1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf On A Shelf Activities With Me
"Jingle" visits ours, and since he's such a fabulous behavior modification tool, and lots of fun for my Y5s; I designed some quick, easy & fun activities, which practice a variety of standards. I'm sharing 4 of our favorites on the blog today.
To grab your students' attention, ask them, "Who wants to be an elf?" then watch the excitement and enthusiasm grow for the “Wanted: Elf Help” creative writing prompts.
Collect everyone’s page, add the cover of your choice, and you have an “awwww-dorable” class-made book.
There are 15, elf-themed pages for your kiddos to choose from.
For pre-writing, have students fill out the “My best qualities for being Santa’s helper” worksheet. There are 2 options to choose from.
They can refer to this list to write their letter to Santa, convincing him that they’d make a terrific helper.
Although students can certainly write about their real qualifications, toss out a more creative option, where students think outside the box.
To practice "point of view" have them pretend to be a “real” elf applying for the job, and go from there.
I’ve included a silly letter from Jingle, my made up elf, that you can use to help explain things, and jump start those creative juices.
I'm sure that thinking up a name for their "elf-self" will be fun.
To add to the hoopla, I’ve also included:
* 3, “I’m an official elf helper for Santa” badges
* A “Congratulations! You’re hired” certificate.
* 2, Wanted Posters to hang up to peak students’ interest and introduce the lesson.
Later, you can use them for a festive holiday bulletin board, if you want to display students’ letters before you make them into a book.
* There’s also a “We’re Qualified” poster you can use for the center of that display as well.
Because of the way I designed the pages, you can re-use the templates for other writing activities you may have throughout the month as well.
Next up is "Where's The Elf?" Part of our 2D shapes standard, is to recognize spatial directions, so I designed an emergent reader with some worksheets & 2D shape games.
You'll love the variety of skills and standards you can cover with this sweet emergent reader packed with 16 Dolch sight words.
Students read the sentence, add end punctuation, trace & write the directional word, then color, cut & glue the elf to the appropriate spot.
I've included a black & white, boy and girl elf cover options, with color copies for teachers to use for their sample.
I love putzing with a play on words, so I came up with "Elf-abet" and designed a few elf-themed activities to help my students practice upper and lowercase letters.
The packet includes games,
* A variety of worksheets, some of which can be used as assessments.
* Upper & lowercase full-color assessment mats, with a matching black and white set to send home with struggling students.
* Plus an upper & lowercase letter assessment recording sheet.
Finally, since recognizing numbers and counting are also something we work on daily, I designed another elf-themed packet to practice those standards as well.
* Number cards from 0-130
* A 4-page tip list of all kinds of things you can do with the cards, including the “Kaboom” game
* Even & odd sorting mats
* A set of number symbol cards for more games and to show equations.
* A one - page template of 35 elf shoes & hat tiles to use as manipulatives to make groups/sets.
* 11 trace & write worksheets. The “What’s Missing?” ones can be used as an assessment tool.
* 3, “I spy a number” game worksheets, that you can use for whole-group assessing.
* You can also re-use the worksheet 6 times! There’s a full-page template, as well as 2-on-a-page to conserve paper.
* 3 bookmarks of praise.
* 14 number puzzles (black & white, plus color) that practice sequencing numbers 1-10, counting backwards from 10 to 1, plus skip counting by 2s, 5s and 10s.
Speaking of numbers, the featured FREEBIE for today is a sweet "You Can Count On Rudolph" keepsake craftivity.
Students trace and write the numbered pages to make a Rudolph's nose counting booklet.
Choose to count by 1's to 20, count backwards from 10 to 0 or 20 to 0, + skip count by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's.
Simply fold the ends of the top of the "triangle" head down, add some hand print "antlers" & wiggle eyes, for a super-cute bulletin board display.
Well that's it for now. My mom's visiting from Wisconsin, so I have an especially fun-filled day planned.
She'll be 91 in a few weeks, and constantly on the go, so I'll try to keep up! Wishing you a safe and blessed day.
"Mothers hold their child's hand for a moment, but their hearts for a life time. " -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Writing With Me
I truly believe that if you give an interesting writing prompt to students, or toss in a bit of craftiness, or make it a bit like a game, you'll grab their attention and they'll want to get down to the business of writing.
With these things in mind, I designed 4, rather creative, writing prompt packets for December. First up is my "Spin a Winter Story Story" wheel.
These 14 story wheels are easy-peasy for you, as you don't have to constantly think up seasonal writing prompts, and highly motivational for your kiddos.
My students imaginations kick into high gear, creating some really awesome work.
So that you can use them every year, simply print, laminate, trim and attach a paperclip with a brass brad.
Children choose one, or several, of the 14-winter story wheels, then spin 3 to 5 times.
They incorporate those items into a short story or paragraph on the worksheet.
For more writing practice, I've included a "Spin a sentence" worksheet, as well as one where students spin 7 times, give those pictures a one-word name/description and then alphabetize those words on the worksheet.
Next up is "How to Dress an Elf", where children practice giving directions. My students LOVE the crafty aspect of this writing prompt; completed projects make a super-cute bulletin board too.
Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers + adjectives when they explain how their elf gets dressed.
I’ve also included a set of transitional words on mini cards.
For that finishing touch, we used opalescent white glitter, flat-backed jewels and pom poms to add a bit of pizzazz to our completed “elves”.
If your students enjoy The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they're sure to get excited about this next creative writing activity.
Diary of a Wimpy Elf includes templates to make a “top secret” file-folder diary, a variety of diary pages, clip art badges to decorate their diary cover with, plus a selection of incentive “stickers” that they can earn.
I’ve also included 30 writing prompt ideas to jump start your students' minds.
Finally, "Stuff It!" is a personal favorite and literally stuffed with lots of Common Core.
For the writing prompt portion of "Stuff It", students gather in groups of 3-4 and exchange their decorated paper stocking with each other.
Everyone in the group "stuffs" a Christmas compliment into their classmate's stocking, by writing something nice about that person. Encourage the use of adjectives.
These completed projects also make a nice, self-esteem building, December bulletin board, which is particularly appropriate if your school does the "Bucket Filling" program.
The other writing prompt option, is for students to "stuff" their stocking with a list of things they'd like to find in their stocking, if money was no object, or you could also write a realistic one.
Along with the writing prompts, students can also stuff their stocking with words that begin and end with the ST blend.
I've included an alphabetical list of 92 words that begin with st, as well as a list of 64 words that end with the st blend, plus matching mini-word cards.
There's also a set of 6 worksheets that are played as timed games, as well as an "I Spy a Shape" whole-group assessment game, plus a "Shapes on a Roll" dice game.
Today's featured FREEBIE is A Letter to Santa with a twist.
Instead of children asking Santa for something they want, they write on behalf of someone special to them, that they think deserves a present.
Introduce the activity to older students with "If there really was a Santa, and he really could bring a special gift..."
I've included my sample that you can share to help explain what you want your kiddos to do. Completed projects make a sweet "Christmas is Caring" bulletin board too.
Well that's it for today. My feet have hit the floor running! I have lots more shopping to do, and our tree's still not up!
Wishing you a day filled with energy, and lots of peaceful moments to breathe in the joy of Christmas preparations.
"May peace be your gift at Christmas, and all the year through." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf Craftivities With Me
The Elf on a Shelf book is so popular, that it’s found it’s way into the classroom, as a super-cute classroom management tool.
Even if your kiddos don’t believe in Santa anymore, it’s still fun to have a mischievous elf “spying” on them.
An elf provides loads of writing prompt ideas. Use him to launch creative writing prompts. "Write a note to the elf today about..." plus the "elf antics" you can do to add a bit of "elf fun" to December are endless.
You can also use him to practice spatial directions ("Where's the elf?" on, in, over, under, beside...)
I purchased some heavy-duty, Christmas-print bags, from Hobby Lobby. The Dollar Store and other craft supply stores like Michaels, also have a nice selection.
Because we recycle paper in our school, I had a supply that children could crunch up to stuff their elf with.
Crunching, snipping, accordion-folding paper, are super-fun fine motor practice for your kiddos, that will help strengthen finger muscles.
If you don’t have access to recycled paper, ask for some newspaper donations from parents.
When the belly is stuffed, fold over the top and staple. The bag sits nicely.
Children will glue their head to the top of the bag and the legs underneath.
You can also staple the body parts, to make sure they stay on.
Run the patterns off on construction paper and rough cut. Children color the face, trim and glue to their bag. I had my children color an ABAB pattern on the arms and legs, but these also look good as solid strips of red and green.
For a splash of pizzazz, I pulled cotton balls, then glued the “fluff” to the hat brim, as well as the cuffs of the mittens and shoes. Pom poms and a bit of glitter, also add those finishing touches.
Click on the link to zip on over to my TpT shop to see. Lunch bag Elf on a Shelf Craft
Be sure and have a look around, especially if you've started a wish list, as TpT is holding their annual Christmas sale.
Most shops are at least 20% off, and if you plug in the sale code: SMILES, you'll save an additional 10%. The sale is going on today, (November 30th 2015 to midnight December 1st).
The featured FREEBIE today is "Tweet Talk". It's a quick, easy & fun way to practice those writing skills, at the same time being aware of what's going on in your students' lives.
Well that's it for now. Thanks for stopping by. I sure could use some "elf help" for all I'd like to get done today!
First up though is to sort through my TpT wish list. I have way too much clip art listed to buy it all. Wishing you a holly jolly day.
"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." -Bo Derek
1-2-3 Come Go On An Elf Ed-venture With Me!
Woo hoo! It seems that The Elf On A "Classroom" Shelf activities, have been the kinds of things visitors have been looking for. (Scroll down to the last two blog articles to check things out.) I hope you enjoy these latest FREEBIES just as much.
Since teachers have commented on how the "sliders" are a nice way to "sneak" in a little art, with all of those standards, I decided to design "Jingle" the elf slider.
There are sliders (strips of paper that students slide up and down) for upper and lowercase letters, numbers to 30, counting backwards from 10 to 0 as well as 20 to 0 + skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. They are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess.
If you don't want to make a slider, have students make a "Belly Booklet." They can practice writing letters, numbers, words, their name, or whatever else you're working on, and record things on just-the-right-size pages. Click on the link to view/download Jingle, the Elf Slider Packet.
Venn diagrams are a wonderful way to help your little elves compare and contrast. Click on the link to view/download the 13 Venn diagrams with an interesting elf theme. Pick one for your kiddos, or give them a choice.
Since Diary of a Wimpy Kid is really popular with children, I decided to make a Diary of a Wimpy Elf. I had a fun time designing this packet, and think your students will enjoy decorating their "top secret" file-folder diary and making entries as an elf, who is recording his/her activities and adventures.
I've included "spy stickers" to decorate their diaries with, or use them as incentives for great writing, excellent effort, wonderful improvement etc. There are also 2 diary-page templates that you can also use. Click on the link to view/download Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
Here's the scenario to help jumpstart your students' writing: Imagine being the smallest and weakest elf at the North Pole. You so want to help Santa, but everyone thinks you are too little, too dumb and too weak to do anything but be a candy cane tester, licking a sample from each batch to make sure they taste just right.
To make matters worse, the only thing "big" about you are your feet and ears. They are ginormous! This little elf constantly daydreams about all of the adventures he’d go on as a super-spy for Santa.
After all, being little has its advantages. He could hide almost anywhere; and his huge ears help him hear just about anything. His humongous feet allow him to ski down slippery slopes, without having to put real skis on!
Give your students this background information (included in the packet) and have them become that tiny elf, with the giant feet, huge ears and big heart. Have them write about what they do and how they feel. I've also included 30 crazy writing prompts to jump-start their creative minds, hopefully causing a few giggles.
Encourage them to name their elf and draw cartoon-like pictures in their diary, like Jeff Kinney does in his book. When your elf activities are winding down, have students write a few pages where they "save the day" and become a highly respected, and depended-upon elf, who is a very special spy for Santa. Click on the link to view/download The Diary of a Wimpy Elf.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope your kiddos get excited about doing a bit of creative writing. I still remember Mr. Voseteig reading a Harriet the Spy book to us in 5th grade.
We all got to have our special "spy notebook" to write in. My creative writing juices went wild, and it was my first A+ ... I was hooked. The excitement of that spy book, gave way to Nancy Drew books, which became my favorite. I've been a life-long lover of reading and writing ever since.
“I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." - Greg Heffley,” (-Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.)
1-2-3 Come Do Some Elf-Themed Activities With Me
Because the Elf activities have been such a huge hit, (scroll down to see that blog & FREEBIES), I've been very busy designing a few more.
Since kiddos tend to be a bit more, shall we say "energetic" during December, I made a writing prompt that can turn into a nice behavior modification tool; I call it Santa's List.
Now that the elf is on the shelf and reporting back to Santa, students could write about why they think they should be on the good behavior or "nice" list.
Launch this writing prompt by playing the Christmas carol “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” I taught my Y5’s this song and we did some finger movements as we sang: “. . . He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. . .
After my Y5's got the “wiggles” out, we brainstormed about good behavior and what Santa’s elves might be looking for. How does one get on the nice list? What things could we do? What things shouldn’t we do?
Write a list on the board, so children can refer to it for ideas as well as spelling help. Pass out the writing prompt page. Students write why they think they should be on Santa’s nice list and then color their page.
After they share their work with the class, collect and collate the pages to make a class book. A cover is provided. I’ve also included a Santa’s list poster. Print; mount on red and green construction paper and laminate. You can hang this on your wall or white board and add students names as you catch them behaving appropriately or completing tasks.
The packet also includes a template for students to write a note to their Elf on a Shelf or to Santa. Click on the link to view/download Santa's List Writing Prompt.
Another interesting December writing prompt, helps reinforce giving directions. Encourage students to use transitions, ordinal numbers as well as adjectives.
I've included word cards for sequential-transitions, + a helpful guide to using transitions that I give to my college writing class students.
Add some pom-poms, a jingle bell, and some white glitter to make an awesome bulletin board. Click on the link for the How To Dress An Elf "craftivity."
For more fun writing, have students keep a journal of your Elf On A Classroom Shelf's adventures. This makes a quick and easy Daily 5 activity for the month of December.
Have students keep everything in a file folder. I've included days of the week cards; a star chart students can color when they've done a nice job on their journal; lots of prompts for both PK and older kiddo's, + "elf mail" notes.
Click on the link to view/download the Elf Journal.
Finally, I had several requests for alphabet cards, so I designed an "elf-abet" packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you and your little elfkins will enjoy these activities.
My personal "to do" list is a little long today, so it's time to hit the floor running.
“Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Now You See Them; Now You Don’t! 1 2 3 Come Do Some Elf On A Shelf Activities With Me
The Elf on A Shelf is a children’s picture book written by an American mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart.
The book was self-published in 2005 and comes with a small elf. It's written in rhyme with watercolor illustrations.
The gist of the story is that Santa knows who is naughty and nice by what his elves report back to him as they fly back and forth each night.
Upon returning, they pick a new place to hide. By choosing a new hiding spot, the members of the family play an on-going game of Hide and Seek. Children are encouraged to name their elf.
Once the elf is named, the "scout" elf receives its special Christmas magic. Now they can fly! However, the magic might go if touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."
In the hope that students will settle down, stay on task, and be better behaved during the hectic month of December, teachers have now gotten on board and purchased an elf for their classrooms.
To launch Elf on a Shelf read the story and let the good behavior modification begin! After all, Santa now has a spy in the room, and the teacher has a helper that is watching.
If you're looking for a costume to wear on the day you introduce your elf activities, or perhaps dress up in for story time, I found one at Oriental Trading. It's just $16. They also have an apron, or simply don the hat for $3. Children's sizes are also available, and would be a real hit in your dress up box,
I spent over an hour sourcing pictures of elf antics, 'til my head was actually spinning! There are virtually 100's of ideas Online, so I decided to start a PIN board with my favorites. Click on the link to catch the Elf Excitement.
I bought my bags at Hobby Lobby. Click on the link to view/download Twinkle, the Elf on a Classroom Shelf "craftivity."
This is also a very easy thing for your kiddo's to make, and can act as a great behavior modification technique, as I've included "Tally Tags."
Children choose one and glue it to the front of their own elf. Whenever you catch a child being good, or when they have completed a task, they may add a tally mark to their card.
Have them use a red marker for tally marks 1-4 and then cross the 5th tally with a green marker.
To ensure honesty, remind students that the elves and Santa are watching, so no cheating. You could also let them know that you have a student tally total that you keep track of, so if you find a discrepancy they will lose their card. You really don't have to keep up with this, just show the paper and it will hopefully do the trick.
Feel free to walk over and add tally marks to children’s bags without saying a word. Believe me, they will be aware of what you are doing and get right down to business. After school, add tally marks to whom ever had a good day. This tally mark can be from the Elf on a Shelf. So children can readily see a difference, make the elf’s tally mark in another color like blue or purple.
Because of the book’s popularity, elf activities were being requested, so I decided to design some. I also had a few "oldies but goodies" which you can find below.
Click on the link to view/download The Christmas Elf, which is a spatial direction booklet, that also has several “craftivities” included, like the stocking with a photo of a real elf tucked inside.
Simply take a picture of each of your students wearing an elf/Santa hat. Students trim and glue to the back of their stocking. A graphing extension is also included.
The booklet Little Elf What Do You See? is a rhyming booklet that incorporates the 5 senses.
Lots of Common Core is covered, as students read, circle capital letters; add end punctuation; underline adjectives; trace and write the "senses" words and then color, cut and glue the matching pictures.
If you're looking for an elf-related writing prompt have students respond to Santa's wanted poster.
He's looking for seasonal elf help. Children write why they feel they'd make a good elf.
After students share their page, collect and collate into a class book. A "You're Hired!" certificate and "Official Santa's Helper Button" are also included. Click on the link to view/download the Wanted: Elf Help packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I design and try to blog daily, so I hope you can pop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES hot off this elf's computer. Feel free to PIN away.
"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." -Buddy, from the movie Elf