Archive for January, 2016

The Salmon Game

1st graders constructed these fabulous salmon games that highlight the trials and tribulations salmon face in the wild.


There are bears, eagles, pollution, oil spills, and of course- humans! There are also helpful factors for salmon such as water flow, fish ladders, insects & food, and rocks & logs to hide under and stay safe. Bad factors would make a player go back spaces, with positive factors helping players advance.DSC_1445

They absolutely loved creating and playing this game. It was fun, artistic, scientific, and engaging. A teacher remarked to me how how engaged the students were as they played eachother’s games. They got to take them home and hopefully school their parents in the art of being salmon.

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The mighty Orca salmon return

This is our 8th year in a row raising salmon eggs at Orca. We receive the eggs from the Issaquah salmon hatchery and grow them into baby parr that we then release in Seward Park around Earth Day. This is always one of  the highlights of the year. Visit the salmon in the hallway!


We have started our annual kindergarten salmon life cycle comic book in the downstairs hallway. They have made “egg” and “alevin” parts of the cycle so far. Stay tuned for more!


This is our fabulous intern Amy from the UW Pipeline program. We have been hosting students from the UW for many years and it’s always a pleasure (and massive help!) to have these students here helping out. Thanks Amy!


Students have really enjoyed visiting the salmon tank. While it is a challenge to have that many students see them in a small space, it’s so great to be able to point out the unique characteristics of the salmon’s growth cycle- in person.


A lil’ hype goes a long way in making learning exciting! (and corny, no doubt). May the Fish be with you!!


1st graders made salmon life cycle hangars that were so much fun to make. It took a lot of cutting, arranging, finagling, and more, but they came out pretty cool. Thanks Laura Grow for all the help on this project.




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Duwamish Native Studies

The new year has started off with a cultural bang as we explore the Duwamish people. They are the tribe native to the Seattle area and famously have not been recognized for their stolen land and/or the atrocities perpetuated upon them. It seems important for those of us who live on this land to know about their history & culture.


The Burke Museum has some amazing boxes that they lend to schools to help explore native culture through tools, artifacts, and curriculum.


These kits show so much about the artistry and ingenuity of native peoples in this area. Students really enjoyed exploring them as they drew and wrote in their Duwamish Passports that they created. Getting to touch and explore the items in the box really creates an experience that is fun and educational.


A little known fact is that the Duwamish people have still not been federally recognized as a tribe, which doe snot allow them certain rights regarding land ownership, services, and fishing rights. Students were displeased to learn that the Duwamish people were awarded $1.56 for their land and hardship. This land was 25,000+ acres across Seattle that they held title too, yet was forcefully removed from them.

We listened to this fabulous Pacific Northwest music as we explored. Highly recommended.

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