difference in weight “like 4 and 100.”


Features are easier to see.

We have been patiently waiting for our tadpoles to grow back legs! We have noticed that the tadpoles are swimming a lot faster. We also have noticed that it is much easier to see the tadpoles’ eyes and mouths now that they are bigger. We have been wondering why some tadpoles are bigger than others. Kindergarten scientists are thinking it might just be the way the tadpoles are—just like some children are taller than others. Some kindergarten scientists are thinking it’s because the bigger tadpoles are eating more food. What do you think?


Once again, our Monday morning provided us with a wonderful surprise! The tadpoles had grown and changed dramatically over the weekend. Children were very excited that they could clearly see the tadpoles’ eyes, mouths and observed changes in their color and size. What a difference two weeks makes! Children are wondering what changes we will find when we return from April vacation. We have worked hard to recreate a vernal atmosphere with some leaves, twigs and  a rock from the vernal pool. We continue to use spring water as our water source.


Students in Room 4 were amazed by the changes in the vernal pool in little under a week’s time! Children like the night time and “snow” time camera shots of the vernal pool. We are worried that the frog eggs might not have survived the ice and snow. We are also worried about whether the snow and ice will make it harder for the frogs to find food.


Some of the tadpoles swimming in our tank of spring water.


A student’s observations

When we arrived at school on Monday, we noticed something had happened to some of our frog eggs—some had hatched! We took time this week to write and draw about this next stage in the frog life cycle. Some of our observations included: the tadpoles had a head/body and a tail; some were swimming fast and some were swimming slow; they are really small; and they are a greenish-blackish-brownish color.

We read a book that stated that frogs use their eyes to push food down their throat. We are wondering how that works!


Do you know which are the salamander eggs and which are the wood frog eggs? Ask your child!

The wait is over! Mrs. Erickson visited this morning with both salamander and wood frog eggs. We will be taking care of wood frog eggs while Mrs. Erickson will be taking care of the salamander eggs. Some children felt the frog eggs. Children shared that the eggs felt like jello or jelly.


IMG_5317We have been preparing our classroom to take care of frog eggs from the vernal pool. The tank is set up and we brainstormed some things to do to make the tank a better frog habitat. Waiting is so hard!!!


If you look closely, you can see the wood frog!

We visited the vernal pool today and met Emile, our biologist in residence. We learned why the vernal pool and its surroundings are a great habitat for wood frogs. We got to observe a wood frog and a yellow-spotted salamander. We were really excited when Emile released them into their natural habitat. We noticed that the salamander swam like a snake!


One thought on “Country-FlDa

  1. Dear Mr. Flaherty-Dawson’s kindergarteners, I love that you are using your Ladybug camera to observe your tadpoles. What is happening now with your tadpoles? Are they a lot bigger than they were a few weeks ago? How else have they changed? Dr. Erickson


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