Lehman-Jackson Elementary School youngsters learn science while caring for chicken eggs


Lehman-Jackson youngsters learn science while caring for chicken eggs

By Eileen Godin - egodin@timesleader.com



Lehman-Jackson Elementary School first-grade teacher Heather Wertman guided her students through an egg-hatching project that required the students to monitor the temperature and humidity of the egg incubator, candling, and that the chick’s feather color does not determine its gender.


Addie Morgan, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, learned what candling is and how the technique is used to tell a fertilized egg from an unfertilized egg or a bad egg from the class’ egg-hatching project.


Heather Wertman’s first-grade class at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township was eager to share facts they learned through their 21-day egg-hatching project.


First-grade student Ashton Pinn explains the egg-hatching project was an idea his teacher Heather Wertman developed after the class read two different versions of the ‘Little Red Hen’ folktale.


Heather Wertman’s first-grade classroom at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township conducted a 21-day egg-hatching project that resulted in six out of 12 chicken eggs hatching. The baby chicks will be donated to a local farm.


Cain Kreidler, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, holds a recently hatched baby chicken. His class monitored an egg-hatching project to learn science, biology and math concepts.



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    Lehman-Jackson youngsters learn science while caring for chicken eggs

    By Eileen Godin

    egodin@timesleader.com

    Lehman-Jackson Elementary School first-grade teacher Heather Wertman guided her students through an egg-hatching project that required the students to monitor the temperature and humidity of the egg incubator, candling, and that the chick’s feather color does not determine its gender.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks07.jpgLehman-Jackson Elementary School first-grade teacher Heather Wertman guided her students through an egg-hatching project that required the students to monitor the temperature and humidity of the egg incubator, candling, and that the chick’s feather color does not determine its gender.

    Addie Morgan, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, learned what candling is and how the technique is used to tell a fertilized egg from an unfertilized egg or a bad egg from the class’ egg-hatching project.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks08.jpgAddie Morgan, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, learned what candling is and how the technique is used to tell a fertilized egg from an unfertilized egg or a bad egg from the class’ egg-hatching project.

    Heather Wertman’s first-grade class at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township was eager to share facts they learned through their 21-day egg-hatching project.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks09.jpgHeather Wertman’s first-grade class at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township was eager to share facts they learned through their 21-day egg-hatching project.

    First-grade student Ashton Pinn explains the egg-hatching project was an idea his teacher Heather Wertman developed after the class read two different versions of the ‘Little Red Hen’ folktale.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks10.jpgFirst-grade student Ashton Pinn explains the egg-hatching project was an idea his teacher Heather Wertman developed after the class read two different versions of the ‘Little Red Hen’ folktale.

    Heather Wertman’s first-grade classroom at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township conducted a 21-day egg-hatching project that resulted in six out of 12 chicken eggs hatching. The baby chicks will be donated to a local farm.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks11.jpgHeather Wertman’s first-grade classroom at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township conducted a 21-day egg-hatching project that resulted in six out of 12 chicken eggs hatching. The baby chicks will be donated to a local farm.

    Cain Kreidler, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, holds a recently hatched baby chicken. His class monitored an egg-hatching project to learn science, biology and math concepts.
    http://mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_babychicks12.jpgCain Kreidler, a first-grade student at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School, holds a recently hatched baby chicken. His class monitored an egg-hatching project to learn science, biology and math concepts.

    LEHMAN TWP. — What came first — the chicken or the egg?

    Heather Wertman’s first-grade class at Lehman-Jackson Elementary School in Lehman Township would answer, “the egg.”

    The class monitored a dozen chicken eggs they had in an incubator since April 11.

    The egg-hatching project was an idea Wertman developed after incorporating some hands-on activities centered around the folk tale of “The Little Red Hen.”

    “We read two different stories about the Little Red Hen,” said Ashtun Pinn, a first-grader in Wertman’s class. “In one story the hen makes bread and in another, she makes a cake.”

    The class made both bread and cake, but more in-depth lessons in biology, math and science were yet to come.

    Wertman acquired a dozen chicken eggs from a local farm. She purchased an incubator and egg-hatching supplies from Tractor Supply Company in Hanover Township.

    The days leading up to the first egg-hatching, the students monitored the incubator’s temperature and maintained a constant level of humidity.

    “Every couple of days we would add water to that machine (incubator),” student, Kyra Blaine said. “The water had to be at room temperature.”

    “The humidity had to be in the high 40s and 50s, so the baby chickens kept developing,” Hannah Sell, a first-grader, said.

    Student Ava Blazes said the incubator had to be kept between 96 to 100 degrees.

    On day 7, the students learned about candling.

    “Candling is when you hold a flashlight up to an egg to see if it is a winner, a yoker or a quitter,” said Addie Morgan, a student of Wertman’s. “If you see veins inside the egg then it is a good egg, or a winner.”

    But if no veins are visible then the egg is a yoker or an unfertilized egg, Morgan said. If candling shows a green or yellow color then it is a quitter or bad egg, she said.

    Out of the dozen eggs, six hatched, with the first coming out Sunday, May 1, Wertman said.

    “I always came in (to the school) on the weekends to check on the eggs,” Wertman said. “I saw the first one started to hatch Sunday.”

    Wertman uploaded some photos of the newly hatched chick to an app called Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a secure app she uses to share class pictures with her students’ families.

    “The news exploded,” she said. “Parents were just as excited as their children.”

    On Monday, May 2, the students had a second surprise when another chick began to hatch.

    The students learned how to hold the baby chickens. They had to wear plastic gloves and gently cup the bird in their two hands.

    Upkeep of the baby birds was a constant factor.

    “They mess up their food a lot,” River Morgan, a student, said. “We have to clean them up every day.”

    “Every day their peeping gets louder,” said student Kate Hynick. “Mrs. Wertman puts vitamins in their (the chickens’) water.”

    Two of the baby chicks are brown and four are yellow. The feather coloring had the students thinking the brown chickens were baby roosters but learned later that the coloring did not dictate the gender of the bird.

    “They are just like us,” Miller Mattie said referencing how people have different color hair.

    The students showcased their experiment and the six baby chicks at an academic fair held Thursday, May 5, at the school.

    After the fair, the baby chickens will have a new home with a local farm, student Natalie Haddle said.

    Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews

    Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews

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