Monday, July 30, 2012

Made-It Monday: The Solar System

Who doesn't love the Solar System!  Space fascinates children from the primary grades through adulthood.  Here are some projects I made for the classroom or home!

A picture of the sun can has is graphic organizer
The Solar System can has is graphic organizer

I love the tree charts--I think it is a great way for pre-writing!  If you want a copy of our sun and its planets, click here.

The Solar System K-W-L Chart

One of my favorite discussion activities is a K-W-L Chart.  They help to activate children's prior knowledge, and it lends itself to a wonderful way of closing the lesson.  I made the charts for the sun and its planets.  Find it here.

Diary of the Solar System Graphic Organizer

I love the whimsy of making inanimate objects real.  The students can write diaries for the planets. It could even be a class project and made into a class book. This is a graphic organizer for the pre-writing stage.  You can find the entire solar system here.

Graphic Organizer of the Solar System
 I love making these graphic organizers for two reasons: they are easy and students love them!  I take two sheets of 12"x18" construction paper and line them up so there is about an inch between.  I fold it over and staple, and I have a very cool graphic organizer.  I have used it for planets, life cycles of butterflies and frogs, the layers of a tropical rain forest, and the layers of the seas.  It works well for anything!

Rock Planets

You can see what it looks like on the inside.  I drew each of the rock planets and wrote facts for each planet.

The Rock Planets: painting projects
I was trying to think of a fun way to make the planets.  As you see they are not to scale!  

Mercury:  I took orange paper, white paint and marbles.  I think it looks cool!  
Venus: blue paper and white paint and marbles.  I wish I made clouds on the blue paper instead.
Earth: white paper, green and blue paint, marbles.  I have made better, but it is still fun to roll those marble around.
Mars: red paper with sponged orange paint.  I was trying to make the cool orange rocks of Mars.  


There are many other great ideas at 4th Grade Frolics!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Clouds in Art

John Constable, Seascape Study with Raincloud

Claude Monet

O'Keefe, Sky Above Clouds

Berndnaut Smilde, A Cloud inside your room.

I love this sculpture--a cloud inside a room!

I just had to add this lego cloud. Just for a bit of fun!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cloud Inspector

I found this cool weather window at

I decided to try and make my own.

The hole isn't as big--but it is still fun.  A child can hold it up to the sky and become a cloud inspector!  For weather of the day, they can identify the clouds in the sky.

Picture of clouds

Go ahead and download your own copy, cut out the middle, and inspect the skies!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It!

Does it count if my husband and boys made it?
Maybe it could be used on a field day?

4th Grade Frolics
We had a birthday party for my little girl.  Water, water and more water.  We made our own water slide, and the best part was the kid's wash.  We started out small, but hopefully we will expand in upcoming years.

Here they are cutting the pipe.

Harrison is sanding it down.

Adding the connections!

The test run!!!  They decided the more holes the better.

Joshua liked to ride his scooter through it.

More fun with the test run!

It was a hit for the party!

Harrison is holding a sponge ball, that I did make.  We cut up three sponges and turned it into a ball.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Suzuki Saturday #4: Fun ways to practice your review pieces

Emily's teacher compiled this list of great ideas!

  1.  Play them out of order
  2. Cross your hands
  3. Play the hardest pieces first, and the easiest pieces last
  4. Play standing up
  5. Use cards, dice, or a game
  6. Play on your finger bones
  7. Play in the dark with light off
  8. Don't restart your piece
  9. Left hand plays the right hand part, and then the right hand plays the left hand part
  10. Play your piece in another octave
  11. Try playing them with the metronome
  12. Give a concert for family and stuffed animals
  13. Play them all legato
  14. Play them as fast as you can
  15. OR-play them as slowly as you can!
  16. Remember wrist rolls on all long notes
  17. Pretend your piano teacher is listening
  18. Play them as beautifully as you can
  19. Play them with concentration--pay attention!
  20. Try not to play the wrong notes
  21. Play them with your eyes closed
  22. If you piece has A,B,A form (bread, cheese, bread), try playing only the cheese on the first try.
  23. Mix up the bread and cheese and play a "crazy piece"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Clouds in the sky!

picture of can have are graphic organizer
can-have-are tree chart

My husband took these pictures while he was at work.  Can you guess his occupation?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The definition of a cloud: tiny water droplets or ice crystals that settle on dust particles in the atmosphere.

Would you consider this a cloud?

The Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago

What kind of cloud is it?

Do you think it looks like a cloud?

What would you name this sculpture by Anish Kapoor?

How does the cloud feel? 

Would you be able to see your reflection in a cloud?  
Perhaps.  You can see your reflection in puddles, why not a cloud.

Do you see the tiny particle of dust with the water droplet is sitting on its back?

Draw your own water droplet or ice crystal stuck to tiny dust particles.

Another view!

The droplet is definitely stuck to the tiny dust particle!

This is how I imagine it looks like inside a cloud.

What do you think it looks like inside a cloud?  

What does it feel like inside a cloud?

See you again, soon.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  It ends July 31st.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Made it Monday:Covered Wagons

Covered Wagons

Take two giant marshmallows  for the cover or bonnet.

Two toothpicks for the axles 

Four mini peanut butter cups for the iron tires.

 And you have a yummy treat!

Perfect for studying the western movement, and of course eating!

Click here

School Memory Link

I have a couple of kindergarten memories to share:

  1. After I had been sick for an entire week, I came back to school on the day of the field trip.  Everyone cheered for me when I walked in the door!  
  2. Monica S. asked me to kiss Matthew K.  She promised she wouldn't tell. After a little smooch, she went and told the entire class!
  3. Loved, loved, loved my kindergarten teacher.  She was saint-like in her patience, and she taught using themes!
  4. In first grade, we went back to kindergarten!  So much fun to play with our favorite toys.  The kindergartners had to act like first graders, and sit nicely.
  5. When we went on a field trip to the hospital, my teacher wanted me to volunteer to have my temperature checked.  I wouldn't do it because I had a fever and didn't want to go home.
  6. Not in kindergarten, but true story:  The circus train came through the town.  It didn't stop, just came by on the railroad tracks.  We, as a school, walked down to watch as the train went my.  Best field trip ever!
This was a great idea, thank you Jennifer at Simply Kinder!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Suzuki Saturday #3: Reviewing Songs

In the Suzuki method, Emily keeps practicing her songs.  She can work on technique, and polish the songs.  It has to be fun!  You can see other games we have played here and here.  In this game, we dig out our old Fisher Price Little People sets.

Emily recently turned 5, so we had a lot of these bags sitting around the house.  I picked out twelve figures and placed them in the bag.

Allegretto 1
We sing Alligator number one was playing in the sandbox.

Chant Arabe
We call it the Camel Song.  We don't have any words for the song.

Go Tell Aunt Rhody
In our version, the old grey goose came home.  I do not have a grey goose, but the white one works nicely.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Variation  C
 Run Hippo, Run Hippo

Little Playmates
We sing, "I'm a little pirate, I'm a little pirate."

OK, I know it's not a cuckoo bird, but she knows this bird represents a cuckoo bird.

Twinkle Variation A
Rudolph has a red nose.

French Children's Song
As I was posting this, I realized, Sonya isn't French, but she is a child.  Our words are, Come little children, come and hear the music.

Emily has fun picking out a Little Person.  Because we have a few games we play to review songs, I can ask her which game she wants to play.  She has some choice over how we practice.  We were able to review 8 songs in the one practice.