Students in Mrs. Hoffend's 4th grade class will use this space to write about themselves, their classroom, and the work they're doing for the HP grant project.

September 27, 2007
Today the students watched a video about pond life. The video focused mainly on snails and water scorpions. The children tooks notes during the video and these are some of the facts they learned.

*Snails have mouths and get most of their oxygen (O2) from the air. Back swimmers swim extremely fast. Jack

*Water scorpions eat leeches. They have to go to the surface to get air. Snails don't have gills, but they have tongues and mouths. they eat pond weeds and scum. Back striders can hold on to the top "skin" of the pond water. They will float to the surface if they don't swim or hold on to something. Madison

*I learned that snails eat by using their tongues. Scorpions suck out the fluids from other pond animals. Also, water scorpions and back swimmers are fierce. They eat lots of animals in the pond. I learned that snails have little feelers that feel around.I also learned that water scorpians can not harm people like real scorpions can. Brad

*Snails have a foot they use to hang on to things. Connor S.

*Water scorpions are not harmful insects, that can't hurt humans, but they can hurt other animals. Backswimmers zoom across the water. Meredith

*Snails are vegetarians. Isabelle

*I learned that the stick-like thing sticking out of the water scorpion is not a stinger. It is tube used to breath. The water scorpion stabs it prey, it does not sting. Jared


*Water scorpions suck the flueds of other fish and bugs for nutrition. Lucy

*Snail eggs are protected by jelly, just like frog eggs. Alex

*There are many different kinds of snails. Francesca


September 28, 2007
A trip to North Ponds Park in Webster, New York in the beginning of fall finds many changes taking place. The leaves on the trees are turning from green to yellow-orange. Groups of ducks and geese stop there on a migration journey to a place of warmer temperatures. Remnants of litter on the land and in the water show the pollution caused by people.
I took several digital photos of the pond today to share with the students. We will discuss the effects of pollution on the plant and animal life of the pond in science class.
Donna Hoffend--classroom teacher


October 2, 2007
The students will take their first field trip to North Ponds Park on October 11, 2007. Today they journaled about they were looking forward to and here are their thoughts:

  • I am looking forward to looking at the aquatic life. I am also looking forward to using the digital cameras and the ipod recorders. The digital microscope looks really cool! I have never used a microscope before. Isabelle

  • I am looking forward to measuring the water temperature, air temperature, pH, and soil temperature. I am looking forward to seeing all the animals and how the pond changes throughout the different seasons. I am excited to use the digital camera, the handhelds, the ipod and the digital microscope. I have watched videos and seen how many bugs and animals life in algae and so I would like to experience that myself. Meredith

  • I hope to see a shelled aquatic lifeform. I think using the ipods to record our voices will be fun! Madison

  • I am looking forward to seeing frogs, toads and aquatic macro invertebrates. Autumn is the perfect time to see the leaves on the trees changing colors. I am looking forward to seeing all the plant and animal life in a pond. Brad

  • I am looking forward to seeing aquatic life in the pond. I hope that maybe I might see a turtle and some pond scum. We are going to use a microscope that hooks up to a computer and I can't wait to use that! I think it will be fun to measure the temperatures and use the handheld computers. Zoe

  • I am looking forward to exploring the bugs in a pond. I want to use the ipods and pretend I am a reporter. I would like to use the digital microscope. It lets you look closely at tinsey tiny little bugs and see if they have legs or no legs or to see if they have shells or no shells. Emma

  • I am looking forward to seeing the animals and using the equipment. Francesca

  • I want to see a water insect eat. I want to see geese too! Nicki

October 9, 2007

Today we were visited by Kim Romeo of the Monroe County Environmental Department. She brought a model of a watershed and demonstrated the effects of pollution on our environment. She told us that a watershed is the land around a body of water. We learned that potable water is water that humans can drink. Is was amazing to us that less than 1% (0.8%) of the water in our world is potable water! The water in the Great Lakes is our greatest source of potable water. All humans are responsible for the quality of water in the Great Lakes. We can conserve water by taking shorter showers, and turning off the water while we brush our teeth. There are things in a watershed that affect the quality of our water. These include loose soil, fertilizer, pesticide, salt, motor oil, gas, animal waste, and litter.
This was an enlightening learning experience! Thank you Mrs. Romeo Donna Hoffend


November 27, 2007
Today I joined a webinar entitled, "The Power of Global Education in Your Classroom." As I listened to different ways to present information to students such as podcasts and digital image galleries I became very interested in finding a class from a different country to collaborate with on academic projects. I want to find new ways to integrate technology into current units that I teach in fourth grade.One project that would be challenging for my students would be a global project on pollution. There are so many interesting ways to support student-centered learning with online activities. I have looked online at Panorama magazine for project ideas. Wendy Smith told me about iearn projects and I will investigate these soon. I also read online about the School of the Future in Philadelphia, and the Hip Deep Creek Project after hearing about them on this webinar. Donna Hoffend


December 5, 2007
I listened to the ISTE Webinar, "Nailing Digital Jelly to a Virtual Tree: Tracking Emerging Technologies for Learning" and did not find it particularly useful for helping me create lessons or projects for my students. Donna Hoffend

December 5, 2007

Today my fourth grade class visited Wendy Smith's MST lab to do an identification practice of macro-invertebrates using a dichotomous key. Wendy and Martha Erbland (our third grade grant participant), collected water samples from Mill Creek earlier in the morning. The photos of our classroom time together can be viewed on SnapFish. The students were able to identify a scud, a shrimp-like organism that swims on the side, and several isopods which walk on the bottom. The students observed a fast-swimming animal which was hard to identify. They wondered if it could be a water snipe fly larva. They also observed an adult riffle beetle which is semi-sensitive to pollutants. Mrs. Smith's use of a camera attached to a microscope enabled the children to get a clearer view of the animals in the water samples. Donna Hoffend
external image scud.jpg This is a scud. This is an isopod. external image isopod.GIF