On Monday April 24th 2017 in the morning, Mrs. Disch’s class walks down the path behind our school to the vernal pool.
April 24, 2017 We meet knowledgeable biologist, Emilie Schuler from the Grassroots Wildlife Conservation next to the vernal pool.
April 24, 2017 We learn that different frogs make different sounds. The spring peepers say, “Peep, Peep, Peep” and the wood frogs make a sound that sounds like a deep quack! We also learn that only the dads (males) make the noise. They are calling the moms over to let them know that they found a safe place to lay eggs.
Emilie shows us the tadpole and salamander eggs she found in the vernal pool. We touch the eggs and the gel around them feels “slimy, goopy, and wet”. The salamander eggs are in a thicker, darker gel. 1 mother frog can lay from 800-2,000 eggs! She attaches the eggs to a stick so they float. The gel tastes bad to predators.
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Dr. Erickson brings 3 tadpoles to our tank. We had the water sitting in the room for a week so it would be room temperature and we added chemicals to make it safe for the tadpoles.
Thursday April 27, 2017 The 3 test tadpoles look healthy, so a batch of their brothers and sisters are delivered. We have about 25 tadpoles.
Friday April 28, 2017 One student takes a closer look. She notices that they are already “getting bigger”! They are “a tiny bit lighter”.
Friday April 28, 2017 Children are asked the scientific question: “What impacts tadpole growth”? After creating a list of ideas, children choose one variable they would like to experiment with from the list.
Friday April 28th, 2017 We decide to conduct the above experiment to find out how the sunlight effects the tadpole growth. We cover half of the tank with black paper to block out the sun. We want to find out how the tadpoles will react and how this will impact them.
May 4, 2017 The children take a closer look. They all notice that the tadpoles are even bigger. Nico says he sees “black dots where the leg ‘buds’ will be”.
May 5, 2017 One student counts and says there are about 12 tadpoles on the uncovered side of the tank and 9 on the covered side. We notice that there are usually more tadpoles on the lighter side of the tank. We wonder if it’s because tadpoles might naturally go towards the light which outside would be the sun. We think that maybe they naturally go towards the sun because it’s warmer. We also wonder if it’s because the light is where the top of the water would be. We might shine a lamp on that side next week to make it brighter and see what happens.
May 12, 2017 Above: M.W. : “This week, we added a lamp on the (uncovered) side of the tank. Some tadpoles, go to the light.”
M.W.: “I took this picture. In the corner where light is, the tadpoles are going to the glass where the light is.”
May 19, 2017 We walked back to the vernal pool to see if we could see any tadpoles in their natural habitat. We didn’t find any on this day but we still have ideas: D.S. “We think tadpoles might be going to the light because when they become frogs, they will need to breathe air (at the top of the water) and they will be hungry for food (bugs).”
May 23, 2017 A.A. :”We noticed that they (the tadpoles) weren’t swimming as much this week. Mrs. Disch put some stream water inside the tank. She got it by using a bucket. We turned the light off. We think they will swim better.”
June 2, 2017 This week, we decided to add even more fresh water from the vernal pool to the tank. It was “Math Day”, so we estimated how many cups it would take to fill the tank halfway. The chart above shows the class estimations. Most of us estimated that it would take 12 cups of water.
June 2, 2017 Ethan: “We went in the woods next to the vernal pool. Mrs. Disch got a little container and got the vernal pool water and filled the big, white bucket. It took many scoops of water to fill the bucket”.
June 2, 2017 We got back to the classroom and gathered in front of the tank.
Cullen: “Mrs. Disch used a net and scooped the 10 tadpoles from the big tank into a little tank. Mr. McNamara flushed water that was in the big tank in the bathroom”.
June 2, 2018 Then we measured the vernal water using a measuring cup. It took 40 cups to fill the tank half way which was more than we estimated. It was a 2 cup measuring cup so we counted by 2s.
June 2, 2017 Finally, C.L. gently poured the tadpoles into their new, fresh vernal pool water. We noticed there was a bonus tadpole already in the water straight from the vernal pool.
June 6, 2017 Today we put a tadpole under the microscope to see if it had change. In the picture above D.S. observes: “The tadpole has little brown eyes. The tail got longer. The body got a little bigger.
June 6, 2017 D’s view. (That is a poop not a leg.)
We also took some water out of the tank so that it will hopefully speed the tadpole’s development.
June 21, 2017 Today was our last day of school. We brought this little tank (in the picture above on the ground) with the nine tadpoles back to the vernal pool where they were born. They grew bigger and two of them looked like they were just beginning to form back legs but not fully. “Good bye tadpoles and good bye kindergarten!”
June 21, 2017 We gently release the tadpoles and notice the vernal pool is covered with dozens of new lily pads. This looks like a very welcoming environment for our little friends to continue their journey. HOPpy Summer!