The Release of Yertle

On June 15th, we journeyed to Moore’s Swamp to release Yertle.  Lynn-D will stay with us for several more weeks to get a little bigger.

Here’s some of our movies about this event

By EC19:

By EC2:

by EC18


A Letter to Yertle and Lynn-D from the Blanding’s Turtles of Moore’s Swamp

Moore's Swamp on a Cold January Day

This Wednesday, we will be traveling to Moore’s Swamp to release our head-start Yertle.  Your job on this post is to pretend you are one of the turtles who

Yertle and Lynn-D Hanging Out

live at Moore’s Swamp and write a letter to Yertle and Lynn-D, welcoming them to their  new home.  You can either be a headstart who was released there last year, a turtle who naturally just moved there, or one of the CCHS headstarts who were just released there a week ago.  You should first watch the movie that I just created to help you write this post.

Your letter, which should be two paragraphs in length, should contain the following information:

1.  Information about the turtle writing the letter to Yertle and Lynn-D  

2.  What Moore’s Swamp is like?  What types of producers live around there?  Why are producers an important part of the food chain?  Where do the producers get their energy from? What other types of animals might Yertle and Lynn-D encounter?

3.  What type of weather will Yertle and Lynn-D be encountering.  Think about what the weather has been like over the past week.

4.  What types of activities and fun will Yertle and Lynn-D have once they get to Moore’s Swamp?  What types of food have the other turtles found in Moore’s Swamp?  What do the other turtles do on a daily basis?

5.  What the other turtles are looking forward to showing Yertle and Lynn-D once they settle in to Moore’s Swamp.

6.  Advice for Yertle and Lynn-D from the Moore’s Swamp turtle.  What types of adaptations will help them  survive in Moore’s Swamp?

7.  How have the changes in Moore’s Swamp made it a great place for the Blanding’s turtles?

Please check your letter carefully for any spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and gammatical errors.  This post is due on THURSDAY

Look How We’ve Changed!

Yertle and Bowser on Labor Day

We’ve had Yertle since school started in September and Lynn-D since the middle of March.  During both of those time frames,

Yertle and Lynn-D on Memorial Day

they have changed in many ways.  From little hatchlings, they now look like miniature adult Blanding’s turtles.  Initially, they were eating a few few small turtle pellets, now they are eating earthworms, mealworms, aquatic creatures, and for Yertle, as

many crayfish as he can get his mouth on!  For tonight’s blog, due on Thursday, you are to analyze the following data and answer the following questions.  Remember that you can click on the table to make it larger.  Make sure you use complete sentences in your answer.


1.  How much weight did Yertle gain from when he hatched until June 1st?

2.  How much longer did Yertle become from his hatching date until June 1st?

3.  About how many times larger did Yertle become during this time (hint divide the June weight by the birth weight)

4.  During what two months did Yertle gain the most weight?

5.  How much weight did Lynn-D  gain from when she hatched until June 1st?

6.  How much longer did Lynn-D become from her hatching date until June 1st?

7.  About how many times larger did Lynn-D become during this time (hint divide the June weight by the birth weight)

8.  During what two months did Lynn-D gain the most weight?

On two separate pieces of graph paper, create two graphs:  one comparing the weights of Yertle and Lynn-D and one comparing the lengths of Yertle and Lynn-D.  Your graphs should contain a title, labels, key, and should be done in color.


Live Food!

Our Blanding’s turtles are being introduced to “live” food to start to prepare them for their release in June.  Watch this video of their first encounter with an earthworm and then write a story from one of the turtle’s perspective about this experience.

A Letter from Lynn-D and Yertle

Yertle and Lynn-D Hanging Out in the Tank

For this post, you are to pretend you are Lynn-D and Yertle.  In your letter to our class, you are to talk about what things are instinct for you(what are you born knowing), what you need to learn before you are released, and  come up with a wish list of what foods you would like served at “Spa Thoreau” after vacation.  This should be based on the notes you took during yesterday’s Turtle Talk.  Be creative with your letter!

DPC — Looking Back — “The Turtles Will Win Regardless if We Win or Lose”

Again, I am so proud of you all and for all your hard work during the DPC project.  You came together as a true team, some of you having to take on roles that weren’t your first choice, some of you having to wear multiple hats, and all of you having to meet real deadlines.  Your motto of “The Turtles Will Win Regardless if We Win or Lose” is an inspirational one.  My classes have done a lot of awesome things through the years, but you stand alone in your willingness to take on such a big project and do it so well.

So, while it is fresh in all of our minds, I would like for you to really step back and reflect about this project.  Sunday night, while I was preparing my little story for you all, I looked through my other binder which contained even more work that you all did planning this project.  Looking at the two binders together, it is a true testament to all of our hard work on behalf of the turtles.  The blog posts that you have all done throughout the year are also inspirational.

Things for you to write about:

1.  If someone asked you to describe your DPC experience, what would you say?  What were the high points of the project?  What were the difficult times in the project?  What should people know about the entire process?

2.  Since we have done more activities  than you did the last time you reflected on this project at the beginning of February, what was your most memorable part of this project?

DPC Command Center

What made it memorable for you?  Why was this important to the entire project?

3.  How have you grown as a student while participating in this project?  Please be specific.  How has doing this project helped you become a better student and person?  What were some things that may have been hard for you before but you feel more confident now doing because you participated in DPC?

4.  How has the class as a whole changed while doing this project?  Please be specific here as well.

5. If you had to describe how you are feeling right now about our finish in the Challenge, what would you say?

It’s funny that above our command center, are the Egyptian hieroglyphs from the book that we read on the first day of school.  One is “Never Give Up”, another is “Imagine”, and another one is “Discover”.  You have done all of these friends so very well and eloquently.


Turtle Catalog

Painted Turtle from Drumlin Farm

This past Friday, we had three different turtles in our classroom.  For this post, you are to write a thorough description of each turtle.  These descriptions will be used at Turtle Night.

Lynn-D and Yertle, our Blanding's Turtles

Spotted Turtle from Drumlin Farm

Introducing Lynn-D By The Numbers

Yertle and Lynn-D Check Each Other Out

This week, Room 305B welcomed the newest member of our classroom:  Destroyer, a sibling of Yertle and Bowser (their mother is Turtle Number 2033).  Destroyer was very generously transferred from David Winchester and his students from Lynn Classical High School.  In honor of their generosity, the students decided to name the new turtle Lynn, and decided to honor the original name of Destroyer by a nickname of “D”  So, Destroyer is now known as Lynn-D in our classroom.  The two turtles have been getting to know one another.  Yertle has exhibited some of the behavior that Bowser use to do to him, but he has welcomed Lynn-D into the hideaway without any issue (this was a problem when Yertle had a playdate with Mrs. Dillon’s turtles the week we came back from vacation.)  The students are delighted to have Lynn-D in our tank.

So, now it’s time to check Lynn-D’s numbers out.  For this week’s blog, due on Thursday, you are to answer the following questions.  Make sure you answer in complete sentences and that you number your responses.  Remember that you can click on each image to make it larger.

March Weights for all 2010 Head Starts

A.    Take a look at the March weights that have been recorded for all the 2010 Hatchlings (note that the zoo turtles do not have names) and answer the following questions:

1. What is the range (in grams) of all of the turtles’ weights?

2.  Where does Lynn-D fall within this range?

3.  What is the difference between Lynn-D’s weight and the heaviest turtle (please use this turtles’ name or number)

4.  What is the difference between Lynn-D’s weight and the lightest turtle (please use this turtle’s name or number)

B.  Using the table below, please answer the following questions:

Turtle 2033's Hatchlings Information

1.  Based on the gender of all of 2033’s siblings (Bowser was also a male who weighed 85 grams in February), what do you predict Lynn-D’s gender to be?  How did you arrive at your hypothesis?

Lynn-D's Growth Chart
















Part C:  Take a look at Lynn-D’s weights and lengths through the months and answer the questions associated with that table:

1.  How much weight has Lynn-D gained since the hatchling weight?

2.  How much longer has Lynn-D grown since the length at hatching?

3.  Between what two months was there the least amount of weight gained?  How much weight was gained during this time?

Yertle and Lynn-D checking out what;s going on outside the tank

4.  Between what two months was there the greatest amount of weight gained?  How much weight was gained during this time?

5.  Based on Lynn-D’s growth chart, what do you predict Lynn-D’s weight and length to be on April 1st?  How did you come up with  your prediction?

The Tenth Good Thing About Bowser


Our turtle Bowser died last Saturday. We are very sad. My teacher said we should think of ten good things about Bowser so we can remember him always…

In this blog entry, I want you to write about Bowser and all the good things that you remember about him.

Mrs. E.  He was a wonderful teacher and a brother to Yertle.  You all took wonderful care of him and he taught us so much about Blanding’s turtles.  When I came in to school each morning, I would always go over first to check on the turtles and each morning, they would greet me.  Bowser was a real explorer, he loved to hang out on the rocks and investigate what was going on in the classroom.  In the early morning hours, he and Yertle would spend a lot of time pushing around the rocks.  I am happy that we had Bowser as a part of our class for almost six months.  I’m not sure what would have happened to him if he was not in the head-start program.  Even though he is not in our class physically, he will always live on in our hearts.




As we head down the home stretch on the part of our DPC project that is due shortly, I want you to take some time and reflect on Operation Blanding’s Nation:  Awareness, Advocacy, and Appreciation by answering the following questions:

1.  What new skills did you learn while doing this project?  (think about reading, writing, math, science) What new knowledge did you learn about Blanding’s turtles and the other factors effecting the sustainability of this species?  How can you use this information in future grades?

2.  What new technology skills did you use  while doing this project?  How can you use these skills in the future?

3.  What were the more difficult parts of this project?  What made them particularly difficult?

4.  How can you use all the skills that you learned in the future?