"A butterfly goes wherever it pleases, and pleases wherever it goes."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I'm Back, I'm Home

I didn't return home to see my family until last Thursday. Instead I flew from Hanoi to Seoul, Seoul to Seattle, then Seattle to Great Falls, Montana, where I met up with my principal Nancy, team teacher Robin, our students (plus 1) and 22 parents. I don't think I was too much of a help for Robin, but I enjoyed being in Montana, with great students and their great parents, learning about the Corps of Discovery. We all survived an eight hour bus ride back to Spokane, and we even had nearly every student return to school the next day and stay late for Writers' Celebration.

I've uploaded some of my photos from my Vietnam trip to Photobucket. There are a lot of ads, but this site allows me to share my photos with anyone for free. If you click on the images you'll see them full size. Please let me know what you think!

Vietnam Photos

Photobucket Album

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Winners and a New Challenge with a Prize

And the winners are: Jamie and Mikey. Many of you had correct answers but did not spell them correctly. Here are the answers:

1. Cambodia, Laos and China
2. Invertebrates--no backbones
3. Charles (or Charlie) M. Russell

Good work!

All About Butterflies and Another Quiz with a Prize

Vu Van Lien is keeping track of what is happening to the butterflies in Tam Dao National Park because they are an indicator species, just like the macro invertebrates we studied in the fall.
The first two people to post correct answers to all three questions win a special prize. There are three questions, but the third one is down lower in this post.

Question one: what is an indicator species?

Question two: why should we study indicator species? In other words, what types of important information do we learn from what happens to them?

Here are some interesting facts I’ve learned about butterflies:

  • You can safely hold a butterfly or moth by gently holding its body right below the head—one finger on top, one on the bottom. See photo of this.

  • If you want to see a butterfly, look during the hours of 9 am to 4 pm when they are the most active. If you look carefully you will also see many small moths, which shows that not all moths fly at night.

  • Butterflies sleep in trees and love the sun.

  • Only four species of butterfly her in Tam Dao fly in the fog, which we’ve had every day.

  • Forest butterflies are darker than open field or lowland butterflies.

  • The butterfly’s antenna can sense mates and food plants.

  • Some caterpillars eat flowers rather than leaves.

  • In colder climates some butterflies and caterpillars can hibernate for up to a year in bark of a tree, branches, and even underground.

  • I had read this fact but was not sure it was true until Lien confirmed it—while in the chrysalis or cocoon, the caterpillar turns completely into liquid to reform into a butterfly. This is amazing to me!

Question number 3: Name one common butterfly in the Spokane area that is not a painted lady or a monarch. Make sure the spelling is correct. You may need to do some research—perhaps Dianne has a book in her library. I believe that I have a book of insects on the shelf near the classroom door and robin might have some books as well. As a last resort, with parent permission you could do an internet search at home using the key words Spokane butterfly local. If these words don’t help, you can ask your parents or Robin or Joy for other key words to search.

The Winners

Congratulations to Jamie and Alexis, who were the first to post the correct answers to all three questions.

1. India
2. 300-500
3. Mulberry trees do not grow in many places in the United States, and silk worms need them to eat. Interestingly, they do grow in Las Vegas, and many teachers have them in their classrooms!

You two have won some special prizes from Vietnam when I return.
Great work!

Three Teachers--Jeff, Rachel and Beth

Three Teachers--Jeff, Rachel and Beth

Red and Yellow

Red and Yellow
This one is beautiful and also quite common

Rare Green Butterfly

Rare Green Butterfly
This one is drinking water from a waterfall we hiked to

Tam Dao Classroom

Tam Dao Classroom
Yes, this is an actual classroom being used

Rachel at a Classroom Teacher's Desk in Tam Dao Primary and Secondary School

Rachel at a Classroom Teacher's Desk in Tam Dao Primary and Secondary School
Yes, this is an actual teacher desk

Tam Dao was once a summer retreat for wealthy French families when France occupied Vietnam

Tam Dao was once a summer retreat for wealthy French families when France occupied Vietnam
This is what's left of one French villa--there were over 400 here at one time, but were destroyed by the Vietnamese people in the 1950s

Hanoi Time