We were able to release a monarch today.
One of the 7 caterpillars that turned today. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
One of our 3 butterflies that came out on Wednesday. It was a wonderful sight!

First meeting of the Garden Club this spring! These young ladies pruned our entire native area and still had time for a walk in the woods.

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Brookelynn and Emma set up our new light system for our garden tower. It arrived just in time. Our little seedlings will be ready to go in Monday. Thanks again Purdue Extension office for supply us with a working lighting system!

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Harvest time in January! Kale from our garden tower was ready so we harvested and weighed our produce. Then we took a kale salad recipe for 6 and quadrupled all the amounts. YUM!

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Attached you will find a Google survey for my daughter's engineering project. She is working to design a better butterfly cage and is need of data to support the project. If you have a Google account and can take the survey it would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Thank you for taking our PLTW survey!

Our class "hung out" with Sara Dykman today. Here's Emma asking Sara one of our questions we had for her.

Sara rode her bike over 10,000 miles as she "migrated" with the monarchs this year. Sara's story was pure inspiration. Check the comments for a link to the website that sponsored her.

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35 degrees, miserable gray skies and ceaseless drizzle doesn't keep us from gardening. We just move it indoors. Here's Caleb, Mason, Marissa, and Madalynn harvesting our first greens.

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Here's one the amazing finds on our last adventure into the woods.

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With the monarchs released and the garden harvested, it was time to build our survival huts in the woods. We even had a little time to play on our front porch swing.

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(Here is the script we read on today's announcements)

Paige: Today is Halloween.

Mr. Stoffel: In Mexico, this day is known as the “dia de los muertos.” This Spanish phrase means “Day of the Dead” in English. The Mexican villagers of the Central Region believe the spirits of their ancestors return to visit them on this day.


Paige: How do these spirits arrive? They arrive on the wings of the Monarch Butterfly.

Mr. Stoffel: At the same time as the “dia de los muertos”, monarch butterflies return to this forested area from the yearly migration. Millions of Monarchs make their way to this relatively small area in Mexico.

Paige: Maybe, just maybe, some of these butterflies will be from the 140 monarchs our schoolmates helped us release this fall.
Our last butterfly, a girl, was named Esperanza.

Mr. Stoffel: We gave her this Spanish name meaning “hope” to symbolize the hope we have of her safe return home on this “dia de los muertos.”

“Bueans Suertes, Esperanza!”

Paige: Good luck, Esperanza! Now we shall wait, and hope, for the return of Esperanza’s descendants so all of our traditions may continue again next fall.

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We're still releasing monarchs! Here's Marissa releasing her two monarchs, Captain and Munchkin. With the hot weather this week we're hoping they ride some fair winds safely back to Mexico.

What lessons can be learned from monarch rearing? Here's one: a small act can make a huge difference. (Finding math interesting is a bonus.)

This spring we found a monarch laying eggs on nascent milkweed shoots; the only milkweed in the area. None of these eggs would have survived. With the use of social media connections, about 200 eggs were collected and reared to adulthood.

Assume that half of those monarchs mated and had offspring. Then assume there was a 95% mortality rate. Assume for each successive generation that each monarch that survives has 200 offspring and 95% of them do not survive. The number of great-great "grandchildren" making the trek back to Mexico from this one butterfly we found this spring would be 100,000!

This weekend we released Kate from Mrs. Buzzard's class and Miracle Houdini from Mrs. DeYoung's class. Both flew away so quickly I didn't get a chance to get a picture of them out of the cage.

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Mrs. DeYoung captured this cool time-lapse video of her class's monarch eclosing!

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Mrs. Jones's class, Look what I did over the weekend! I transformed into a butterfly. I'm sorry I couldn't wait until you came back to school Tuesday. I have to fly south before winter gets here. I flew up,up, up into the blue sky and as soon as I have some nectar, I'm heading to Mexico! Thanks for sharing your class with me while I was a hungry caterpillar!


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Hello Mrs. Boxell's and Mrs.Burgess's class! Look what I did over the weekend! I transformed into a butterfly finally. I'm sorry I couldn't stick around until you all came back to school. I have to get to Mexico before winter. I zoomed off as soon as I could. There's a picture of me right before taking off. Can you find me in the other picture?


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