Sunday, December 29, 2013

Elf on the Shelf

This was my second year to use an Elf on the Shelf in the classroom. It is great to help tame the kiddos who are getting so anxious for Christmas and all the holiday festivities in December.

I have seen many teachers who "request" an elf from Santa and have it "sent" to them. I like to have my elf just show up one day with his book and act like I am learning about him at the same time my students are.

The first day he showed up in our tree along with his book. We read all about him and the rules that go along with him. One of the rules is that you have to name him... so we finally settled on "Prince". We had some interesting names to choose from...

The second day Prince found a new spot on the pumpkin we had in our room from one of our field trips. One of the kiddos "accidentally" knocked him over. Oh. My. the DRAMA that comes with touching the elf! He stayed knocked over because no ones is supposed to touch him. When we left for lunch, the secretary put him back on the pumpkin where he was before. The look on the children's faces when they saw that he had moved was probably the cutest thing I have ever seen. They were so glad he did not lose his magic. =)

We watched An Elf's Story to help reinforce the idea that we do NOT touch the elf. It totally worked. Definitely a must have if you use the elf in your classroom.

Here is some more of the mischief our little elf got into...

 Toward the end of his trip, he brought a friend from the North Pole to visit our room!

(These letters to Santa are from Macy's.)

Some days it can be SO hard to think of an idea for the elf, especially on those crazy days. How do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Click here to see my other Elf on the Shelf posts.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Fun and Freebies!

This month has been full of fun and craziness! I love December and all things Christmas, but phew! It is exhausting with a class full of five year olds!

Somehow we have managed to accomplish some learning mixed in with all the excitement, elf on the shelf, gift making, and preparing for the Christmas Program.

We made this fabulous elf craftivity where the students wrote about what they would do if they were elves. 99% of them would "watch kids and fly to santa to tell him who was bad". No surprise there. =)

You can get this free elf craft here. I made my own writing sheet to go along with it that you can download here.

I used this multicultural construction paper so that the kiddos' elves would look more like them. They loved it!

We worked hard with this poem last week. My class loves working with poems and I love it because they don't even know they are learning!

Each week, we add our new poem to our poetry notebook and do an activity that goes along with it. This week they were hunting for sight words. This poem would also be great for senses or rhyming words. On Fridays, the students take their poetry notebooks home to read their new poem to their family.

You can grab a copy of this poem here. (Disclaimer: I did NOT write this poem. I am not that talented.)

Have a great week and try to stay sane until break!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five for Friday--December 6

It is Friday! Yippee! Time to link up for Five for Friday! Stick around until the end for a giveaway!

Today was a half day due to freezing rain that is supposed to be coming this afternoon. Don't get me wrong--I love a half day, but it makes the kids crazy and it makes their poor teacher crazy too. This is what my afternoon is looking like now so I shouldn't complain...

Our Elf on the Shelf showed up this week. The kiddos are so into it! They had some interesting name suggestions...

"Prince" is the name that won the vote. I have BIG things planned for Prince this year that I will share with you soon. In the meantime, check out my Elf on the Shelf posts from last year.

Have you seen the bundles put together for the victims of the Central Illinois Tornado? There are some great resources and a ridiculously low price. All of the proceeds goes to the Red Cross specifically designated to the victims of the tornadoes. 

Do you use a timer in your classroom? Most teachers do. has some awesome visual timers for classroom use. It helps my kiddos know how much time they have left without them asking me! I just put it up on the projector. So easy.

We started using my 'Tis the Season Math and Literacy Centers this week and I am giving some away! Just head over to the K-3 Connection facebook page, like it, and leave a comment on the latest post with your email address! I will pick a winner by the end of the weekend. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Tis the Season and Giveaway

It is December and you know what that means... Christmas, CHRISTmas, CHRISTMAS! Yippee!!

We busted out the Christmas-y centers this week. I am giving some away again! Be sure to stick around until the end to see how you can win them.

These are a few of the literacy centers from my 'Tis the Season Math and Literacy Centers. These centers are festive, but they could easily pass as "holiday" centers if you aren't allowed to celebrate Christmas at your school.

(Please excuse my not-so-great pictures. Do anyone else's kiddos get super distracted when they catch you taking pictures?)

ABC Order
Students put the cards in alphabetical order and write the words in order on the recording sheet.

CVC Stocking Stuffers
Students match the picture to the word and write the words on the recording sheet.

Deck the Halls... with Ending Sounds!
Here students put the pictures on the tree with the corresponding ending sound. Then they write the ending sound on the recording sheet.

Write the Room
Kiddos find pictures around the room and write the word beside the matching picture on the recording sheet.
(My kids are obsessed with write the room! Why are clipboards so fun?!)

All of the centers have a cover page with visual directions as well as a recording sheet.

Want to win these festive centers? Head over to the K-3 Connection facebook page, like it, and leave a comment on the latest post with your email address! I will pick a winner by the end of the weekend. 
Congrats to Thursday, Breanne, and Marie! Check your email ladies!

Good luck!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Sales, Tieks WINNER, and Tornado Relief!

Thanksgiving Sales

There is a fabulous sale currently going on at Teachers Notebook and an upcoming sale from Teachers Pay Teachers... PERFECT for Black Friday. I love a good sale.

Right now, my entire Teachers Notebook shop is 20% off. They are also doing the "Build-a-bundle" promotion again where you can snag some even better deals. You choose the items you want to bundle for 50% off! Click below to check out the bundles. You can see my items on the first page.

If you aren't wanting to "Build-a-Bundle" I would hold out for the TpT sale. You can get an extra 8% off for a total of 28%! I already have my cart full and anxiously patiently waiting for the sale to start on Monday. Everything in my store will be on sale! Click below to have a look.

Illinois Tornado Relief

Some amazing teachers have gotten together to build some bundles that will benefit the victims of the Illinois Tornadoes. Click the logo below to see all the bundles. All proceeds go to the Red Cross! You can find my Ultimate I Have Who Has Pack in the ELA Bundle 1.

Tieks Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the $100 Tieks gift card is.....

Congrats Breanne! Please contact me ASAP with your email address!

Happy Cyber Monday Shopping!