Sunday, December 6, 2015

December Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

I'm linking up with Pawsitively Teaching, Just Reed, and the Inspired Owl! for this month’s Pinterest Pick 3 to give us some holiday ideas for December. 
Hope you enjoy and use some of these for the holidays. Enjoy!

This is an easy craft to do with the kids and I’m sure they will come out great! Check it out here!

This year, I’m all about the toilet paper roll crafts. The kids love them and it's great to do something fun with all those little rolls! 
Here are some fun ideas:

Check it out here!

Check it out here!

Check it out here!

I adore these reindeer portraits. They look amazing and will definitely spruce up any hallway!  Check it out here!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Twist- The Kindness Elf

Ever since Elf on the Shelf arrived in my class, I’ve loved every minute of the shenanigans and reactions of the kids.  Over the years, I’ve wanted to do it a bit different and this year I did.

Day 1: Our elf arrived in a special, little, red box with an important note and instructions from Santa.  Inside, we found our elf with a pair of surgical gloves so that I could take him carefully out of the box WITHOUT him losing his Christmas Magic. The note let us know that our elf was no ordinary elf, but Santa’s most trustworthy and kindest elf of all. 

He was here to see if the children were kind and if they shared that kindness with others.   Each day, the elf writes to the boys and girls and gives them little homework assignments. He brings the kids fun projects based on the completion of each assignment.  An example of the homework would be to give someone a compliment, include someone at recess, or helping out a friend. 

Here’s a few of the highlights so far...

Our first order of business was to name him and, of course, in his letter the elf reminded us that kind people never put down other kid’s ideas, etc. We decided through a vote that Lucky would be his name!

Day 2: The next day Lucky arrived to this a shrine of letters, drawings, and dry erase boards dangerously perched up high.  I would know since they came tumbling down as I walked by! It was decided that Lucky would need a mailbox of his own.

Day 3:  Lucky wrote to us on his special ‘elf stationary’ that was a gift from Santa (lesson: friends do kind things for each other and how his friends were so happy for him). He told us how he was a bit lonely and how it would be nice to be friends with other people, so, to be kind, we made Elf Glyphs and had the kids ‘elf’ themselves. They turned out adorable. If you want the kids to elf themselves, you can check it out here.

Day 4:  Lucky left us the book, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed. This is a fabulous book for teaching kids about kindness. It shows the kids how their small acts of kindness can multiply to reach and affect so many other people.  Their homework that day was to go home, help someone, and be ready to tell me the next day what they did.

Day 5: Lucky instructed them to write on an ornament what they did to be kind and asked me to make him a Kindness Tree outside our classroom.  The kids each wrote on an ornament their act of kindness. If you'd like to have your kids create a tree as well, you can grab a FREE copy of the ornaments here.

Day 6:  Lucky left us the book, The Grinch that Stole Christmas.  After the book, Lucky reminded us that the spirit of Christmas doesn’t come in a box and isn’t something bought from a store.  The kids wrote about what they thought was would be the Best Gift of Christmas.  I was touched by the responses.  Some wrote how the best gift would be that homeless people would have homes, that grandmas would get better, and that their classmate, who was sick, would come back to school -- truly precious!  If you’d like to grab this activity for free, you can grab the paper here or download for free at my store by clicking here.

 Click on the picture above.

Day 7:  The children have been writing to Lucky each day! One little girl brought  Lucky a gift- it was a tuxedo! How sweet! She asked if Lucky and Santa could PLEASE take a picture with all the elves of the kids in the class... well, Lucky delivered- how could he not? 
The kids were amazed that the elves and Santa were in our school and took a s'elf'ie near our Christmas tree!  It's amazing what you can do with technology!

Here's the pic that Lucky shared and printed for each kid- they loved them.

Day 8:
Lucky arrived with a fun craft for the kids to give to their parents since it's always nice to give someone something special during the holidays.

We created a sign for the back and we will be adding some ribbon tomorrow to hang it.


 Day 9: On this day, Lucky left us paper to create a compliment chain.  Each of the kids received a child's name to write a compliment about (they were asked not to tell each other who they got).  We colored in the chain and used it for decoration.  When we return, we will open one chain a day and each child will keep their compliment.

Day 10: The kids enjoyed a fun day decorating cookies. I don't think there was any room left!

Day 11: Lucky left some wonderful coloring sheets to use at indoor recess- you can grab your own set here.  My kids adore them. Thanks, Krista!

 Day 12: Lucky taught us how it's kind to give to others. So the kids made snowmen to give to their parents.  They were easy to make- just add rice & fiber fill and use a rubber band for the top and to create the head.  Add some felt, buttons, a baby sock on top (optional), and use hot glue to add a bell and pompom!  How cute!



Then we created cards that said

 I love you SNOW much!

 to go with our snowmen.
Here are  the cards we made to go with our frames. 
I love the simple look of the Christmas trees and the kids created their own ornaments.
This menorah was made from scrapbook paper and it came out fabulous.  I love how he tore
the paper to look like flames.

The last day, Lucky  and I left the kids a Build-a-Snowman Kit! It had 1 mega marshmallow & 2 large marshmallows for the body, M&Ms (buttons), candy corn (nose), pretzel rods (arms) and chocolate chips (eyes, nose and mouth). The  kids loved them and couldn't wait to build it when they got home.

Feel free to grab these labels here.   The bags are from Michaels.   I printed these on Avery 5162, but you can also print it as a tag.

Although Christmas break has already started, I came across these 12 days of letters from the North Pole which is perfect for Christmas and thought I'd share.  It's free for you to download and would probably save  some time writing a letter each day.. so save it for next year!  Check them out here!
Hope you had a wonderful holiday!