Greek Civilizations and Greek Gods and Goddess

Second grade students started a reading unit learning about Ancient Asian Civilizations then moved on to an introduction about Greek civilizations.   Students gathered together to view videos from Discovery Streaming to start the study about Greek civilizations.  They were able to see the architecture and buildings in ancient Greece and see buildings in the USA using the same architecture.  They learned that Democracy started in Greece before the Romans brought it to the New World.   During reading time they continued to learn about the civilizations and inventions they shared with the world.  As they became engaged in the unit they learned about the Gods and Goddess and their influences.

Greek Gods and Goddess As a culminating activity on October 29th, students were allowed to dress up as their favorite God or Goddess.  This is what some students said about the experience.

Stephanie G. and Chauncey in Ms. Dunleavy’s , Mrs. McNeill’s class told about their favorite character.  Students from other classrooms told how much they enjoyed the event.

Athena is a very important goddess of many things. She is goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

Stephanie said she “picked Athena because she liked war and wisdom a lot.  She seemed really royal because she was Zeus’s daughter.  I really like dressing up as Athena and it made me feel like a real goddess.”

Chauncey said,” he liked being Zeus because he was the god of lighting and a leader.  I felt happy because everybody dressed up like their favorite God or Goddess.  I learned he was like a father to all the Gods because he was a leader.”

Kami said, “It was awesome.”

Diana said,” It was cool.”

Bryson said, “It was good.”  “It was fun dressing up.”

Faith said, “It was cool and exciting.”

Kendall said, “It was super fun and they had super powers.  She thought she looked awesome as Hera.”

Aiden said, “They were very powerful.  Zeus was the most powerful.  Zeus could throw thunder, lighting and rain.   There were 12 main Gods and Goddess.  I felt weird at first dressing up as Zeus then got used to it.  They have human looks and have super powers.”

Gods and Goddess Greek Civilizations Where are we from? Greece Which one are you? The Greek Gods and Goddess ThGreek Gods and Goddess e students will further increase their knowledge through Greek mythology in their next reading unit.  Greek myths tell about the adventures of the Gods and Goddess.   They explain beliefs and how things came to be.

Uniting the World with Learning and UNICEF

World Education Games learning with other students around the world. Rocky River students compete and earn points to help support students around the world through UNICEF during the week of October 12th in global studies classes. Several students at Rocky River had a chance to compete in the world’s largest on line educational competition with over 5 million students from around the world.  This is a three day event with literacy, math and science competitions.  Students can compete with students from many different countries that are on line at the same time.  The computer generates a group of 3-5 students for each game.    This live completion is called the World Education Games and begins in Australia in the southern hemisphere.

For the literacy competition a sentence will be read aloud and you must spell the missing word.  You will earn points for every correct answer.  To win the game, race to beat your opponent across the finishing line—but be careful!  Three incorrect answers and you are out of the game!  The points from the first 20 games will count as the official score on World Literacy Day.  In the event of a tie your average speed is important, so be sure to answer quickly!

For Math the game continues until the clock runs down to zero.  Continue answering questions to earn points as quickly as possible—but be careful!  World Maths Day is about speed and accuracy, three incorrect answers and you are out of the game!  The points from your first 20 games will be counted as your official World Maths Day score.   (Note: in some parts of the world the word Maths is used instead of Math).

Due to technical difficulties and time students were unable to compete in the science portion on the final day.

This is fun.  Wonder who we will play against next time. For every 5000 UNICEF points earned by students during the World Education Games, 3P Learning donates $1 towards the supported UNICEF education projects such as Schools in a Box which helps kids continue learning after a disaster (earthquake, flood, and tsunami).  This program can get them on track within 72 hours by providing materials for a teacher and her students.   The more points earned, the more students they can support!   The games are organized by the 3PLearning and sponsored by Microsoft, UNICEF, 3PLearning and MACQUARIE (Australian based).  At this time there were 169,474,201 points earned with a final count soon.

Overall top players was John G. and Sara C. (4th graders)  for literacy and math.   Three students received UNICEF certificates for Math points (Connor S. (4th grade) and Ezra B. and Joshua B. (3rd graders).  Congratulations to all these students!  Awesome job.


Global Recognition for Rocky River

We are excited to be recognized for the 3rd year as an International School in Union County Public Schools of North Carolina.   UCPS is considered a leader throughout North Carolina for its focus on global education.  For the past six years, the UCPS Global Schools Program has encouraged educators to bring global education into the classroom.

Schools are rated in five categories depending on points earned through its level of participation.  Schools document their growth through an electronic portfolio as we infuse globalization into the curriculum.  It shows our schools’ commitment to connecting our students to others around the world. We are proud of our work and accomplishments.  Documentation included work with our sister schools in England and Australia.  Our VIF teacher (Visiting International Faculty) also brought the English culture to our school through many lessons about her country of origin.  We learned about many countries of focus through each grade.  Kindergarten focuses on North America, First graders focus is Africa, Second graders focus on Australia/Oceania, Third graders focus on Europe, Fourth graders focus is Asia, and fifth graders focus is South America.   The whole school had a program about the Chinese culture and a focus about castles around the world especially in the United Kingdom.   Students collected money for a service learning project through Heifer International and was able to donate several animals to make life better for others around the world.  We participated in virtual field trips to the Great Barrier Reef and for Remembrance Day in England.  Second grade students learned about rugby, foods, and castles during International Club with Mrs. Harlow (VIF teacher) and Mrs. Todd (Global Teacher Leader).

During a principal’s meeting (October 1) 49 schools were recognized with a plaque.  Principals of schools designated International Schools received a banner to display at their schools in addition to the plaque.  Fifteen schools were classified as International Schools which is the top recognition having earned 85+ points.

At the next staff meeting the plaque and banner were presented to the global committee and staff.

AwardInternational School AwardSchool 2014 738

Rocky River Students Show Global Citizenship and Leadership

During the month of May all 43 classes from Pre-K to 5th grade (860 plus students) joined together with Heifer International to complete a service learning project.  During the year we had learned what it means to be a global citizen and that one part of being a global citizen is learning about problems and taking action to help solve them.   We focused on hunger and collected money for Heifer International.  The animals purchased will go to many places in the world to provide food, wool and money for the family.   The money from selling extra eggs, milk, wool, a baby animal will then help families pay for schooling, homes, and needed items in order to make their life better.

Rocky River Students Show Global Citizenship and Leadership

Students heard a story about young Beatrice from Uganda, Africa and how her family faced many challenges.  After hearing the story Beatrice’s Goat students came up with ways they could earn money to donate.  Some of their ideals included a lemonade stand, selling old toys they no longer wanted, doing chores, tooth fairy money, allowances, and gift money.   Students made posters to advertise the project and an announcement for our broadcast. Then they went out and found ways they could earn money to donate and take action against world hunger.

Along with individual student donations  Girl scout Troop 2906 consisting of Lia, Jada, Liani, Emma, Taylor, Tristan (all 2nd graders) and their leader Mrs. Zarger  made this a community project and collected a lot of money.

The student’s and their families were very generous when they donated $548.69 toward hunger and making a better life for others.  This extended their learning when they were able to use some of their 7 habits (Leader in Me) strategies and take action to help others around the world so they can show their global citizenship.

We donated an alpaca, goat, sheep, honeybees, ducks/geese, a share of a heifer and a hope basket with (rabbits and chicks).  Students discuss where they thought these animals would help out and what it means to have a sustainable living.  When you purchase a share of an animal then other money is put with it from other donations toward the purchase.

When it was all done and the money sent to Heifer the students said, “It made me feel really good to help someone out.”  “I felt proud of what I did.”  “I want to continue helping other people.”  “We helped a lot of families.”

We want to thank everyone in the community, students and families that helped with world hunger.


Our Second Visit- Blue Ridge Parkway



Blue Ridge Parkway                                                           Katherine

The Blue Ridge Parkway starts in Byson City, North Carolina and ends in Waynesboro, Virginia. The parkway is free to go to, but most people spend up to $3.00 dollars in hospitality and in the gift shops. Some activities you can do there are camping, shopping, golfing, hiking , bicycling, fishing, swimming & motorcycle touring all of these activities cost money to do which adds on to how much an average person spends. There are hiking trails in North Carolina & Virginia. The most popular in North Carolina is the Waterrock Knob trail, and the Cumberland Knob trail. When you go camping there are 9 camping grounds. The most popular are the Otter Creek campground or the Roanoke Mountain campground. While you are at the parkway there are many places to stay including bed & breakfast inn, cabins, cottages, rentals, hotels, motels, lodges, campgrounds, rv parks, resorts, and ranches.


“NC226A-Blue Ridge Parkway” by Washuotaku – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –\


Traveling North Carolina

As we begin our project to teach students in Ireland and Around the World about places to visit in North Carolina we look out our windows this week you’d see  lots of rain. So if you came now to visit you’d need a rain coat or umbrella and some rain boots. It’s probably like we think you are most of the time.  We have read that you get lots of rain.   We didn’t have rain on Saturday but it’s poured heavy rain much of today.   They are calling for some severe storms possible with tornado watches for late this afternoon and tonight.  Flooding is forecast in some low lying areas.   The temperature is 70 F or 21 C.  It’s warm so bring shorts and t-shirt along with the rain gear, hiking shoes, and jeans and sweatshirt for layering.    Tomorrow a cold front will arrive in the area.

The trees have gotten their new spring leaves and the grass is growing for the spring mowing season.   Azalea bushes are blooming now in whites, pinks, red, and purples.  There is a lot of pollen in the air and on everything.  If you have allergies bring tissue and allergy medicines.  We’ll travel there by car which will take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours.  If we are on a field trip we will go by a school bus and it may take longer.

Our first stop on our agenda…..

  • Have you ever wondered about minerals and gems?  
  • Where do you find them?
  •  What kinds are there?  
  • Do you like nature and wildlife?
  •  Then you’ll like our first stop!

Sophie July 2014 April 2012-mountain 002 Sophie 2014 David's camera july 2012 199


Emerald Hollow Mine   located  in the foothills of the Brushy Mountains is in a small town of Hiddenite, North Carolina.  It’s a unique and interesting geological location on the North American continent.  Emerald Hollow Mine is known as “The Gem Capital of the World,” and provides educational fun experience for everyone.  You can spend a day in the foothills digging, sluicing or creeking “ for gems.  They offer Earth Science and Field Trip programs to tour groups and teams.  There are more than 63 different types of naturally occurring gems and minerals.  Many are rare including emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, rutile, tourmaline along with more abundant ones of the world like class smoky and clear quartz crystals.  It’s the only place on earth where you can find the rare gemstone “Hiddenite”.big hiddenite 08

Hours 8:30 am to sunset (ranging from 5:00 p.m. in mid-winter to 7:00 p.m. in mid summer).

Open every day except for Thanksgiving (Nov – fourth Thursday), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

You can bring your RV and park it nearby with complete hookups.  There are motels/bed and breakfast in nearby cities of Statesville, Hickory and Taylorsville.  You can bring a picnic lunch or stop in one of the nearby cities for a meal.

Staff will answer questions, offer instructions and help identify gems/minerals you find.

There is also a complete lapidary shop (where they turn your finds into jewelry and beautiful cut stones).

Other things to do-  DO NOT PICK THE WILD FLOWERS.

  • Breathtaking scenic views
  • Abundant wildlife
  • Walks/hiking and nature at it’s best.
  • Year round- Children’s activities
  • Free parking
  • Gift/retail shop
  • Picnic area
  • Rental equipment
  • Guided tours
  • Rustic mining town atmosphere
  • Splashing in the cool stream during the hot summer

Picture of sluicing from—

hiddenitegems02minerals and gems Emerald 65 carat Largest Emerald Found  (CBS news)

Sluicing, Creeking, and Digging

Sluicing Permit- $5.00- most popular and easiest.   Have a seat on covered sluiceway and wash buckets of ore to find gemstones.  Additional buckets range from $5.00 to $1000.00.  Variety of buckets to choose from such as the  “Super Bucket-  5 gallon enriched bucket for $15.00


Creeking- Sluicing/Creeking Permit)- $10.00  Cutting through the rich ridges of the mine there are sparkling clean, clear , mountain waters called creeks.

Digging:  Combination Permit- $20.00.   Digging is hard work but motherlode finds are made chasing veins.

Creek Screen and Hand Shovel- $2.00 more with a  $5.00 deposit for set $3.00 refunded upon return of tools.

Digging Tools- $5.00 set- $10.00 deposit- $5.00 refunded upon return of tools.

Check out their official website here for more details.

Travel Agents Coming Soon!

We are going on spring break Thursday and will return April 13th.  At that time we will be getting our newest project off to it’s first post about places in North Carolina and the United States to visit.

 We look forward to learning about places in Ireland at that time with students from – Greystones,  Wicklow County, Ireland and the class called If Only the Best Birds Sang   and teaching them about our country as we explore places to visit.

  •   If you were a travel agent for your country what places would you recommend to visitors.  If you’d like to join our project we’d love to hear from you too!  We’d like to hear from more classes around the world about a special place in your country.  

We will also be completing our castle projects during April.  The second grade international club is working on their castle challenge to complete their own castle out of recyclable materials by April 14th.  Look for their designs then.  The students in the rest of the school will learn about castles that week during Global Studies.

The International Club students also took a virtual field trip last week to Australia and the Outback thanks to Ross Mannell who prepared  extended comments for us to visit around Australia since a real trip was not possible.  We were amazed how flat and red it is there. We have  white-tailed deer but not kangaroos. The deer cross the road and get hit by cars, they come in our yards and run off when we appear and some people eat venison meat. We have possum not echinda.  We have ostrichs but not emu.   Where we live we have more green.  The trees are leafless during the winter other than evergreens and some grass is still green and many shrubs.  Now that it is spring everything is turning green.


April 2012-mountain 002Farm 2012

This week we went back to England, Scotland and Wales to learn about foods which was made possible through Project Britain by Mandy Barrow. The students were amazed about eating baked beans for breakfast.  We have a different kind of biscuit that is bread and used for breakfast a lot in the US.   Mrs. Todd had learned about foods in Mrs. Monaghan’s home a few years ago when she took time to share with her class items in her pantry.  Some were very different from ours like chips and fries.  Some cereal looked similar.   Mrs. Harlow lives in England and is here teaching some of us as a visiting teacher.   These teachers are helping us study about these two areas of the world.  We’d like your help too!!

We wonder if Ireland eats the same kind of foods as England, Scotland and Wales?

International Club lasted a few weeks for about 20 energetic seven and eight year old’s.  We did dot art painting of kangaroos and other animals, visited the Outback and saw life there, learned about the Aboriginal people in Australia , learned about Castles and foods from Europe.  Our focus country is Australia and our Visiting teacher is from England so we learn about both places which is interesting to compare.   Our last week after break will be learning a dance from England, learning about schools in Australia and sharing our castles.

We hope some of you can join us in learning about places in Greystones Ireland and North Carolina/USA.  Perhaps you’ll share some of your special places with us during this project.


Let Us Hear from You…….. about Castles

We know there are special castles out there so let us hear from you about one.   Even if you are in the United States tell us about a different one.  We can look them up on the internet but we think it’s a lot more fun to have someone write on our blog about the castle and what makes it special to them.

You can’t add your own pictures in a comment but send Mrs. Todd a picture and she will add it to the site so everyone can see your castles.


Do you know the parts of a castle?  Have you read about different castles in books you’ve been reading?  You can even tell us about one of these if you don’t have a real one to write about.



Middleham Castle (A Room with a View)

Mrs. Monaghan had commented about the castle outside their classroom (A Room with a View) and mentioned their blog site and the picture of their castle.  Below are pictures taken from that site. See the original post about Castles Around the World to see her answers to our inquiry questions about castles.

They are located 2 hours from Scotland and 3 hours from London.

They are located 2 hours from Scotland and 3 hours from London.


Picture used from A Room with a View (blog site) of Middleham Castle.

Picture used from A Room with a View (blog site) of Middleham Castle.Middleham Castle


Castles, Castles Do you have one?

We decided to do some inquiry learning and investigate castles around the world.  We need your help to learn about special castles in your area.   Please help us out by answering some of our questions.

  1. Where is your special castle located?  Continent/Country/City
  2. When was it built?  How old is it?
  3. Why was it built?
  4. Who lived in the castle?   Does anyone still live there?
  5. Is it used for other purposes now?
  6. Do you have more than one castle within 25 miles of your school/home? or even 50, 75, 100 miles away.  Tell us about that one also.
  7. How many rooms in your castle?   Where there unusual rooms in the castle?
  8. What is your castle built with?  Describe the outside of the castle.
  9. Does your castle have a drawbridge?  
  10. Is the castle built in the city, a small town or rural area?   Why do you think this was a good spot for the castle?  Tell us about the land features around the castle.
  11. Describe the inside of the castle.   
  12. Does it cost to visit the castle if it’s open for public viewing?


North Carolina is one of the 50 states in the USA.  Asheville NC is in the blue NC is green.

North Carolina is one of the 50 states in the USA. Asheville NC is in the blue NC is green.

North Carolina-  Asheville   35° 32′ 22.74″ N, 82° 33′ 3.42″ W     35.53965, -82.55095

biltmore 3 biltmore 4

Winter at the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Mountains

Winter at the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Mountains


Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina


Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

biltmore_fall2009 biltmore_estate_garden_600x biltmore 2

Biltmore Estate is a large private estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina.  Tourist pay to go see it throughout the year.  It was built between 1889 and 1895 in a Chateauesque-style. It is the largest privately owned home and is owned by a descendant of the Vanderbilt’s.  It is 178,926 square feet of floor space and 135,280 square feet of living area.  It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II and is on the US National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks. Richard Morris Hunt was the building architect and Frederick Law Olmsted was the landscape architect. Vanderbilt’s estate was modeled after two other impressive houses. One of these was a manor in Buckinghamshire, England called the Waddesdon Manor. The other was Chateau de Blois in the Loire Valley in France.

Vanderbilt wanted his home to follow the traditional agrarian model, which included a main manor house with tenant farms, a small town, a church, and a school. He put so much work into the building process because he wanted the estate to be self-sustaining and produce its own income.   It had its own herds of sheep, swine, poultry, dairy herd,  gardens, and nurseries.  An on-site kiln produced up to 32,000 bricks daily, and a woodworking factory supplied oak and walnut for the house’s floors and walls.  Indiana limestone, Italian marble and other supplies were shipped into Asheville by rail. Inside, the house is distinctively English. The country estates of Knole, Hatfield House and Haddon Hall provided guidance for the design of the interiors while they found inspiration for the house’s exterior in the 16th-century chateaux of Loire Valley, France. The stair tower and steeply pitched roof line were inspired by three specific chateaux: Blois, Chenonceau and Chambord.

Biltmore has four acres of floor space and a total of 250 rooms in the house including 33 bedrooms for family and guests, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces and three kitchens.  There are four floors and a basement area that had a swimming pool, gym and bowling alley.  At Christmas they decorate with around 15,000 strings of lights and 41 decorated trees for visitors.  During spring they have the Festival of Flowers when the gardens are blooming with over 100,000 different colors of tulips.  During summer many roses and other plants bloom. The Biltmore house is the largest home on the property but there are other buildings on the Estate. There are 125,000 acres around the estate area.

The name Biltmore comes from Holland and England not their names.  “Bilt” is a region that belongs to the Vanderbilt family in Holland and “more” refers to the countryside that is quite hilly in Old English terms.  The area of Asheville is in the mountains of North Carolina and the Biltmore Estate is hilly.

The Vanderbilt’s wanted to help others so in 1889 the Vanderbilt’s took considerable pleasure in founding the Biltmore Forest School, the first institute for scientific forestry in America. George and Edith also founded Biltmore Estate Industries in 1901, for the purpose of creating an apprenticeship program to teach traditional crafts such as weaving and woodworking. Students enjoyed creating many things, including reproductions of furnishings within the mansion and were encouraged to sell their works for income.

George and Edith’s only child, Cornelia (1900-1976) was married at the All Soul’s Church in Biltmore Village in 1924 to the honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil (1890-1954). Cecil was a descendant of Lord Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I.

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Boyd, Louise. dsc01641.jpg. June 2004. Pics4Learning. 18 Feb 2015 <>






What do you know about China?

Have you ever wondered about other places and wanted to travel there but didn’t have the time or money? Children may not have the opportunity to visit another country to learn more about the people and their culture but are very curious and excited to learn. Students took an in house field trip to China when The World in Our Backyard came to Rocky River. The experience provided a very hands on learning adventure into the Asian country of China for pre-k through fifth grade students.

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Students in Mrs. Jones fourth grade class made a poster about what they learned.

  • “The dragon is made from several animals including the snake, fish scales, tiger, eagle, camel, water buffalo and deer ears.”
  • “The money has a hole in the middle and they put it on a string and wear around their neck or if it’s a lot on a belt.”
  • “They use symbols that stand for words and write from right to left not left to right.”
  • “China is the size of the US but with a lot more people.”
  • “They drink tea with every meal and eat rice at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They use chopsticks to eat with and set at a round table.”
  • “The dragon Neo was scared of noise and the color red. The people scared him with noises makers and wore red. “

First grade students in Mrs. Brown and Ms. Murphy/Takac created a group PowerPoint and these are things they learned ….

  • The biggest McDonald’s in the world is in China. They don’t serve rice just hamburgers. They eat the hamburgers in small cut up pieces so they can use their chopsticks. They learned about the 2 hump camels, Bengal tiger (white), panda, birds and water buffalo (used in rice fields). Outside activities are ping pong (table tennis), haircuts (no barber shops), Tai Chi and Chinese Checkers. They learned about the kings and that the first was 7 when he was on the throne and the youngest was 3.

They were able to experience the way people read and write using a pen and how different the writing is with symbols for each word. Students learned how the Chinese invented things like paper, umbrella (paper one to keep sun off of you), chop sticks (that they carried with them), and silk. Some students experienced how they would carry baskets on a bamboo pole to the market with their babies in the basket and how it was different in the city and the country because of space. They learned bamboo is used to make many things. The older students were fascinated with the Great Wall of China model and the story of the Terracotta Soldiers/Army.
Students participated in a lion dance and scared the dragons away with noise makers. They learned some basic Tai Chi movements that are done each day before school starts. Chinese New Year is each year when there is a new moon and is held in January or February. This year is the year of the sheep and will be on the first lunar month with the new moon (February 19, 2015).

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Students Learn about Scotland

Second grade students in Mrs. Harlow’s class had a special visitor on Friday, November 7 from another continent.  As a VIF teacher, Mrs. Harlow is lucky enough to meet people from all over the world. The special visitor, Mr. Lannagan is from Scotland which borders the country England where Mrs. Harlow was born and raised.   The two countries, along with Wales, make up Great Britain. Mr. Lannagan shared many interesting facts with the boys and girls.

To begin with he read a story called, “The Gruffalo” written by a popular British author, Julia Donaldson. The children knew the story written in English but Mr. Lannagan brought along the Scottish version and although they speak English in Scotland their dialect is very different. The children had a blast trying to figure out the meaning of some of the words as he shared the story with them. Did you know “mucked” is a Scottish word for “big”?  This surprised everyone!

Mr. Lannagan shared the Scottish flag and talked about how it is a part in the British flag. The children asked questions about life in school in Scotland and what the country looks like.

The children were very excited the minute they saw Mr. Lannagan because of his special clothes. He wore a kilt and his sporran (used like a wallet where a kilt has no pockets). He shared with us the special times he would wear this and the traditions involved.

We love to learn about other cultures at Rocky River and this was a great experience for children and staff!

This is the second time that students at Rocky River have had a chance to hear Julia Donaldson’s stories.  A few years ago we did a study of her books and compared our favorites with A Room with a View in Middleham.  What are your favorites?   Do you know of other authors that children love around the world?

Scotland 1

International Travelers- Monarch Butterflies- 2nd Grade Reporters

International Travelers- Monarch Butterflies

Have you ever wondered about the tiny eggs on leaves in the spring and fall?  What mysteries do they hold?  Do you wonder how they know which way to go when they travel south for the winter?  Why do they go to Mexico and how long does it take these tiny creatures to get there.   Our second grade reporters took time out of their busy day to tell me some things they have learned about these International Travelers.   They have been busy observing, reading and writing in their science notebook about the life cycle of these tiny little eggs that become beautiful International Travelers each year.

Mrs. McNeill- Pedro

Day  One—- My caterpillar needs food, water and air.  Caterpillars eat mallow.  My caterpillar’s names are Sharky and Fast.

Day Three—I think my caterpillar is eating a lot.  I noticed they are eating a lot.

Day Four—My caterpillars are eating mallow and they are fat.  I predict they will be bigger. Butterflies can be camouflaged.  Butterflies can protect themselves.

Day Six— I think it is going to make his J.  I predict it is going to make the chrysalis.  I noticed it is almost going to make a chrysalis.  I think it is cool.  I predict it is really big.

All insects have three body parts-  abdomen, thorax, and head.  They can smell and hear.  All insects have 6 legs.  Spiders have two body parts and eight legs.  Butterflies can lay 100’s of eggs on one leaf.  It drinks more nectar.


Mrs. Harlow- Jasmine and Chance

The caterpillar sheds its skin 5 times before it goes into a chrysalis.  They have a back antenna.  They have front antennae.  When the caterpillar eats it gets bigger.  It takes 2 weeks until they go into their chrysalis.  When the butterfly comes out of the chrysalis their wings are wet.  It takes 10-75 days before they hatch out from their egg.  They can make silk with their legs.  They make a J shape when they start making their chrysalis.  They start out as larvae and eat and grow into adult butterflies.  They are black, orange and grey.  Monarch Butterfly can fly as high as a skyscraper.  Some butterflies can be as small as a small button.  And some can be as big as a black bird.  They are going outside to travel the world.

Mrs. Fincher- Reagan and Avery

Butterflies can lay more than 2000 eggs.  Caterpillars don’t spin a cocoon that’s a moth so caterpillars make a chrysalis instead.  Some caterpillars don’t survive because ants eat their eggs.   Butterflies have sensitive wings because if they break they can’t fly.  When they go into a J shape that means they are forming a chrysalis.  Some butterflies have bright colors to show they are poisonous.  When the caterpillars are in the chrysalis they go through metamorphosis.  That means they can turn into a butterfly and some have different metamorphosis.

Ms. Dunleavy- Camila and Kayla

It starts really little then a little bigger then a little larger, it gets much larger, and then when it is in its J shape it gets smaller and curled up.  A butterfly lays eggs on a leaf and it will hatch in 5 days then it will eat its entire eggshell because it’s very hungry.  The life cycle is eggs, larvae, caterpillar, J shape, pupa, and butterfly.  It sheds its skin and grows a bigger one sometimes darker sometimes lighter.   Butterfly eggs are really small you can barely see them.  When it is a pupa they grow wings.  Butterfly wings are very wet when it emerges and wings are really fragile.  Some butterflies have different patterns.  When the butterfly wings are closed you can’t see what color it will be.  If their wings are broken some still will try to fly.  We are going to let them go in the butterfly garden when they are ready.  In reading we learned that some butterflies fly all the way across the ocean.  Monarch butterflies go to Mexico in the forest because it’s safe there.

Mr. Pascarella-Jasmine P. and Avery C.

My caterpillar has turned into a pupa and is about to turn into a butterfly.  I learned moth spin cocoons and caterpillar’s spin chrysalis.  The caterpillars start small and grow bigger and bigger because they make a butterfly at the end.  Butterflies and moths can be colorful and some moths are tricky because they are really colorful.  They can spin a web in the little containers on the top and around it.  Butterflies have different life cycles than moths.  Ants eat the eggs sometimes.  Caterpillars need quiet and to be safe.    So after we release them in the garden they can lay more eggs and the life cycle will start all over again.

Mrs. Zarger- Ethan and Jasmine T.

When the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis is has a silver button that it hangs from.   It starts as a tiny egg and turns into a caterpillar (tiny, tiny) and then it starts eating and grows bigger.  It hangs upside down as a chrysalis and when it starts moving it’s about to become a beautiful butterfly.  Some butterflies are camouflaged like the trees or the ground.   When it starts to get cold and winter they go to a warmer place.   Monarch butterflies might fly to Mexico where it’s warmer.   They go to the forest.  They have antenna to find their food and drink from flowers to get nectar.   They are different colors and patterns on the adult butterfly.  They can fly 3000 miles from places like Canada and the USA.

Mrs. Lukjanczuk-  Cici and Andy

Caterpillars start in egg and then turn into caterpillar then into a chrysalis and hatch into a butterfly.  The biggest butterfly is as big as a black bird.  The smallest is as small as a little button or about the size of a pencil top eraser.  Caterpillars eat leaves.  Monarch butterflies fly as high as a skyscraper.  Monarch butterflies are poisonous.   A mama butterfly lays the eggs on a leaf and they might get eaten by ants.  Some fly over the ocean.  So they use the wind to help them fly so they can rest their wings.  They might land on a boat.  The butterflies might scare little animals because some have what looks like eyes on their wings.  They fly really fast if you try to catch them.  You have to be gentle with them and not rub their wings.

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International Literacy Day

Students at Rocky River Elementary were invited to design a bookmark about their favorite book in support of International Literacy Day on September 8th. This day was created by the United Nations to support the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies around the world. Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Winners of the contest had the opportunity to pick a book to continue their journey of becoming a lifelong reader.

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Celebrating International Literacy with our favorite books.

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The heart of basic education for all is with literacy, and is essential for reducing poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

Literacy is the basis for lifelong learning.

Education is a basic human right, and one that remains unfilled for many children around the world. Accessing and resourcing schools is most challenging in the developing world. Plan on joining the world wide effort to support literacy with all children and families no matter where they may live.
We encourage each student and family at RYRES to shoot for the stars by building a literacy habit which takes just a little time each day. Take time each and every day to include literacy in your life.
Several students did just that over their summer break when they kept reading in their summer plans by joining the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Mrs. Shulman and 30 students who read the most minutes during the summer challenge celebrated their accomplishments with a pizza party on Monday September 22.
What will your goals be each week that include literacy in your life and for others around the world and in our community?

Not enough information?

We did further investigation and can tell you that we didn’t give enough information as to our location.  With so many Rocky River schools we decided you would need to know the county since they all were in different counties.  We are located in Union County.  Warning…… Be careful though there is an Union County, North Carolina and South Carolina.

We  are located in one of the 100 counties in North Carolina.  Virginia is to the north, Tennessee is to the west and South Carolina is to the south.  Georgia is the fourth state that borders us to the southwest.

More about our location..  Locate us on google maps.  Hints…… Look for Monroe, North  Carolina, Union County or Rocky River Elementary School

  •  Did you find us?
  •  What can you tell us about the area we live in from google maps?
  •  Is it rural, suburban or urban?  What do you see nearby?
  • Are we close to the ocean?

There are 3 regions  Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plains.  We are learning about the mountain region now.  Can you find the answers to these questions?  If so let us know.

  • How does our mountain region compare to other places in the world?  
  • What can you do there?
  • What places can you see?
  • What are the names of our oldest river, highest mountain, and  highest waterfall? 
  • Why did the early settlers settle in the mountain region?
  • Where did they come from originally?
  • What makes the mountains of NC a tourist destination for world travelers?
  • bridge grandfather mountainsmall-glimps-of-the-fallsgroup canoe tripJuly 2012 170