Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Different Kind of Learner

Since I began teaching five years ago, I have taught fourth graders.  Now, I am teaching a different kind of learner.  Yes, I am still going to teach fourth grade this year.  What I am talking about is teaching my son, a two year old.  I'm used to teaching ten year olds, but my two year old is like a sponge, learning all kinds of new information.  So, lately we have done "school" at least once a day.  I'm not pushing it at all, but he has LOVED it so much and ask for "more shapes".  Here is my little student.
I cut out a triangle, rectangle, square, and a circle.  I put them down in one color (here it was orange) and I give him one purple shape and say what it is. Then, he matches it with the orange one.  He got this one down immediately!
Lately, he has been interested in numbers and we count things pretty so I did the same thing as I did with the shapes, but instead with the numbers.  In the beginning he had a hard time matching the number 7, but he has it now. 
And of course, we have to do a little victory dance when we match them all up!
The next activity has been the hardest one so far.  Matching the letters of his name.  He has a hard time with "a" and "n", although I'm not sure why because I don't think they look similar.  We start out with his name like this.
I always tell him "Now, look at it." before he puts it where it goes...

We have also been doing color flash cards!  He's done SO good.  He has a hard time with grey and brown, but other than those two, I'd say he has mastered a pack of kindergarten color flash cards.  This makes me one proud mama.

We also did a little fine motor skills activity today using pipe cleaners and a kitchen strainer. 

Are there any other toddler/Pre-K learning activities that you can tell me about?  These are not my "normal" lessons/activities that I am used to teaching!  :) 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

Good morning, y'all!  I am linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for another Monday Made It!  
I'm not sure where I orginally saw this idea, probably on someone's blog from Monday Made It or on Pinterst.  Yesterday while shopping at Target's dollar bins, I came across these award necklakces.  I purchased 5 packs, which gave me 10 necklaces. Using Microsoft Word, I created a circle the same size and added the text "Ask me what I made on Mrs. Geren's test!"
I orginally wanted to use patterned scrapbook paper but it all seemed to clash with the red, white, and blue so I chose to use red and blue scrapbook paper instead.  I think the kids will love wearing these.  I'm not sure how I'll implement it, but I am thinking it will be used for 100's, A's, and/or for those students who usually make C's or D's and they finally make an A and are so excited.
Next, I created labels for my baskets for my supplies.  I used my NEW HANDY LAMINATOR (can you tell I love it?!?!).

I also created four labels for my new book baskets. 
I am also linking up with Amanda at Teaching Maddeness for her New {School} Year Resolutions party!
Resolution #1:  Create and stick to a consistent small group schedule.  This is an area of weakness for me, but I am determined to do a better job this year.  With much more resources available this year, I am wanting to do a much better job with my small groups.

Resolution #2:  Stay organizded.  Since I am getting rid of my teacher's desk and working for my small group table, I think this will help me stay organized so I don't have a desk to pile papers on.

Resolution #3:  Keep school at school.  With this, I mean it two separate ways.  First, when I've had a bad day and Johnny has drove me almost crazy, leave it at the door when I come home.  Second, leave school work at school as much as possible.  When I am home I want to focus on being a mama to my son.  I don't want to be distracted by school work.

Resolution #4:  Figure out some plan to manage my time more effectively with my masters work.  I am currently getting my masters degree online.  I began last school year and did 90% of my work when Easton went to bed, which put me getting very little sleep most of the time.  I was exhausted.  I'm not sure how I will change that because I have vowed not to make this masters degree coursework take time away from my son, or as little as possible.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pom Pom/Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

After I posted my pom poms on a Monday Made It post a few weeks ago, I've had several questions on how to make them so here is a tutorial for you! 

1)  Get your materials together.  You'll need: gift tissue, floral wire, and scissors.  One pack of gift tissue will make one pom pom.  I've read that some people use bobby pins or rubber bands instead of floral wire.  I used floral wire to make all of mine, but I'm sure the others work too.

2) Spread your gift tissue paper out.
3) Start to fold the gift tissue accordian stlye.

4) Once it is folded accordian style, find the middle and add your floral wire (or whatever material you use for the middle).
5)  This step isn't necessary, but I think they look better if you do it.  Take scissors and cut the ends of the gift tissue so they form an arrow.
6) Once one side is cut into an arrow, fold it over so you can try to cut the other side at the same angle.  Don't worry about making it exact, you won't be able to tell but you do want the same or a similar angle.
7) I start out by holding one side like this.
8) Then, start pulling the other side towards the middle.
9) Once you pull a few pieces of tissue paper on one side, begin the other. 
10) Once you have a few pieces pulled out on each side, work on the middle.  Most of it will stay near the middle but you want to pull them apart as well.
11) This is what the side you just worked on should look like.
12) You will repeat the same process on the other side.  Begin with one side and pull out about 3 pieces of tissue paper.  Repeat on other side.  Then, your middle part should look like this.
13) Finish by pulling the middle pieces apart just a little.
14) And you're finished! 
I hope this tutorial helps!  They are super easy to make once you get the hang of it!  I think they are so cute to hang in your classroom.  They averaged me about a dollar each since each pack of tissue paper was $0.99.  I also bought floral wire that was $2.99.  I have made five green and five blue pom poms so my total project cost is around $13.  Let me know if you have any questions if you make them!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tell Me More!

I've seen so many bloggers participate in the Tell Me More linky by Step into 2nd Grade so I thought I would join in on the fun!

1) I have to have Chap-Stick with me wherever I go.  It's an obsession.  Like, it goes everywhere with me!  I try to keep plenty extra on hand because you never know when you'll need some.

2) I used to love Burt's Beewax lip balm, but it started burning the heck out of my lips so now I used regular ole' Chap Stick. 

3) I have been to a drive in volcano.  My hubby and I went to St. Lucia on our honeymoon and visited Sulphur Springs, the only drive in volcano in the world.

4) I teach at a community school.  Pre-K through twelfth grade all on one campus.  Love it.

5) I drive 40 minutes ONE way to school every day.  80 minutes in the car every day during the school year. :/

6) I love reality TV, especially any Housewives and Big Brother.

7) I got bit by a spider once on my tongue.  You might be thinking, how is that possible?  I was riding a four-wheeler in the woods and was talking (cue mouth open) and we rode through a spider web and I got bit by a spider.  I mean, tongue swollen and all.  Obviously, I am now terrified of spiders. 

8) Growing up, I lived in a very rural town and we always had horses, dogs, cats, and even two goats for a short time (they totally disappeared one day!).  I used to LOVE riding horses.  This Palomino was mine growing up, but she now lives at my brother's house.  That's him and my son. 
Same goes for our childhood dog, Girl.  Girl lives at my brother's.  

9) I am a Tennessee VOLS fan!  Rocky Top is one of my favorite songs ever.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Working in my Classroom

Yesterday Easton (my 2 year old) and I spent about 3 1/2 hours working in my classroom!  Actually, I worked and he played.  For the most part he played by himself pretty good but the day pretty much went like this:  Organize/work, clean up Easton's mess, organize/work, clean up Easton's mess.  Bless him!

Here is a BEFORE picture, as in when I first walked in the door yesterday.  Note:  I worked in my classroom about 2 weeks ago so it's mostly set up.
Here is an AFTER picture, once I finished yesterday.  Unforunately, most of my pom poms fell down and half my posters fell down, too. 
I still have quite a bit to do, but I am definately getting there!  One of my goals yesterday was to get rid of my rolling book cart (which held most of my craft supplies and other random things).  This is what I had:
Now, all of my craft supplies are neatly organized on my new bookshelves. 

I've thought about how I would use my crayons this year.  I LOVE the serving bowl they are in, shown above.  But, I can just see kids picking through it to find the best crayon when asked to grab a handful of crayons to work with.  So, I bought these small bins at Dollar Tree and already filled them with crayons.  I'm not sure exactly where they'll go, but when it's time to color they are already filled and ready to go!  The serving bowl of crayons will be our extras or could be used in centers, small groups, etc.
I also spray painted a few more things!  Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you my bookshelf make-over using spray paint?  Well, this little wicker basket sits on top and holds all my CD's.  Yesterday I spray painted it green and LOVE it!  Doesn't it look great against the blue?
I couldn't end this post without showing you my sweet little helper!  He's all ready to learn!
Several people have asked if I'd do a tutorial on how to make pom poms.  Stay tuned, I plan to do that this week!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It {treat bucket & writing prompts}

It's time for another link up with Tara for Monday Made It!  This week I didn't get a lot accomplished, but I was enjoying the last of my vacation in Tennessee!
In my last post, I showed you a green bucket I'd bought at the Dollar Tree.  I used my Circut and vinyl to make it my Treat Bucket!  I think it turned out cute. I used to have my treats (candy) in a glass jar, but I am using it below.
A while back I purchased, printed, and laminated 101+ Totally Awesome Writing Prompts from Katie at Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans.  I've been searching for something to store them in and since I got rid of the glass jar for the treat bucket, I decided to use it!

Alright friends, time to go work in my classroom today! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Hop

I've been seeing this Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop on several blogs and thought it'd be fun to join!  Thanks to Janis at Grade Three is the Place for Me for hosting!
The questions are as follows:

1.  the state you are in
    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

First off, I know I like to have a face with a name so here I am, meet Mrs. Geren!

1.  I live in South Carolina.
2.  I teach 4th grade.
3.  This is my fifth year teaching.  I've taught fourth grade every year.
4.  I actually started my teaching blog about a year ago, but neglected it for quite some time.  This summer I have gotten back into posting and plan to continue!
5.  I would say my blogging tip is to comment on other's blogs and enjoy sharing materials/ideas/activities and not get caught up in the number of followers you have.  Although, it is exciting when you have a new blog and more and more people follow, but to me, it's about a lot more than that number.