Friday, November 22, 2013

Elf on My Classroom Shelf

When we return from Thanksgiving break, I will be bringing out the Elf on a Shelf.  Last year was my first year to use the magic this little miracle brings to a classroom.  Forget the clip chart and other behavior tracking systems, just tell the kids Elf is reporting to Santa and you have a very well behaved class (well, most of the time).

Our Elf arrived from the north pole in a white paper wrapped box that had been placed in the freezer.  The box was nice and chilly when our secretary brought it down.  We passed the box around to feel how cold it was.
 When the class opened the box, they found another package wrapped in Christmas paper.
Inside that box was a letter from Santa telling us he had left us an elf.
The kids spotted the elf hanging out on on our easel.  We brainstormed some names and then voted.  My kids came up with some interesting names.  Not sure what made them suggest Bear, Heart or Party???  Finally they decided on Ginger Sparkle, however, Manny, Elfie or Sparkey wouldn't have been too bad.
For the next few weeks, Ginger left many gifts, peppermints that grew into candy canes, pencils to help them with their handwriting, books to help them become better readers and an occasional after lunchtime snack.  On the few days that the class was a tad naughty, Ginger let them know she had reported their shenanigans to Santa.  It didn't take long for my kids to know Ginger meant business and anything they did, would be in her report.

This year I have a few new ideas in the works.  I will have the package delivered from the north Pole again, and re-use a few of the activities I did last year.  This year however I have created some Elf stationary to use and an Elf Adventure Journal for my class to write in.  You can find this in my TpT store.  There are pre-designed letters and editable stationary.  If my letters don't work for your classroom situation, you can create your very own.
I have been scouring Pinterest for some new and clever ideas.  I have been saving all of them to my Pinterest Board. Visit my board and make sure you follow me.
The official Elf on a Shelf Teacher Resource Center website has lesson plans and classroom activities designed specifically for each grade level with CCSS included.  Here are the links to Week 1's lessons
Be sure to register to receive their weekly plans and other classroom activities.

If you do Elf on a Shelf in your classroom or know of some great creative ideas to share, I'd love to hear about them.  Leave me a comment below. 

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