Posted in Book Reviews, Young Adult Books

Countryside #2- Tears of Adina Book Review

Counntryside - The Tears of Adina- Book 2Countryside: The Tears of Adina by J.T. Cope IV

From Goodreads:

“Luke Rayburn has spent summer vacation running up and down sandy beaches with his family. He’s explored hidden coves, learned how to write invisible letters, and even met an ocean nymph. But his friends write to tell him of strange happenings in Countryside and he’s anxious to get back.

When Luke returns, he finds that much has changed. Mischievous gnomes are spreading chaos across the valley, a lone wolf haunts the forests, and Mayeem, one of Luke’s new teachers, just happens to be a mermaid. And then there’s the hunter, a man with golden eyes, only part of a soul and the belief that Luke has hidden something he wants—something he’s willing to destroy Countryside in order to get.

Hounded by blackhearted men and soulless creatures and with darkness luring him in, Luke must gather his wits and ferret out his true friends. But as he draws close to finding what it is the hunter seeks, he will learn that there is more at stake than he understands. He’ll learn that it’s not the hunter he should be afraid of and that, once done, some things cannot be undone.”

My thoughts after reading this book…

Personally, I really enjoyed this book. Probably even better than the first time.  After “getting to know the characters” out of the way, the story was able to pick up not too long after the first book and it kept going strong. I love how the main character is taught respect for adults, and uses “sir” and “ma’am” even if he disagrees with someone.  

There are lots of elements of magic even though there were similarities to some Harry Potter. The magic was written well enough to stand on its own.  In this book, the students learn about the water discipline as well as trying to keep the Tears of Adina from falling into dark hands.  The settings were very easy to imagine with lots of great descriptions without being overly wordy and the magic was very enjoyable.  The book is beautifully written.

The book is targeted at fantasy readers, upper elementary and junior high, who enjoy series like Harry Potter,  Narnia, and Percy Jackson.     

 As a middle school teacher, I often read books designed for 4th-7th graders so I can recommend books to my students. This is a book that I will definitely recommend. However, any age fan of fantasy and magic would enjoy this story.  

Amazon currently has this book for purchase as a Kindle ebook for $3.99, hardback and paperback also available.  

For the Nook  Barnes and Noble currently has the ebook also for $3.99 with paperback and hardback available as well..

With both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you do not have to have an E-Reader to purchase the book.  You may also download their free app to any phone or tablet and read the book from there.  Use the links above to set up your account and purchase the books while enjoying them on the go with your phone, tablet or E-Reader.  

Please use the menu bar above to find out about other great books, or click the links below.  

 

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Posted in Birthday Parties, Minecraft Party

Minecraft Birthday Party

For my son’s 9th birthday, he decided he wanted a Minecraft theme. This was a lot of fun to make and he was so excited!

For the cake, we used Rice Krispy Treats which the kids thought was super cool. Due to his food allergies, we made ours from scratch but you could also buy a Rice Krispy Sheet or tray that is already made for easier prep. The best thing about making them from scratch or using a tray is that you can cut the squares any size that you would like. We used a 9 x 13 in pan, blue jello for the water, plain Rice Krispy treats for the sand, and Cocoa Rice Krispy treats with green icing for the dirt and grass. Add a few Minecraft Mini Figures like Steve and some Cows or Zombies and done!

My friend actually made this giant wall decoration made from light green, green and black square party plates. We used left over plates for the kids to gather their supplies (aka food).

She used hot glue to glue all of the plates to foam board which she also glued together. The result is in the picture. It was a great addition to the party.

Now for the awesome food!

minecraft party 4.jpg

I wish I could tell you how my friend made the super cute signs, but I’m not totally sure. I believe she used Google Images to cut and paste them together. However, I can tell you how I made the food.

We used..

  • Carrots – baby carrots
  • Sticks – pretzel sticks
  • Cookies – small chocolate chip cookies
  • Trap Doors- Window Pretzels
  • Diamonds – Blue hard candy (we bought ours at Party City, but attaching the Amazon link here in case you need a lot of them)
  • Emeralds – same as Diamonds, except in green
  • Iron – Hershey Nuggets
  • Gold- Hershey Nuggets
  • Mushrooms – these were fun, white jumbo puffy marshmallows topped with red icing and white chocolate chips.
  • Watermelon – watermelon taffy

Add Sprite bottles with labels peeled and turned into Creepers with a sharpie, and green party cups and a party was made!

If you would like to see some other themed birthday parties, click menu and birthday parties or click any of the links below.

Posted in Pokemon Patterns

Pokemon’s Pikachu Perler Bead Project

This super cute little guy was based off a pixelated image created by Kandi Patterns and was made by a nine year old.

She used the pixel image to count and drop the yellow, white, black and red Perler beads into place to form Pikachu.

We used the masking tape method (see Perler for more info) to tape off sections when the project was ready for ironing. Using a large piece of cardboard and ironing paper, we were able to get him melted. (Unfortunately, she was ironing it on a table that was old and had some indentions in it) However, overall he still came out pretty great!

Drop me a comment or picture if you try this cute pattern out! Would love to know see your project!

If you would like to check out some additional Perler Bead Patterns or Projects, click on the Menu at the top of the page or click some of the links below.

Posted in Book Reviews, Young Adult Books

Countryside #1- Book of the Wise Book Review

Countryside: The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV

From Goodreads:

“You have a power within you, one that is within everyone…It’s the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive…and the same power that has attracted your attention…I know it’s all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real…” Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents’ home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way. Luke’s only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he’ll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside

My thoughts after reading this book…

Personally, I really enjoyed this book and have already purchased the second book in the series. It started off a little slow at first, as readers were introduced to several characters but picked up very quickly. I became invested in Luke and enjoyed watching him grow and learn throughout the story. Lots of elements of magic which I loved, even though there were similarities to some Harry Potter and some Narnia traits. Overall, the magic was very enjoyable and the settings were easy to imagine with lots of descriptions.

The book is targeted at fantasy readers, upper elementary – junior high, who enjoy series like Harry Potter, Narnia, and Percy Jackson.  Though any age fan of fantasy and magic would enjoy this story.

As a middle school teacher, I often read books designed for 4th-7th graders so I can recommend books to my students and this is a book that I will definitely recommend.

Amazon currently has this book for purchase as a Kindle eBook for $3.99, hardback for $24.99 and paperback for $10.97.

For the Nook, Barnes and Noble currently has the eBook also for $3.99 and paperback for $10.99.

Posted in Perler Bead Patterns, Zelda Themed Patterns

Legend of Zelda Perler Bead Art Scene

Ever wanted a Perler Bead or Hama Bead pattern that you could spend time happily crafting so that you can melt it and put it in a framed picture for the wall? This classic piece is from the Super Nintendo Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past.

Made with over 3,800 Perler Beads and 6 grids! Original design xpeachart or cocomademosielle depending on which pin you look at.

This one did take a few hours to create. If you recreate this pattern, I would suggest getting a large piece of cardboard or cardboard box to lay underneath the grids.

We used a medium shipping box from Walmart, cut in half like the first picture below. (One box should make two large pieces with two of the sides of the box in each piece.) Then we laid the grids on top of one side. Once the scene was complete and before ironing, we used the masking tape method to tape the entire picture. (If you would like to learn more about this method, Perler has a great tutorial on their site.) Once the masking tape was secure, we were able to fold the top side of the box down and enclosed the grid inside (basically a grid sandwich with the cardboard on both sides). This made flipping the grids so much easier!

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted the scene to have the pixel look so after ironing, ours turned out like this..

2017-10-20 22.26.26.jpg

Leave me a comment or picture if you try this one and let me know how yours turns out!

If you would like to check out additional Perler Bead Patterns, click on the Menu at the top of the page or click some of the links below.

Posted in Perler Bead Patterns, Super Mario Patterns

Luigi’s Game Boy Horror from Luigi’s Haunted Mansion made with Perler Beads

Luigi's Haunted Mansion- Gamboy Horror Perler/Hama Beads pattern

Luigi’s Mansion- the Game Boy Horror which Luigi receives in the game from the Professor.  Made with light gray, black glitter blue, white , pink, clear white, light green and light blue Perler Beads.  You could also use Hama or Melty beads as well.  Amazon has a great selection of individual bags of Perler Beads as well as starter kits.

My son’s friend came up with the pattern.  The pattern  below is before we melted it.

Luigi's Haunted Mansion- Gamboy Horror Perler/Hama Beads pattern

If you would like to check out additional Perler Bead Patterns, click on the Menu at the top of the page or click some of the links below.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Math Games, Math is Awesome!

Free Place Value Online Math Games – Grades 4-6; Games with links and descriptions

Finding a good list of games that my 5th graders can play is exhausting. Most of the games I have found have dead links or some are way too easy/hard. This year, I have decided to make my own list of games that my students can play for the last few minutes of class. These games can be played by any level but are best suited for students in grades 4-8.

place value, grades 4-6, math

If you have some other good ones that you find, please comment and let me know. Would love to add them to the list.

  • Math Snacks Gate
    • “Shadows are corrupting the land. Restore the balance of nature using number operations and place value.”
    • Students use the skills of decomposing numbers (in whole and decimals) to build the correct number to win the game and restore the balance of nature.
  • Place Value Hockey
    • Place Value Hockey is a fun educational game for kids to practice place value. There are 2 modes of play and 3 levels of difficulty.
    • Modes of play: Identify Place Value & Type Numerals Difficulty:
      • Level 1: ones to hundreds;
      • Level 2: ones to millions;
      • Level 3: ten thousandths to millions
    • The game will show the percentage each player gets correct and players get to take penalty shots to score points for their team when they get five correct in a row.
  • MathMan- Expanded Form
    • This one was a good game to introduce my expanded form unit. It is best designed for grades 2-4 but my kids loved it.
    • In this game, a version of pac-man must eat the ghosts in the correct order by expanding a number in the hundreds place by its value.
    • For example if the number is 641, students look for a ghost with 600 + 40+ 1 on him. They must eat him before the other ghosts eat him.
  • Comparing Decimals Fruit Shoot
    • Fun arcade style math game teaches decimal comparisons
    • Compare decimals by shooting fruit that has the or = sign to make the inequality true.
    • Students can choose between 4 modes and 3 levels. Each level has a timed mode slow and fast fruit, and a relaxed mode with slow and fast fruit.
  • Scooter Challenge- Rounding Decimals
    • Students help Jimmy earn enough money for his paper route by delivering papers to the correct house
    • Different levels of play. Students start off by rounding 1.377 to the nearest tenth place. Each of the houses have a number on the garage doors, and the student must throw the newspaper to the correct house. This will help him or her earn lots of money for his new scooter.
  • Rounding Decimals – Shark Attack
    • In this game, students will work on their rounding skills by rounding decimal numbers to the nearest hundredth place.
    • At the bottom of the screen will be a sentence with a number to be rounded and your goldfish friend. (“Fish are friends not food” – thanks Nemo)
    • Find the shark with the answer and click it to blow it into pieces before the the sharks reach your goldfish friend.
    • The students must be careful because if they pick a wrong answer, the shark will get to the goldfish quicker!
  • Funbrain – Spell the Numbers
    • In this game, Funbrain will show you numbers on the check in standard form.
    • Your task is to spell the the words that make the number (word form)
    • You can choose different categories from 0-10, 0-100, 0-1000, and 0-10000)
    • You can also do this in reverse order. Students are given word form and must write the numbers in expanded form.
  • Funbrain – Place Value Puzzle
    • Students use their knowledge of place value to find the location of individual digits within a larger number.
    • Each correct answer unlocks a piece of puzzle.  9 correct answers show the entire puzzle.

 

More will be added as I find some other good ones. Enjoy!

 

Posted in Girl Scout Crafts

Daisy- Make New Friends Swap

This super cute little idea came from one of our leaders. Our Daisies were learning how to make new friends and it was their first official meeting, so she found an idea from tracyblogspot and decided to do something similar.

First, she made little cards that said, Make new friends, but keep the old – One is silver and the other’s gold. These lyrics are from the old scout song, Make New Friends. Next, she gave each of the girls small pieces of gold and silver pipe cleaners to make little silver and gold rings. After punching two holes in the card, she used another small piece of a pipe cleaner to teach the girls how to attach their rings. Finally, on the back (my favorite part), she had the girls write the names of their old Daisy friends and their new Daisy friends.

The girls had so much fun making new friends, asking each other to spell their name, and singing the song. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next week.

If you like this or would like to see a different game/craft that we have done with our scouts, please click menu, Girl Scouts at the top or anything below.

Posted in Kahoots, Math Games, Math is Awesome!

Base 10 Exponents/ Powers of 10 Kahoot

Powers of 10, Base 10 Exponents Kahoot 5th gradeKahoot Time!! My students absolutely love hearing that and competing against each other.

If you have never used Kahoot! before, you can create them for about any topic or subject. The registration is completely free.

This was a Kahoot my intern created which has 11 questions about powers of 10 or base 10 exponents. In this Kahoot, our 5th grade students practiced naming base 10 exponents in standard, word and exponential form. They used white boards, when needed, to write and calculate the different forms.

Click here to play – play.kahoot.it

If you’ve never used a Kahoot before, please check out my Kahoot Introduction. If you would like to see some other kahoots, I have several with different topics that I made under menu, Kahoots or just click anything below..

Posted in Perler Bead Patterns

Nintendo Game Cube Perler Bead Pattern

2017-09-06 17.37.03.jpg

My son’s friend created this awesome Perler bead design to represent the Nintendo Game Cube. He used purple, black, white, orange, and gray beads on a hexagon grid. Once melted, the finished project looked like this… I liked it from both the front and the back sides of the cube.

2017-09-07 07.08.25.jpg

If you like this or want to see something different, please check out some of our patterns and designs…