Oysters: Nature’s Natural Britta Filter

September 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Busy week for the Little V’s.  We’ve engulfed the concept of adapting and how certain traits allow living things to survive depending on the conditions they live in.  By doing this the young scientists created their own fictional bird, incorporating a style of beak, wings, feet, legs, and color that would suite the needs of their environment.  The outline and artwork is complete and will be displayed in the class.  We’re going to tie in some augmented reality tech to this project (which is like virtual reality).  Maybe we could have a gallery night, let me look into that.

Adding Oysters

Filtering Plankton



This week we also learned about how rough it is to be a sea turtle and the measures they must take to survive.  Students role played in this game of tag as land and sea predators were out to get those selected as the sea turtles.  Turtles had to complete three rounds in the obstacle course, grabbing a food/life token each time.  However, due to the effects humans play on the environment some of those tokens (unbeknownst to the turtles) were microplastics.  When turtles consume these they either choke or disrupt their buoyancy making it difficult if not impossible to dive for food or away from predators.

Sea Turtle Survival


Estuaries: Detritus Feeders

Then we revisited how estuaries play a vital role in our ecosystem and local communities.  The Aquaculture Technology Department at the Carteret Community College was more than radical to allow us to borrow some tanks, a few gallons of salt water, filters, plankton, and oysters to demo how these mother earth britta’s filter.  Science fact: one oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.  And I thought I drank alot (of water.  Water folks.  I drink alot of water).  This was definitely a hit.  We loaded one tank with ten oysters, the other with fifty five, poured in the plankton and sat back to observe.  It was amazing to see how fast they cleared the tanks of the murky plankton paste.  Above are the scientists pantomiming detritus predators.  Can you guess which one is a fiddler crab, egret, raccoon, or red drum?

Oyster Filtration

These young minds had indepth observational insight in their journaling today.  Impressed with their outlook on today’s activity.  So what’s next?  Tons.  Literally.  We’ll be “swimming” with whales by the end of October.  Stay tuned.


Permalink Leave a Comment

Timeline Projects: Famous North Carolinians

March 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

The long time pay off.  The kids have been researching for the past month and rehearsing their facts getting ready for the big show.  Check out the fruit of their labors.  Watch these techy timeline projects on famous North Carolinians.  These were the early birds.  The rest of the projects make their way in tomorrow.

Meet Braxton Bragg

Meet Edward Teach (Blackbeard)

Meet Kellie Pickler

Meet Andy Griffith

Permalink 1 Comment

Coastal Federation

October 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm (News, Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Kristen Daly is a marine biologist that works in the educational department from the Coastal Federation right down the block from BSES.  She visited our class today to stress the importance of how storm water run off causes erosion and carries fertilizers and pesticides, not to forget litter, into our water ways.  The students each had a chance to add some type of consequence from the human footprint.  If only you could have been a fly in the room listening to them discuss and tie in topics of deforestation, erosion, conserving resources, being environmentally aware.  At times I wonder if they are listening.  Today proved not only that they are, but they’re also taking steps necessary to make life changes.  Yeah we recycle, but they also compost snacks, pick litter up around campus on their own accord, and are now voicing their awareness via blogging (click here to check out their stuff).  It is impressive for one so young to take charge.  As Stan Lee would say, “true believer.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Rain Garden Project

June 2, 2015 at 4:35 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , )

Finished.  From 8:00 – 9:45 we laid out Trey’s design, and got the plants in the ground.  Carolina Home & Garden delivered the compost and stone.

While the kiddos were in for specials and lunch a magical green thumb gnome transported the dirt we dug to needed areas around campus that were washed out and raked out most of the compost.  From 12:20-1:00 we shoveled the Delaware Round Stone around the perimeter. Thank you to Mrs. Tull for sitting with me to write the grant making this project come to fruition.  Thank you to the Bright Ideas Grant for choosing us as a recipient.

Thanks again to the kids and parents that came out the first time around to help us break ground, but importantly a huge shout-out to the Little V’s for making this natural filtration system.  Check out the 200+ pics below from our student camera crew.

Permalink 2 Comments

Cape Lookout Movenote Presentations

June 1, 2015 at 3:21 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


As a follow up activity and something way overdue, the young minds put together a summary of their trip to Cape Lookout.  A documentary if you will.  Select a student below to hear their recap of the trip to Cape Lookout.

Brianna                           Konnor                       Hannah                             Abbi

Ainslee                             Chase                         Trey                                 Gabby

Austin                               Aiden                          Sophia                         Saylor

Rylie                                 Tyler                          Caleb                                 Jonathan

Permalink Leave a Comment

Before We Dominate The End of Grade Exam

May 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , )

The followers of this blog and the world in general need to know of the pleasant people that I have been fortunate enough to share the past 170+ days with.  In this realm is a mix of tender hearts, bright hungry minds, talent, and humor.  We have created a family atmosphere, and yes like all families we have disagreements or disappointments, but only because we care for one another and want each other to be the best we each can possibly be.  Our group consists of those that encourage others to make their goals, and congratulate them when achieved or pep them up when falling short.  We fail in here, and we get back up and go again.  These people I work with do not quit.  They don’t quit because I won’t allow it, nor will they allow themselves to give less than what they are capable.  This group has bought in to our thinking that I will be better today than yesterday and because of this, I am a success.  We improve.  We are not perfect, but we do improve.  Each day I come to a place that will be filled with eye opening moments and hugs.  Roll your eyes, but a hug is a powerful thing.

Next week we will face the one time a year that many dread.  The parents of these little people should know that we have prepped for this moment since the beginning and gone into a heavy training camp the past three weeks.  They have taken on more and more each day, solving problems that can only be justified by a test creator or data manager.  Next week the moment will arrive, and these wonderful faces with futures as bright as they wish to make them will be judged and looked at as a number to the number crunchers, not ever knowing who these little ones truly are or what they are capable of becoming.  Perhaps not even knowing what it is or means to work with people, to learn with them as well as from them.  They will not see the art created or the hear the discussions about our environment and their plans to fix these problems.  They weren’t around during experiments to find out how and why things work, nor when the group formed a class government and elected a leader to develop class laws.  All so many to list, yet . .  no, they will only be rated as a number.  Subsequently, that is also how they will see me and countless others in this career.  It worries me that praise, money, and criticism is being thrown to students, faculty, and schools based on this.  The fear lies within putting a price tag on a child and their education.  The fear also lies in knowing that for every under performing student, a prison cell is being designed.  This is not a joke.  The state looks at the data to prepare for the future.  More so, I fear of the patience and ethics of what has seemed to already transpire in Georgia, where teachers are now facing twenty years in prison because of false test scores in order for the school system to receive funding.  Sorry I began to rant, yet there is much wrong with this.

The mindset in here has been to dominate.  That is our word most frequently used when faced with a task.  We’re going to dominate it.  These young minds will dominate the exam, in one area or both.  Regardless on the outcomes of next week, I am proud to have been part (small as it might be) of these little people’s lives.  When they become adults what will they remember most?  A test score?  I recall two kinds of people:  those that were helpful, and those that were hurtful.  This has been my family away from family.  I take their success and hardships with me when I leave the building.  There isn’t an on and off switch.  If there were, I would have slept like a baby all year.  This year has been productive, everyone has grown as a learner, but more importantly as a person.  I had a group that welcomed a challenge.  Fear of failing was put to the side and this allowed learning to come to the forefront.  Anyone that has had everything come to them easily will be the first to quit when faced with strive.  Thinking is not a multiple choice question.  Figuring things out is a challenge.  Once learning “how to” the individual is rewarded with self accomplishment.  The moment of, “I can” is established.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I have the privilege of witnessing daily, and the best part of it is that it isn’t the same face experiencing that moment.  Thank you to the parents and guardians raising these little people, and thank you for supporting me and putting trust in me with your most valuable possession.  I know it isn’t always easy, maybe never for some, but I thank you all the same.  The followers of this blog and the world alike should know that the future holds promise.  The people in here will grow to become people of purpose.

Stay tuned in for actual learning and thinking that will take place after we bypass the following week.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Living Wax Museum

April 2, 2015 at 9:08 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , )

2014-15 Lovely Bunch

2014-15 Lovely Bunch



Permalink Leave a Comment

Rain Garden

March 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

To quote Ice Cube, ” Today was a good day.”

Today Was A Good Day

I don’t often put out a whole day of events, but was today a good day to be a Little V.  Kids began the morning blogging on the pros and cons of Solar Roadways, backing up their position on this topic, and making solid positive comments on each others posts (zero internet trolls).   Check out their KidBlog and parents, feel free to leave a positive comment on your child’s post.

After specials we grabbed the tape and marker flags to stake out the possible location of our school rain garden.  The kids polled where they thought it be best used after the past few weeks of observing the rain pools around campus.  We measured the perimeter, calculated the area, converted all measurements from feet to inches (just because we can), and then sketched layouts of where plants should go and the direction of water flow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our last block of the day was dedicated to reading for 20 minutes, and then transitioned into inquiry based learning rotating through seven science stations that themed around energy, movement, and change.  Great observations, discovery, and conversation in this chapter of our day.  The little engineers that could ranked and debated which type of energy was most crucial: mechanical, light, wind, electromagnetic, solar, etc.

I wonder if the one percent-ers running the standardized testing cash cow gamut can place these experiences in a multiple choice format?


Check out the side for videos on today either on flickr or twitter or any other er that social media offers.

Permalink Leave a Comment