...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yesterday... :*(

Yesterday was probably my least favorite day ever teaching. We had four baby chicks die (crying profusely) and three try to hatch but not succeed. This is the worst hatch I've ever had...only 22 eggs out of 83. The first year, we had 27 out of 35 hatch. The second year, we had 35 out of 44 or 48, can't remember. Last year, we had about 48 out of 66 hatch. I won't go into the gory details Don't read the italicized part if you have a weak stomach...two of our babies had their insides hanging out and two weren't able to walk. I am not sure what happened, but I think the hens might have been older. Then my hubby and I checked our setting hen this afternoon and she'd left her nest...with three dying chicks (also with their insides hanging out)...I've had enough death! :*( I know all about survival of the fittest and all that, but it's still hard to see.

  You can start back reading now. I feel better to get that out. Thanks for reading/not reading! ;) Anyway, a bad morning could have turned out worse. My husband came to the school to get the eggs that didn't hatch as well as the babies who were injured. He's a country boy, hunter, deer meat provider, and took care of the babies for me. Poor babies.  I'm a country girl, too, but I guess girls are just supposed to nurture, not kill. One of my teamies said I'm not really a "chicken" lady because I can't handle that. She's absolutely right! To top it all off, there was a little bit of other drama (which went totally over my head at the time), and a buddy came in with her "feathers flying" ready to flog someone. The peace of Jesus just floated along with me. Drama was non-existent for me, considering those poor babies!

     Well, toward the end of the day, my buddy had me a little concerned about our "egg hatching" endeavors. Yes, there are bad things that happen, but getting to witness new life is something amazing my students will never forget. I do this for them! She thought maybe we wouldn't be able to incubate eggs next year. Our AP came down three times to check on us. His visits sort of unnerved my buddy.

   I was so discombobulated yesterday morning that a teammate took my students to her room for half an hour so I could collect myself. The first time, the children were actually in the other classroom while I removed chicken items and collected myself. The second time, the children were back in the classroom, reading away. The third time, we were writing all about our chickens using items from the wonderful "What's Hatching, Chick?" by Christie and found at her First Grade Fever TpT store. 

    Fast Forward to today...

    Thank You, Jesus!! Today was heavenly! My students had their work awaiting them when they arrived and got right down to business. They completed the "Chicks & Salsa" activity from yesterday, completed their chick tree map organizers, and wrote three paragraph essays!! YES!! So, my wonderful principal comes in to do a 5-by-5 and she was very impressed with our TREE MAP! Hallelujah!

    She mentioned "Thinking Maps" in April, so we're having six hours of Professional Learning time with a Thinking Maps rep. I bought the "What's Hatching, Chick?" unit on March 24, so I had no idea that was a "tree map." I just thought "What a cool organizer!" I will have my students write three paragraphs instead of three sentences! When I researched Thinking Maps and realized what a tree map is, I was ecstatic that I already had one prepared and waiting to use!

     Awesome and amazing my friends were today! I had about six students with their three paragraphs almost finished when Mrs. W walked in and she was impressed. She just learned about Thinking Maps and was very excited to share them with us, but very clear that she didn't want to "force" more work on us. Ha! They will make our lives so much easier! I am thrilled and look forward to using these even more!

    I have the book Chicks & Salsa, which I love so dearly that I've read it to my students several times. We completed the cute little tri-fold about the book and the Craftivity from "What's Hatching, Chick?"  I put the ones finished on white construction paper for the hall. I told my friends that we will complete our three paragraphs to hang at the bottom of the long sheet of construction paper. I brought out the candy for bribes I'm not above a bribe, it's war against illiteracy, right? and didn't even need it! The two boys who finished their writing were so proud that the candy was not needed. Of course, I'll probably give them a delayed reward tomorrow, just to hype up the enthusiasm again...maybe. ;) I'll post pictures tomorrow, when we've finished some more and my wall looks fabulous! :D Have a Terrific Tuesday!



  1. What an awful thing to happen to your chicks! Lucky your husband was able to come and take them, I don't know what I would have done!

    Congrats also on the great feedback from your Principal! I don't know what you'll cover in 6 hours of professional learning time on thinking maps though! Would love to hear any new ideas that they share with you!

    Down Under Teacher

  2. What a rough few days you've had! I know I couldn't handle the chickens and their issues. I bribe my kids with m and ms. I love the idea that I'm bribing them to fight the war against illiteracy. I'll have to remember that. I found that when we're blending words that if I offer one m and m to the kid that sounds it out first they all start working harder. So funny what a kid will do for one m and m. I just discovered tree maps this year through blogging and love them.