I have a tough class this year. The type of class where I swear my blood pressure is rising by the minute. I knew the kids were going to get crazy with the upcoming break and Christmas, so I did something I SWORE I would never do.
I bought an Elf.
On a Shelf.
Well, I bought a cute plush version that didn't cost $30. Yeah, I'm cheap. And the other one is CREEPY. But I was desperate, and truth be told, I like creating Christmas magic. :-)
Our elf came to our classroom the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. I hid her up on the top shelf behind my table, in with the Reading Buddies I use to teach reading strategies. None of the students noticed all morning! :-)
After lunch our secretary came down to our classroom with an urgent package. It was red, sparkly, and addressed to Ms. Butler's Class from Santa at the North Pole. (Somehow, I don't have a picture of this! Sorry!) The kids were so excited that they got a really cool package in the middle of the day!
Inside was... a letter. It was from Santa, and it explained that he was giving us an Elf to help watch over our classroom for the next few weeks. The students were so excited- they couldn't believe that they were getting an Elf for our classroom! They finally found her- complete with "The Care of an Elf Manual" that explained how to care for her.
It also came with a suggested list of Elf names that we could name her. I have heard some truly horrible names for the Elves, so I decided to give my students some help in determining a name without making the process open-ended. No Super Dog in my classroom! I felt like the Elf should already have a name (I mean, who lives without a name?!) but I couldn't decide on one! So I let the kids vote. Some of the choices the students had were Jingle, Twinkle, Sparkle, Gumdrop, Snowflake, Peppermint, and Candy Cane. We had a tie, so her name is Twinkle Snowflake.
I have had some fun leaving Twinkle in places in the classroom that were kind of difficult to find her. The second day, she was up on top of the curtain rod. I made a big production of getting down the letter she brought us so that they wouldn't think I put her there. Day 3, she was in the fake plant by the TV, with another letter from Santa.
I used some glittery washi tape that I found in the dollar bin at Target to seal each letter from Santa. The kids LOVE it!
I have used this Elf as sort of a learning experience for my students as well. I know a lot of other teachers have their Elf do things in their classroom like toilet papering trees and stuff, but I wanted my Elf to be a positive role model. No marshmallow baths in my classroom!
The students were so surprised to find Twinkle in the book nook one day, reading to the reading buddies that the students use during buddy reading. This was the day after a snow day, so I told the kids she must have been lonely without us. :-)
She not only delivers letters from Santa, she also writes us notes. One day, she left us a note that explained how much she liked being in our class because she doesn't get to go to school at the North Pole. How sad! I am such a nerd- when I was reading it, I started to get all teary, thinking of the poor little Elf who doesn't get to go to school! (You know, the stuffed Elf who can't see or hear or have feelings.)
I decided I wasn't bringing in my Christmas tree this year, due to students who think it's ok to knock things over or throw them when they're angry. :-( Sad, right? It was driving me a little crazy that I couldn't be festive!
So Twinkle brought us in a small tree and some plastic ornaments ($3 for the tree, and $1 for the ornaments last Christmas), and hung some snowflakes from the ceiling to decorate! How sweet of her!
On Friday, the students came in and found that Twinkle was sick! Poor Twinkle! Any time they would get too loud, one of the students or I would remind the kids that she was sleeping! Too funny! They were so concerned about poor sick Twinkle. They loved her medicine. (water and red paint, because I didn't have any glitter!)
I have a few more ideas for next week. Tomorrow (Monday), she is going to bring us some elf games to play! How sweet of her!
There are 4 games in here. I'm going to group my students into 4 groups of 5 and allow them to cycle through these activities- one per day. I did something similar last year, and they LOVED it! It's like going to word work, except every day!
She was also going to bring us little stockings with a candy cane in them, but I CAN'T FIND THEM ANYWHERE! I had them last week, and now I can't find them. I looked through my Christmas stuff like 3 times! :-( So I don't know what she's going to do now! :-(
Do you have an elf in your classroom? What kinds of things does your elf do? Is it naughty or nice? If you have a blog post about your elf, I'd love to read it!