Saturday, December 5, 2015

Classroom Elf Adventures- Part 1 of 3

For the next three weeks, I will be sharing our adventures with our classroom elf!
I started using Elf on the Shelf in my classroom last year and it was a huge success! I had a challenging time with behavior in my class last year and I figured it was worth a shot. I am so glad that I tried it and have been working on new ways to incorporate the elf into our routines during the month of December.
Let me start by introducing our elf- meet Dot!

I started our elf adventures this year by having a mysterious box delivered to our classroom on the day before Thanksgiving break. Inside the box was Dot's mailbox and a letter saying that she would be visiting us when we got back from break. There were lots of guesses as to who Dot might be ("Is Dot your sister?").

The first time that Dot visits, I made sure to put her somewhere up high just in case someone sees her before we read the story and decides to touch her.

Naturally, it took them about 60 seconds to notice her!

We read the story and talked about the rules for our elf. I showed them the papers that Dot had given us to write to her and they were SO excited!

After the kids left, I eagerly opened her mailbox to see it was stuffed full of letters!!!

My little friends were full of questions! So, Dot wrote to tell them that her favorite colors are red and green, the North Pole is magical, she flies using her special scout elf magic, etc. She also made sure to mention how impressed she was with a few students for working hard and a few others for showing kindness.

When the kids came in the next day, they were shocked to see that Dot had put her name all over the classroom!

We have incorporated Dot into our morning routine in two ways: we have an elf adventures journal that the kids take out and write in during the morning news, and we spend the first few minutes of our morning meeting reading Dot's letters and talking about them.

When we read her letter their faces just lit up! I have never seen them so excited before!

Dot must have been tired from her hard work labeling the classroom, because we found her in a bubble bath the next day.

When we opened Dot's mailbox on Wednesday, we found a small, green box with the instructions not to open it!

Thursday brought a lot of hilarity as the kids discovered Dot working on a listening center with Skippyjon Jones in our library.

On Friday, I filled a pot with crystal fill (found in the floral section of most craft stores) and had Dot's letter say that it was time to open the box!

Inside the box was a mini watering can, tic-tacs with candy canes printed on then, and a tiny set of instructions. The instructions told us to place the magic seeds on top of the North Pole soil (crystal fill) and put them in a safe place so that Dot could take care of them over the weekend.

Here is a close-up of the magic seeds-

The kids are so excited to see what has grown when they come back on Monday!

Now the elf is always a lot of fun, but it has also had a HUGE impact on behavior this week. One of my students earned a pink (the highest color on our classroom behavior chart) for the first time this week. When my pod-mate asked him how he did that, his response was: "You know, Dot reports back to Santa about our behavior..." :)

That's it for this week, but I have a lot more planned for Dot! Stay tuned for the next installment in our classroom elf adventures!

Are you using an elf in your classroom? I'd love to know how!

Click here for Part 2 or Part 3!

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