In our game, I had, “blue birds are so pretty.” This statement is an opinion. I know this is an opinion because it uses the word “pretty”. Pretty is very subjective. What one person thinks is pretty is not always pretty to something else. Personally, I think blue birds are pretty and I like to look at them. When we go to Mr. Hurd’s grandparents, I love to look out the window at the birds eating at their feeder. While Mr. Hurd thinks they are fun to look at sometimes, he does not always think the one I think are pretty are pretty. This verifies that it is an opinion since we think different things. What do you think? Do you think blue birds are pretty?
My daughter, Eloise, is only one year old. Whenever we visit her grandpa, she wants to see his fish. She always points to them and makes Grandpa feed them with her. Watching Eloise feed the fish makes me wonder, how do little fish in nature survive? Animals in the wild, like fish, survive because of many different adaptations. Animals have visual features, such as camouflage, to protect them. Other animals look hard to eat. Some animals use their size to scare away predators.
One of the ways an animal protects itself is through camouflage and other visual aspects. There are lots of animals that camouflage or blend into their environment. In the article, “Who Wants a Spiny Snack,” it says animals “might use camouflage, special patterns or colors that help them hide in their environment.” For example, a flounder can blend into the sandy ocean floor through its colors. A gecko is another animal that blends into its environment with its brown coloring. These animals and many others have adapted over the years to have a coloring pattern that allows them to blend into the environment. By hiding in plain sight, these animals can’t be found by predators as easily.
A second way that animals protect themselves is by appearing difficult to eat. Most animals do not want to eat something that would hurt them. “Who Wants to Eat a Spiny Snack” gives the examples of porcupines, hedgehogs, and sea urchins appearing challenging to eat. These three types of animals have sharp spines that make them look less appetizing to eat. Another animal that appears hard to eat is a ladybug, whose red coloring reminds its predators of poisonous toxins. Animals such as sea urchins, tree frogs, ladybugs, and porcupines use their visual appearance to scare away potential predators through spiky, hard exteriors, or toxic colorings.
A third way that wild animals protect themselves is through their size.
Many predators hunt down prey that looks small, weak, and easy to catch. This is why some animals make themselves look bigger to scare away their predators. Some snakes, toads, and pufferfish are animals that make themselves appear larger when they are threatened. For example, the article describes an ordinary brown fish swimming in the water until a shark comes near it. Then this puffer fish puffs up into a big “round, spiny ball” This action startles the shark so that it swims away, leaving the pufferfish to survive another day.
As you can see, different adaptations help wild animals survive and to avoid becoming another animal’s dinner. These adaptations include camouflage, unappetizing appearances, and large sizes. Understanding animal adaptations such as these help me to understand my role. Just like Eloise helps the fish at grandpa’s by feeding them, we need to help wild animals by keeping their environments consistent so that their adaptations can continue to protect them.
Today we read a poem called “Poppy’s Jalopy.” In the poem, the narrator describes “adventures” that she goes on with her Poppy in the broken down jalopy he has. We learn in the poem that the jalopy doesn’t actually run and the adventures they go on take place in their imagination. Reading this poem made me think about things in life. Our lives are full of things around us. Do the things we have really give us happiness? Do they need to be new and expensive to make us happy?
As much as I would enjoy having fancy, expensive things all the time, they are not necessary to be happy. True happiness, for me, comes from the interactions I have with other people. I love to play games with people and these games do not have to be expensive. One game I love is where you draw a picture and someone else has to identify what they think it is and the next person draws it, kind of like Telestrations. You don’t need much more than a blank piece of paper to fold over and a writing utensil.
The other night, I was playing with Eloise and she was in a super happy mood. She was using the T.V. remote as a “baby doll” and rocking it and putting it in a blanket Eloise is a great example for me that we do not have to have fancy things in life. Look around yourself and find the things you love and enjoy them. We are surrounded by many things – some old, some new, some cheap, some expensive and each of these things have value to us. Don’t forget to spend time with people, not just things, this interaction is what can really bring joy to our lives!
Today we read one of my favorite books, Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco. Mrs. Peterson is a role model for me. She worked hard to teach the students in her class, who struggled in various aspects of their life, to believe in themselves. I love reading about what each of the kids became in the future: how Thom became the artistic director of the American Ballet company, Ravanne became a textile designer for the fashion industry, and Gibbie became an engineer for NASA. These students started out not believing in themselves, believing that they were dumb and not as good as other people. Mrs. Peterson changed that belief and it started with a definition.
“Genius is neither learned nor acquired. It is knowing without experience. It is risking without fear of failure. It is perception without touch. It is understanding without touch. It is understanding without research. It is certainty without proof. It is ability without practice. It is invention without limitations. It is imagination without boundaries. It is creativity without constraints. It is …extraordinary intelligence!”
Patricia Polacco, Junkyard Wonders
One of the reasons why I love this story so much is that it is true. Mrs. Peterson’s perception of her students matches my beliefs of my students. Each and every student in my classes is a genius. Life may get hard; school may get hard, but they have the qualities and characteristics of geniuses. As they dream big dreams, as they have high hopes, as they are willing to work for things they want, they can become anything they want.
It is my hope that I can pass this on to my students as Mrs. Peterson did to her Junkyard Wonders. I can’t wait to see what becomes of my students in the future. It is my wish that each of you become the best you possible. Reach for the sky. Dream big. Remember, you ARE a genius! Never forget it. Never doubt it. You can do and be anything you want. WORK for it. WANT it. DO it! BE it!
On Saturday, Mr. Hurd participated in the Quakertown Triathlon. He had trained for many days for this. It started with a .6 mile swim in the lake. While he was swimming, we stood on the side of the lake to cheer for them as they came out. Mr. Hurd is a fast swimmer and was done in about 20 minutes. After swimming, they jumped on their bikes to ride for 40 miles. It is such a long distance, I don’t think I would be able to bike that far. There were also so many BIG hills! While they were biking, Eloise and I rode with Mr. Hurd’s mom and dad, my sister, niece, and her grandma. We followed the bike path and cheered on all of the bikers we passed. After we passed Mr. Hurd and my brother-in-law, Peter, we would stop and get out of the car to cheer them on while holding up posters we had made. Then we would jump back in the car and do it all over again until they were done with the biking part. After the bike ride, they had a 6-mile run. Can you even imagine running after biking for 40 miles? I certainly can’t, but these two guys did it, along with a hundred other people. I am so proud of Mr. Hurd and Peter for working hard before to train and during the Triathlon. Way to go boys!
I am so excited to start a new school year. The move up to a new grade is always a fun experience with new friends, new teachers, new classrooms, new everything! This year I get to move up from third grade to fourth grade too. Just like many of you, I am excited, nervous, and anxiously awaiting the start of school.
We are going to have a lot of fun as we learn a lot of new things. The beginning of the school year is one of my favorite times. I love feeling the excitement in the air as students come into the school after being away for the whole summer. I love getting to know a whole new group of students. I love the chance to see old friends and make new friends. I love the chance to start a new page and be a better me. There are so many things to love about the school starting again, and I can’t wait to meet my students and get started learning!