Friday, June 1, 2012

TeraRCBr Looks Back on Life (HR)

TeraRCBr Life Story (HR)

Week 1
My gardeners planted my seed. I soaked up the water in the soil and my embryo started to grow. In a few days I had the beginnings of my roots and stem. Now I am trying to find my way to the light outside of this dark soil.

Week 2
My root system is starting to develop and it is getting more complex because I am getting bigger. It is longer and root hairs are growing on other roots starting from the main root.  My roots are sucking water from soil and feeding it to me. My cotyledons emerge from soil but are covered by the testa (aka: a coat for a seed). I am opening from the soil and am covered by the testa to protect me. Then my cotyledons opened and forced off the testa. They are forcing off the testa because they need some room to have fresh air. I have two heart-shaped cotyledons. My stem is growing taller. The cotyledons are  performing  Photosynthesis.  Photosynthesis is making sugar from energy from the sun and feeding it to the me. It is important because that means I can grow.

Week 3
I'm feeling very antsy. My first true leaves are developing. They are a little small. I am glad that photosynthesis is getting me worked up. Photosynthesis is when I get to feed myself. I am so sad that my cotyledons will not grow any bigger. My cotyledons won't grow any bigger because I am putting more energy to my true leaves. I am happy that my stem is growing bigger and I have flower buds. Some of the flower buds are big and some are small. Some of them are bright yellow and some are light green. I know how to feed myself because of photosynthesis and chloroplasts. I take water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide to make to make sugar which is what I eat.

Week 4
My flower buds are opening up! They are a yellow green color. I got new true leaves and my stem has grown longer. My cotyledons are a brown yellow color I think what is happening is my cotyledons are withering. My flower buds are developing nicely. I like how they look my true leaves are sharp-edged.  I heard some rubbish that my gardener will pollinate my flowers. I thought bees were supposed to do that! HEY this is not attack of the true leaves here! My leaves are taking over and I am way taller. Well at least I get more of my kitchen crew. What I mean by that is they send all the energy to my beautiful body. YAY! My beautiful tall stem is branching out! My leaves are so BIG!!!! They are the wind beneath my wings. I love you true leaves! My flowers look like they are happy where they are. It hurts me to think about when I have to let them and the cotyledons go. I have to let my flower buds go. That makes me sad. I have to let my flowers go because I don’t need them any more. My fruit are growing and the flowers are just taking up all my energy. My stem is getting longer and thinner I feel great when I shoot up it is so cool seeing it. Soon I will come to the end of my life cycle I hope my children are going to end up happy and healthy. Well I am excited about this because it is my next generation to see what will happen to me next.

Week 5
Oh no, both of my cotyledons have shriveled up. Even though I don't need them anymore, I miss my cotyledons. I know how the energy goes to my flowers and fruit but my cotyledons had a bond.  Also I'm kind of excited because I have these happy little green fruits that have popped out. My new true leaves are the darkest things I've ever  seen . My flowers are now white and yellow. I do not think this is a good thing. I think that getting white means that my flowers are at the end of my life cycle. My flowers are white because the attention on me is going to the fruit. There are these glimmering shiny hairs on my stem that reflect back on me.  I think I am going to be getting some fruit. Now my plant is about 200 mm tall. I'm excited because I think I am growing tall and fast. My fruits have these little oval bumpy shapes. They are my seeds that will create the next generation. My carpels are standing tall proud and very visible.  My gardener is a little, well not a little, a lot anxious about me and my flowers turning white and yellow.

Week 6
My carpels have turned into stunning pods! I think the carpels have turned into pods because I am maturing. I am coming to the end of my life cycle.  My stem is starting not to grow anymore. I have lost my lovely margin green color. I have lost all my flowers and my cotyledons have fallen off. My neighbors and I are very nervous. I think this has happened because I am as big as I can get.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TeraRCBr Looks Back on Life (AO)

TeraRCBr Life Story

Week 1

I finally germinated! Yay! I am so happy that I was able to come out of dormancy. My neighbor wasn't so lucky. He is still in the dormant stage but I'm sure that he will germinate soon. I am worried that he might not make it though. I absorbed moisture and my testa softened making way for my cotyledons and radical to break through the testa. Every second I am growing taller and my root system is starting to develop. My root hairs and starting to branch out and my root system is getting longer. My roots are getting stronger and thicker. My cotyledons are giving me the energy to grow. I can't wait to push through the ground and see sunlight for the first time. I wonder what sunlight feels like? Does it feel good? Does it feel bad? Will I live to know? My gardener call this stage of my life GERMINATION.

Week 2

My root system is developing and it got more complex. My roots got longer. The roots branch out from the main root and that is why I call it more complex. I have hair on my stem and petiole. My cotyledons emerge from the soil. I have 2 cotyledons they are still new and they are healthy. My cotyledons are heart shaped. I have four true leaves and they are all healthy. My true leaves are lobed / jagged. I am a healthy light green. I have flower buds and they look like they will sprout in a short amount of time. My flower buds are triangular prisms. My stem is growing larger I am now 82 mm tall. My gardener call this stage of my life SEEDLING DEVELOPMENT.

Week 3

My stem is long and skinny. I have about 6 light green true leaves. My cotyledons are light brown and crumpled. I have about 7 flower buds that are yellow and green. I’m starting to do photosynthesis and its easy to see because my leaves are getting stronger. I am taking nutrients and water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air and use the light to make sugar. I use the sugar to grow. It’s my food. To do all this I use the chlorophyll (my green pigment) in my leaves to absorb the light. I give back oxygen to my gardeners. I think my flower buds might sprout soon. My height is about 100 mm. I feel really high off the ground. My gardener says I am growing and developing.

Week 4

My flower buds have opened and my petals are a beautiful, bright yellow. My flowers are quite small but such a vibrant yellow that is sure to attract some pollinators very soon. I will be pollinated by my gardeners because I am in a box-like place called a "classroom" where there are no bees or other insects. My gardeners will pollinate me with a pollination wand. A pollination wand is a little piece of wire with a fuzzy thing on the tip that works like a bees' body. It works like a bee's body so it can pick up the pollen from my anthers and deliver it to another plant's flower's stigma safely. My cotyledons have started to wither because they are running out of nutrients. This bothers me a little but I think this is part of my life cycle. My true leaves have gotten larger in size and more have sprouted. My stem has grown extremely long but it is pale compared to the rest of me. I have many flower buds. They grow in little clusters around my true leaves. I am excited for my flowers to be pollinated so they can turn into fruits. As I grow my root system is developing quickly and getting more complicated. I have good soil and lots of water I know I will be a large and healthy plant. I'm so excited that I am going to be pollinated and grow fruits! My gardener call this stage of my life FLOWERING AND POLLINATION.

Week 5

I am 154 mm tall! My cotyledons are shriveling up and they look like they are falling off.  I am green with a hint of yellow and brown. I have 15 true leaves. I have 25 flower buds. The fruit looks sort of like a  big fat string bean. Most of my true leaves are very large. My stem starts out a kind of green and then goes to a light green. My stem bends over so much that my gardeners put a stick to hold up my stem. The stick is very uncomfortable. My petals wither and fall off because my gardener has pollinated me with the pollinating wand. My ovary starts to swell and gets longer because my ovules have been fertilized and are now developing into seeds. My gardeners are being very kind to me. It's getting very very crowded in my neighborhood because everyone is growing so much. My neighbors’ leaves are getting on me and it is very uncomfortable. I am very happy with my gardeners because they are nice and they take good care of me and don't bend my stem. I am so excited I have healthy fruit. My gardener call this stage of my life FRUITING.

Week 6

My leaves are getting bigger and heavier and weighing down my stem. I hope I don't fall over! My cotyledons are turning brown and wilting. Most of my flower petals have fallen off but I still have a few left. I have many flower buds and many fruits. I'm glad my gardener pollinated me so I could have fruit. My fruit is getting long, green and puffy. My gardeners say I am coming to the end of my life cycle I don't want to die but they say I have to create the next generation. I hope my seeds become big and healthy like me and grow fruits like me and continue the family I have. I've had a good long life and I have grown big. I have grown very tall. I am 231 mm  tall and when I look down I become dizzy! I really hope I don't fall down. Some of my neighbors are much bigger than me and they have a lot more fruit but at least I'm pretty tall and I have some fruit. I should say good-bye to my neighbors because I am going to die soon and I will miss them when I die. My gardener call this stage of my life MATURITY.

Friday, May 25, 2012

16 May Day 36

I’m still alive, but I think I may be getting near the end of my life-cycle. My stem got a little bit longer, it’s now 155 mm tall and it’s covered in tiny hairs. The bottom of my stem seems to be getting lighter in color. I wonder if that is because I’m sending all my energy to my new fruits and seeds. I have a few new leaves. They are dark green with light yellow veins. My old leaves are drooping and turning a sandy yellow-brown color. I have some new flower buds, but I’m not sure if they are going to open.

Even though I’m concerned about the changes in my leaves, my gardener and I are excited about my fruits. My fruits are getting bigger. They are a pretty dark green and look even more like little green beans. The seeds inside the pods seem to be getting bigger and are making bulges on the sides of the pods. My fruits are starting to change color from dark green to a brown-yellow. I’m excited for my seeds to disperse and make new plants.

In my spare time I’ve been thinking about my existence. I’ve never seen my parents, but my gardener’s gardener says that they were grown by last year’s gardeners. My gardener’s gardener says they were healthy and produced many seeds. Soon I will be a “plarent” too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

9 May Day 29

fruit detail
I HAVE GROWN!!! I’m now 148 mm tall!

My flowers have been pollinated and now I have lots of fruit. My fruit look like little green beans. They are getting thicker and bumpy as my seeds develop. My gardener was so excited to see all my fruit. It was like electricity was running through my gardner’s body and I was met with a face with a giant grin.

Since my flowers were pollinated and I’m growing fruit, I don’t need them anymore. I’m letting the petals go so I can send extra energy and nutrients to my developing seeds. I’m sad because my flowers were so beautiful. They were golden-yellow and shaped like magnificent butterflies. I got so much attention from my flowers. Now that they’re gone, I’m getting attention from my fruit. My gardener seems to be proud of me.

My leaves have gotten bigger. The blades are getting darker, but the margins are getting lighter and some of them are curling. The veins on my leaves are turning dark brown. The weight of the leaves seems to be weighing down my petioles and my leaves are starting to droop. My cotyledons have wilted and fallen off. I’m not sure if I should be worried about this or not. What does it mean? Am I dying? My gardener seems a bit anxious about all of this too.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1 May Day 21

I am now three weeks old. Hurray! I have flowers!  I’m making yellow petals so that some animals might notice that I have flowers. Since I’m growing inside a box that my gardeners call a classroom, I need to get my gardeners’ attention. I need them to pick up pollen from my anthers and bring it to the stigmas of my neighbors’ flowers. I also need to get pollen from my neighbors’ anthers onto my stigmas. Once I get pollen on my stigmas, my ovules get fertilized and turn into seeds. Once this happened, my ovaries start to swell and get longer. Since my gardeners are not bees, they pollinated me with a black furry thing that they call a pollinating wand.

My leaves have gotten bigger and I have a few new ones. My cotyledons continue to wilt and are about to fall off. I’m now 125 mm tall!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

24 April Day 15

A picture of me on Day 15
My cotyledons seem really low because everything above them has grown so much. I have four true leaves and lots of flower buds! I am 82 mm tall now! My stem grew so much that I was starting to bend over and my gardeners splinted me with a bamboo skewer and some tape. My true leaves are a healthy dark green and the color in their veins has gotten darker. My leaves have a mixture of toothed and lobed margins. My cotyledons are starting to turn yellow and they might shrivel and fall off soon. But don’t worry, I’m under constant light and with all those true leaves I can provide for myself by doing photosynthesis.

My gardeners check on me once every week on Tuesdays. They are taking very good care of me. My neighborhood is getting crowded and bushy as the other plants are all growing too. I am worried about a couple of my neighbors because they look a little sickly. They are more bent than they should be and some of their leaves have brown spots on them.

I don’t have any open flowers or fruit yet, but I totally want my flower buds to open!

Monday, April 30, 2012

18 April Day 9

Me at nine days old!
I have grown more! My height is still 29 mm, but now I have four true leaves. They are dark green and have jagged margins. My leaves are collecting the energy from the light. My roots are absorbing water and nutrients from the soil. My leaves are breathing in carbon dioxide from the air. Fortunately my gardeners make a lot of carbon dioxide. They ALWAYS seem to be talking! All these things are helping me grow. You can see veins on my true leaves. Some of my veins are light green, almost clear, and some of them are brown or purple. My cotyledons have gotten bigger, they are now 20 mm across and they are light green. My stem is kind of pink or purple near my cotyledons and then gets a light green to white near the top. Some of my roots are starting to grow through the sides of my pot. I wish I had some flowers...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

16 April Day 7

I see a thing, called light. It's a miniature sun that helps us do photosynthesis with our new leaves. I have two cotyledons and now I have two true leaves. I hope I'll have more. My leaves have bulging veins. My cotyledons will shrivel up and fall off soon. All of my neighbors have now germinated too. Hair is starting to grow on my petiole, the margins of my leaves and on my stem. I don't have any flowers or fruit yet but I hope to have some flower buds soon. I have grown taller, I am now 29 mm tall!

This is a picture of me drawn by one of my gardeners.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Project Begins

Based on @Astro_Pettit's blog and tweets of @Astro_Zuc, my 4th grade science students decided to write a blog in the voice of their RCBr plant along side their objective observation logs. We read the @Astro_Zuc blog and tweets and my students made some wonderful connections to their work:
  • "Hey we're doing the same thing!"
  • "Can we share our plants with them?"
  • "Those look like our plants!"
  • "We need to know how to grow plants in space for food on Mars."
  • "We should write as our plants!"
  • "Could we make the compost and tea like @Astro_Pettit uses?"

And so we are...

Our Brassica rapa seeds were planted on April 9. They are planted in a special potting media and receive constant light and water.

Here are some of the resources we are referring to to learn how to blog and tweet:

11 April Day 2

My first cotyledons opened to the light and my roots developed. My cotyledons are butterfly-shaped and light yellow-green with purple edges. My roots are strong and healthy, growing in a tiny pot of soil. I get constant light and constant water. Some of my neighbors have also sprouted, but some have not.