Saturday, June 29, 2013

Suzuki Saturday! Check out this great commercial!

My dear friend and piano teacher Liz, has a very talented son.  Well she has more than one talented son, but for this purpose, we are only going to talk about one.  Her son produced the wonderful video on her piano blog. He also produced this inspiring commercial that is currently in a national contest.  I loved the commercial for the music as well as the story. Enjoy!

If you love the video--like I do--please go to its YouTube page and like it!  
You can also like it on Facebook!  It needs likes in both venues to win!  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dollar Days #3

A Teacher without a Class

I wanted to feature one of my favorite apps that is only 99 cents--less than a dollar!  Drum roll please:

Stack the States App
Stack the States by Dan Russell-Pinson

My boys love to play this app right next to our United States Map.  I love seeing them fully engaged in connecting with the map and the app. The graphics are engaging, and the games are fun as well.  I love trying make the states stack correctly.  It's hard to balance the odd shapes of the states in the US.  The biggest states help you to cross the line faster, but they can also be the oddest shaped states: Alaska and Texas.  

The app states a question:  an example: Which state is Idaho? 

As you can see the states are given animation and scaled to size.  It is really fun!  Find a full description here.

Last week I loved how A Little Red Wagon brightened up her purse with a dollar item from the jewelry store.  She used this necklace to make a brand new handle for her purse!  Genius!

And Cait from Sliding into First! found some wonderful books for the Target Dollar spot!  

The rules of the linky:

Post any item that you have made using a dollar item.  Find a wonderful dollar bow that you add to your wreath it counts!

Feature any item that you sell for a dollar.  Even if it is 1.99--you can count it!  Please link up to a blog post, not your store!

Feature an item that someone else is selling for a dollar.  Please share the great things you find!

Feature us the great things you find: either from a dollar store or dollar spot!  I am terrible at finding great deals so this will help me tremendously!

Feature items that you love for a dollar!  My personal favorite is a diet coke from McDonalds!

You can feature as many dollar items as you wish!

I'll be hosting the linky every week--and featuring my favorites from the previous week!

Again post anything you love, find, sell, or make with dollar items!

A Teacher without a Class

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


You can enjoy three items of your choice from my store!  This is one of my recent items, and I love it!  I am sure you will love it too!  
One Cool Friend Comprehension package!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Coral Reef: Part 1 of Finding Nemo Summer Unit!

Coral Reef: a study through books

A House for Hermit Crab
Any book by Eric Carl is a must read and we are lucky that hermit crabs live in the coral reef.  The hermit crab even meets lots of other animals that live on the coral reef.  It's a great book to introduce young children to the coral reef.

My Visit to the Aquarium
 If only there was an aquarium like this one to visit!  I love this book.  I read it to my boys every night for a week before our first visit to Shedd Aquarium.  They loved it! It made the visit to the aquarium so much fun! Another fun aquarium book is One Cool Friend.  You can find blog posts about that book, here and here

One Cool Friend, literacy packet
Or you can buy this packet from TPT.

City Fish, Country Fish
This book compares the coral reef to a busy city.  The different types of corals are the buildings, and all the wildlife are busy crowds.  She even talks about the night life: when the sharks come into the reef.  It briefly talks about fish that live in the open ocean (the country fish) but it is mainly about the fish of the coral reefs!

Coral Reefs, by Gail Gibbons
If there is a book by Gail Gibbons on a subject--it is always a must read!  Love her writing and illustrations.  She is truly a talented nonfiction writer.  I wish I had read her books when I was young, but at least I've introduced them to my children!

Life in a Coral Reef
I like this book because the writing is short and concise.  The illustrations tell most of the story.  It would be great for an independent read for older students with lower reading levels.  I also love Steve Jenkins.  He is another talented writer and illustrator.  Although for this book, he was just the illustrator.  

Coral Reefs, by Seymour Simon
We are so lucky that both Gail Gibbons and Seymour Simon have a book about coral reefs.  Simon is a master of writing metaphors and similies, and he compels us to care and love the coral reefs.  The photographs are spectacular!

Over in the Ocean, In a Coral Reef
I love this book for the littles: my daughter loves this song--and what a wonderful way to teach her about the coral reef than by song.  The book includes the sheet music to the song as well!  

I had to include the clownfish--we are trying to follow Nemo's path.

I read three books to Emily, while the boys did a webquest:

They sat next to each other and searched and read different sites.  I found many of these sites through different formal webquest assignments.  QuestGarden has an amazing site that you can find many different assignments and projects all starting with a webquest.  After we finished our research, we made a coral reef mural.  Complete with all sorts of animals.  After we finish with the coral reef--we are going to move onto sharks.

Coral Reef Mural

I also wanted to link up with Tori at Tori's Teacher Tips!  She does a great tutorial on Bloglovin!  I finally have my widgit up.  I haven't, however, organized all the blogs that I follow.  So enjoy, and link with her!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It: Coral Reefs

I have been painting this week--our boys bedroom--which I promise to reveal when completed!
This week I'll share a can-have-are chart on the Coral Reefs.  We are starting a unit on Finding Nemo: we are starting where Nemo began his life: The Coral Reefs!

Coral Reefs: can-have-are chart

Find it on my google drive!  

Find other really great ideas on Monday Made It!  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Suzuki Saturday: Reading Material

Helping Parents Practice, by Edmund Sprunger
I feel as though I'm in a slump.  Emily did great on her Book 1 recital.  Summer rolled around--and I had all these ideas that I was going to do with her--now the third week of summer has passed, and I haven't done anything.  It is time to get inspired!  I'm hoping that this book will help.   Stay tuned for what I learn about practicing with my girl!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dollar Days Linky #2

A Teacher without a Class
Introducing the weekly version of Dollar Days! I started this in April--planning on doing it monthly--then May came with all its craziness--then June came--and I had some surgery--so now I'm better and I want to do it weekly!
Two months ago I love that Jean Robinson at Diving Into 2nd Grade found these
awesome pots
for Mother's Day Presents!  She also shared her I have Who Has from her TPT store
I Have, Who Has: Numbers to 20I Have, Who Has: Numbers to 20I Have, Who Has: Numbers to 20I Have, Who Has: Numbers to 20
which you can find here. 
Others shared what the made out of dollar items! 
Here are the rules: 
Post anything you find, buy, sell, love, or make that is a dollar.  If you use dollar items on a craft--that counts as well!  Please link up to your web page only!  If you find great things on TPT or TN for a dollar, please share!!!! 
I have been working on a wonderful comprehension package for One Cool Friend, by Toni Buzzeo.
I finally finished, and it is my TPT store! 

So grab a button and link up! 
I also plan to link up with Workshop Wednesday--but it will have to be this afternoon! 

A Teacher without a Class

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Made It--Lego Math!!!

It's so nice to be back every Monday with Monday Made it at 4th Grade Frolics!  There are always great ideas!  Please come and link up with me on Wednesday for Dollar Days.  Where you share things you find, sell, or love for only a dollar!  

What do a bunch of gym socks have to do with lego math?

Each sock has a bunch of legos inside.  The goal is to use your multiplication skills to to find how many studs are found in each sock!  

Sock #8: there are four legos  each with four studs.  The equation:


As students feel their way through the socks--they gain number sense, and really learn about multiplication.  An added bonus--it is a quiet activity.  No dice falling on tile floors.  

4 groups of 8 = 32 studs

7 groups of three = 21 studs

When I did this with a small group, I had the students tell me the equation.  After a few times, you could designate it to centers.  And the students could fill out this worksheet--writing an equation in down on the sock.  They had a lot of fun--and I think they were really thinking about coming up with an equation, not just rote memorization of skills--but applying skills.  

                                                               You can find the worksheet on my google drive!  

                                         Find other great ideas on Monday Made it!  There are always bunches!  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

One Cool Friend--YouTube

I think this boy looks just like Elliot--just as polite and proper as Elliot as well!  Enjoy!  

Friday, June 7, 2013

One Cool Friend: Book Review

One Cool Friend, by Toni Buzzo pictures by David Small
This is a wonderful book!  It was nominated for the Monarch Award, and is a Caldecott Honor Book.  You can see why: the illustrations are superb!

Elliot built Magellan and ice skating rink. 

Elliot and Magellan
This book is also superbly written.  Elliot and his father go to the aquarium.  Elliot brings home a souvenir: Magellan a Magellanic penguin.  As a reader, I drew one conclusion. Now that I have read the book many times, I believe that there are many different conclusions can be drawn, discussed, and believed to be true.    What a great book to share with students that there isn't always one answer: but many.  How long did the father know about Magellan?  Was Elliot trying to hide the penguin from his father? Did he hide it from his father?

I remember when we did try to hide something from my mom--for how long we hid it, I will never know, but I was certainly surprised when she found out!

I grew up in a big family. We rarely had cold cereal, crackers, chips, or any junk food. One treat we made was peanut butter balls: the recipe consisted of powdered milk, peanut butter, and honey. The second treat was better, and we named it Nothing. Now Nothing is a wonderful mixture of butter, brown sugar, and oats. We would cook it up on the stove (then eventually the microwave), eat it, sometimes with milk (powdered at that) and clean it all up. We called it nothing, and we thought we were so clever because our mom never would know that we made it! Well, then one night we were down in the basement and my mom goes, "Hey let's have some nothing!" We couldn't believe our ears, she knew, for how long we don't know.

I am working on a packet for this book.  The ideas are flowing.  But in the meantime, I want you to look at this packet from my good friend at Joy in the Journey.  She did a really nice packet, and you can get it free from her Teacher Pay Teacher store!


My favorite sections are:
  1. B-M-E Organizer
  2. K-W-L Charts (on the explorer Magellan and penguins)
  3. Character Profiles  
I'm going to take a different approach, but I hope you will enjoy this as well!