Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's Working Wednesday- Elf Style!

It's time for our weekly what's working Wednesday post! Join us as we share tips and ideas that are working in our classrooms. You can find Brandi here. This week I want to share with you my "Christmas break is approaching and behavior is out of whack" quick fix. Her name... Elfina.
Yesterday, my students came into the classroom to discover some Hershey kisses on their desks. At first they thought they were from me, but I told them they weren't and that is when they looked at the board and noticed that there was an elf sitting on our marker tray.

The excitement was over the top. Where did she come from? Why is she here? I gave students a journal page that I "created that morning when I saw we had an elf in the room" and then allowed students to share their thoughts. We read the story of Elf on the Shelf and also a letter from Santa (you can find all of these resources in my Elf on Our Classroom Shelf Unit) explaining why the elf was in the class. After answering tons of questions (how does she get around, can she see us, does she blink, can she fly..the list goes on and on), we spent the day voting on her name and learning about Christmas in America (we are doing a two week unit on Christmas around the world, thanks to the lovely resources from Christina Bainbridge).

So what is working about having this elf? Those hershey kisses that's what! She isn't just an elf in our class to report to Santa. She brings chocolates. But the catch... they can't eat them until the end of the day. And if they get in trouble, don't follow directions, or have to be talked to too many times, they have to give a kiss to our elf. And yesterday.. well we concluded Elfina would be on a sugar high from all the chocolate she received. And that Santa would surely find out about their behavior because Elfina had so many chocolates she would probably share some with him when she made it to the North Pole. I believe she went home with 14 kisses yesterday. Today she was down to 3! These kids were NOT giving up those kisses (which is really going to put a damper on my wallet!).

Today when they came in, Elfina had graffitied our room...

The students decided that she either fell asleep OR was about to get caught by me coming in this morning!
...and only left two kisses on each desk instead of three. The students were angels! They wanted so bad to keep those kisses and get a good report to Santa I barely had to talk to anyone. I also told them that if everyone had at least one kiss left that I would give them two letters towards their goal of spelling winter party. They have to spell it by next Thursday and I have been forgetting to give letters so I am sneaking them in now! They will spell it even if Elfina has to put some letters up overnight because they do deserve the party.

And in case you were wondering what the students' activity from Elfina was today (because each day there is SOMETHING to do semi or completely educational), they made a name graffiti glyph. Nothing fancy. Just a quick little display requiring them to know their vowels and consonants... and sadly, a few of them still don't. (My camera died so no pic of these... I will try to remember to snap one tomorrow.)

Do you have something that is working in your classroom? Link up and share. We could all use another tip or ten to add to our bag of tricks. We never know when we will need to pull them out!

And I plan to post about Elfina's mischief a couple times a week but if you want to see some super cute elf mischief, my bloggy friend Farrah is doing in her class (with the use of my lessons and her centers) check out her blog here.  I absolutely adore her and her love for teaching. And the fact that she loves my elf unit makes me smile :) Thanks Farrah for the CONSTANT shout outs :)

So do you have something that is working fantastically for you that you want to share with the blog world? You never know who you might be helping out! If so, grab the banner at the top, display it proudly on your post, and join in the linky party! All we ask is that you follow the rule of 3... check the two blogs listed in the linky before you and leave them some love, and come back to find the person that posts after you and leave them some love. Everyone needs a little love once in a while right? And make sure you link back to our blogs so others can join in on the fun too!



  1. Isn't it so much fun! I am ready for our elf to come back! :) She had to stay at the North Pole this week due to some very rude behavior on the part of my students...but all is getting back to normal and I think my little angels have their halos back! :) Love your unit!!!!

  2. Elf is cute! I love the Kisses! Great idea!! I really like this linky party too! THANKS!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  3. Love your spin on the Elf on the Shelf.....especially the kisses!


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