Sunday, December 9, 2012

I smell cookies.....mmmmmmmm

One of my most favorite things about Christmas is not only the tree and all of the gorgeous lights, but it is also the wonderful aroma of Christmas cookies.. This weekend I spend some sweet R&R while spending time in the kitchen mixing up some of my great grandmas famous cookie recipes (if you lucky I might even let you in on some southern family recipes!) Man so I love to hear my kitchen timer going off when a fresh batch of cookies are ready... and then to get the first bite.... OH MY WORD.... I am addicted......

Ok before I eat another one of those cookies I need to move on! hahaha.... This week our theme is gingerbread! We will spend days reading the various gingerbread man books, like gingerbread baby, gingerbread girl, gingerbread man, etc... After we have read and story mapped each one, we will spend a day comparing all of the stories and coming up with reasons as to which one we liked best. For writing this week, we are learning how to steal, I mean borrow stories that have been written by other people and make them our own. This week since it is ginger bread themed, I will have my student write their own version of the gingerbread man but all it "The Gingerbread ____insert their name______"  The students will write their stories in a gingerbread cut out book and then decorate the outside of their book like a gingerbread cookie! I promise I will post pictures of this project when we complete it on Wednesday!

We are also starting measurement this week so don't forget to check out my new unit on called Merry Measure Me!!! Its a freebie so go get it!

Here is the latest unit that I will be using this week. It is fun of ginger bread themed morning work pages, reading worksheets and Long O word sorts activities!

Also wanted to give a shout out to some AMAZING blogger who inspired some of my gingerbread creativity.....  You have got to check out their gingerbread units!!!

First Grade Parade
Fun in First Grade
Erica Bohrer's First grade
Babbling Abby

Again these ladies are FABULOUS!! Thank you ladies for inspiring us all with your creativity!

Click on the image below for your very own copy of this week's FREEBIE

Let me know if you are doing anything gingerbread themed in these last two weeks before the winter break!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fa La La La La La la..... Getting into the Christmas Spirit!!

So I can honestly say that I am getting into the Christmas spirit thanks to my sweet little husband! He was so sweet and precious and make me leave my computer and school work at school for one night (if you know anything about me, you know that it a really tough things to do as a WORK-A-HOLIC), but agreed and had such a fun night making memories that I will never forget. This is our second Christmas together as a married couple and it was so much fun digging out those old ornaments and and making hot tea and Christmas cookies while decorating our new tree.. I promise just a few pictures and I'll move on to some FREEBIES!! I apologize for the the poor quality of the pictures (my IPhone is amazing but sometime the quick little snaps don't turn out the way I want.......but you get the idea)

Our sweet little fat tree!

Okay, okay I cant resit it .... I got a little crafty (with the help of an amazing talented friend) thanks to the pintrest inspiration and made some darling little mugs for my husbands youth ministry volunteers. He wanted each one to have different lettering and fun designs with the same IMPACT student ministries logo so here's how I ended the night----20 mugs later------
So I promised so freebies so here they are... Just click on the picture for your free copies!
In class we are teaching the phonic skill of "ee" and "ea"... so enjoy the sweet treat act ivies! The frustrating part about about teaching "ee" and "ea" is that sometimes there are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings so I created this unit to teach some small mini units on homophones! I hope that you enjoy!

This next one is one of my favorites. I am reading the book "Oliver the other reindeer" which is about a dog who really wants to be a reindeer which the kids just LOVE after we have already spent the week learning about reindeer. Anyways, the students have to write a letter to Santa telling him why they would be good on Santa's sleigh team! Not only is there cute writing paper but they are differentiated. If your class is anything like mine, they are all over the spectrum and I teach to all different levels..

I would love to hear from each of you to see what you are planning on doing with your little ones for the holiday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Measurement Unit

Please tell me that I am not the only one having to go to school for two days before we can begin celebrating the Thanksgiving season. I have to say that I am a little bitter and upset that some of my friends around the blogging world are already enjoying their long vacation week.
I promise to update you on all of the fun things that we have been doing in our class for the Thanksgiving season but if you are like me you are already thinking about Christmas themes and lessons. This weekend I got a little inspired to create a measurement unit to begin once we return from this much needed break. My little ones have been working so hard it will do them a lot of good to take some time away and "Sharpen their Saws"! This unit is called Measure me Merry because I want my little ones to fall in love with measuring!! Click on the image below to grab your own measurement unit that follows the common core standards! Enjoy..

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Voting All Around

Hello all,
My vote is in and I can tell you it has been a fun week teaching little ones about all of the politics and election pieces going on around our nation. I started the week out reading the story called " Vote for Me" which the students loved! From there it was really easy to transition into real world elections and voting. Character descriptions were the writing focus for the week and I decided to have the students describe their perfect presidents.  Some of their pieces were so adorable! Here are some of the samples from lesson:

What I LOVED about this unit (besides the future voter button) was the differentiated writing pages. If my class is like anyone elses, I have some really high, average and low writers and these pages helped my students to feel successful no matter what their level was.  This unit also includes Long A Sorts, Recording Sheets, ABC Order Sort and writing pages!
If you would like to grab this unit for free just click here to download it!
Another very exciting thing that took place this week was the announcement that I was VOTED Rookie Teacher of the Year for my school. Honestly I was blown away and so humbled because we have so my amazing first year teachers. So thank you fellow colleagues!
Here are some fun things that I was showered with:

Enjoy the rest of your week and keep a look out for the Thanksgiving Unit that is up and coming!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Halloween Unit

Hello friends,
Hope that you are all enjoying your wonderful weekend.. Of course I'm sitting on my back porch enjoying this AWESOME fall weather (finally, we don't get to many days like this in the Sunshine State!) creating some things of this upcoming candy holiday called Halloween. If your like me you love it but will be ready for it to be over by the end of the day on Wednesday because all of those cute little costumes will be running all of the place begging for candy from anyone that they see.. So to help organize my day into something fun, yet very productive I created this little Halloween Unit which includes some addition and subtraction practice games, noun and verbs sorts with recording sheets and a "How to Stay safe on Halloween" writing activity. For your copy visit my TPT store by clicking on the link below. Please let me know if you have any amazing ideas or trick for the trade that you normally do on Halloween Day... If nothing else, enjoy your week!

- Kelly Thigpen

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ghosts, Goons and Goblins

This week was one of those short, yet felt longer than normal kind of weeks. We continued to work through our Halloween themed lessons and I think the anticipation of the big candy day is getting higher and higher. I just love seeing their little eyes light up each time we introduce new topics that are Halloween based. The last thing on my list for October is pumpkin activities and that will all take place next week!

We started the week with a little classroom meeting on manners. Is my class the only class that seems to lose them while they sleep at night? haha.. But seriously, where do they go? I found this adorable book from Patrick McDonald called " The Monsters' Monster". The book with a perfect Halloween themed text that taught the big idea of how far the words "Thank you" can go, or according to the monster, Dank You. Which can I tell you, I think my little ones say "Dank you" now more than they ever said thank you. Our team is really trying to incorporate writing with everything and so I created the Monster Manners handwriting page. Just click on the link for your copy! Pintrest also inspired me to have my class create the Frankenstein monster, notice boy and girl version!! What on earth would we do with our time without that amazing site??? (Pretty sure I could accomplish a lot more than I do!)

I also finished out the week teaching character descriptions to my students. Although this was somewhat hard at first, because they don't add details to ANYTHING let alone characters within their stories, by the end of the day Thursday they seemed to be getting better....Fingers crossed....To help enforce this concept, I used an idea from First Grade Parade. I asked the students to write a character description and draw a picture about themselves. Then we put these cute little ghosts over the top of their pictures to see if other people could guess who wrote the disruption. They were so enthusiastic about go around the room to try and guess who's was who's and then begged for me to put them in the hallway for everyone else to try and guess as well!

Thanks for reading and here's to going and trying to enjoy part of my weekend here in beautiful St. Augustine, Fl!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

eeeKKKKKKK... spiders

I have to say that my least favorite theme of the fall is..... Spiders.... These eight legged creatures are so gross but the kiddos just eat this stuff up and beg to read more non-fiction books about them. Here are some of the highlights from our week.
We brainstormed a list of spider action words and spider describing words and then made this Cinquin poem to go with craft below.

I absolutely LOVE using their little hand print and fingerprints for everything!


OK y'all this next activity is one that I adore. My teammates are amazing and thought of using the book "AAAARRRGGG spider" to teach persuasive writing. After reading the book, we brainstormed reasons why spiders would make good pets. Here are some of their reasons.

Take note of the very last one. It says " I can train it to give you a massage." Where do they come up with this stuff?? If that doesn't convince you I'm not sure what will.
The students were then asked to write letters to their parents persuading their mom and dad to allow them to have a pet spider at home.
 We didnt' have any intention of framing this writing but when I had 10 minutes of  extra time to fill those creative minds made these adorable spider pets!

I also have a FREEBIE spider double game up for grabs on our TPT store. Click here to get it for yourself!

Bats, bats and more bats!

What a fun week of bats galore last week... These little nocturnal animals are one of the favorites in my classroom. We had so much fun getting to know more abut these little guys. Here are some of the things that we did! We started our bat study with a KWL...
After reading a few nonfiction bat books these are some of the words that we brainstormed to create a fictional story about a bat.

Our fictional study for the week was "Stelluna" and our little firsties made these adorable bats retelling what what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the text. Of course my favorite part was hanging them from the ceiling for the little ones to see when they walked in the next morning. They were amazed!

Here is another bat that we made to show off our mad ability to find facts! OH MY Word aren't they cute??

I have to be honest, many of these ideas were taken from various blogs and websites so THANK YOU to First Grade Parade for all of your inspiration and ideas! If you haven't seen her stuff go on over and check it out! She is AMAZING!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Look WhOOOOO's learning about owls

Oh my word, I have to say that fall has to be  is my favorite time of the year! We get to go so many fun things and October is the kick off for our fun themes. OWLS, OWLS, OWLS, is the first theme of October. Then we move into bats, spiders, pumpkins and Halloween creatures like witches, mummies and more!

To kick off our OWL week, we read many owl fiction and nonfiction books about these feathery creatures. We completed a tree map of owls to help us with our writing piece. After we brainstormed all the components, students were asked to write 3 facts in complete sentences. Then......... they got to create these adorable owls that will go up on the wall.
(Thank you First grade parade and other blogs for the idea)
Each Wednesday I like to get my class together to conduct a class meeting. Thank you Stephen Covey for opening my eyes up to this wonderful concept! Each week I pick a topic for my class to discuss each week. This week I decided to talk about appropriate times to be goofy and sill and times to control our bodies and take things seriously! I know y class is not the only class that is beginning to get comfortable with each other enough to allow some of their true colors to come out..
In order to help with this concept, I found this  book called "Wise up, Silly Owl" It is precious and you should totally check it out!!
After reading the story all together, we discussed times to be silly and times to be wise. Then we made theses adorable owls.... I WILL be putting these inside my memory bank for next year!!!

The title of there stories were "Wise up, Silly________"(insert students name)
That's all I have so far! Don't forget to keep an I eye out to see what else our class created throughout the week!!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little details that I love!

So there are several little things in my class that I LOVE... I have beg, borrowed and stole many if not all of these ideas. (Isn't that the best part about being a teacher??)
Here’s my behavior chart. Each student starts out on green each day and has the ability to move all the way to purple depending on their behavior. If a student has achieved purple for the day, they are given a leader stick. 5 leader sticks =’s a leader privilege. Here’s a glimpse of my behavior system!


I am obsessed with my little monsters. It took me forever to create each one but it has saved a ton of arguments and pushing when the students are asked to put their book baskets away.


Aren't they adorable!!

Here are some other pintrest inspired creations! (I LOVE that website!)

Each time a student finishes there work early throughout the day, they get to visit the early birds poster (the activities change each day)

This little basket has been a dream for those poor books that get pulled apart from the students so eagerly reading them
Our classroom promise that we created all together!

Let me know if you have anything in your classroom that you just absolutely couldn't live without!

Monday, October 8, 2012

...Classroom Theme and Pictures...

This year my classroom has been decorated around a  "Monster" theme. I have to say that I am in love with the colors! Although is has taken me a LONG time to make all of the pieces for decorating, it has been a blast and it is finally finished!
Here is a sneak peak of my "bravo" board!
Leadership, writing and coat rake.. I had so much fun creating the accent pieces for the coat rake!
Just the  "FACE of a reader" board and a glimpse of the pendant curtains that I created!
Second most favorite thing in my classroom...... the rocking chair.. Praise the Lord that someone from our church graciously donated the old thing and I decided to add a bit of flair to help it fit in our classroom! Sneak peak of the calendar area too!
and here is my favorite area of my classroom.....drum roll please.... The LIBRARY!
It is so important that my little firsties have their little fingers in here from day one. It is my goal to ignite a fire for reading in their hearts this year!! This will probably be the only time this year that it will this organized but here's to giving it a shot!
There will be more photos to come!