By Lynn Fordin, Grade 2 teacher
The second grade class is studying the Hudson River this year. This immersion is truly an example of an integrated curriculum. It transcends traditional classroom boundaries in so many ways. Today, for example, our second grade students joined a high school biology lab class. This group of high schoolers is raising brook trout in their classroom; how cool is that! They raise trout from eggs in a very large tank.
Our initial visit to see the trout informed our developing knowledge of their life cycle. We were able to see the trout just exiting their alvin stage and becoming actual small fish, or fry. Our second sighting of them led to the gathering and collecting of data on their size. Each second grade student had an approximately 4 cm trout in a glass dish that had to be measured carefully (using a photograph we had just taken). Then we reported that data back to the high school class.
Today, during our third visit, we also partook of important data collection. We each estimated the number of trout we thought were in the tank, and then again from a photo, circled groups of 10 fish, to help us arrive at an efficient way to reach a (somewhat) accurate total. We combined our data and took an average; it was 156, 4 cm, sized trout. Our overall range was somewhere between 110 and 180.
The best part of all this work, was that our interest and work with the trout was necessary for research scientists and fish management services. These little critters will be released into the Hudson River when they reach a certain size and the river reaches a particular temperature. Researchers will use our data to monitor overall trout populations. We all felt very pleased to be able to contribute in our small way to the health and maintenance of our beloved Muhheakantuck, the river that flows both ways.