Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elf Update

So things have been crazy with trying to get ready for Christmas with my family and with school and everything else that has been thrown in on top of that, so I haven't been on to post my other Elfie pics.  I realized today that I didn't take pictures of him the last 2 days, so sorry about that.  Here is the update. :)

Hanging out by my phone in case he needs to make parent phone calls.  lol  

A birds-eye view of the class from the projector.  

A note from Elfie after a really bad day.

Came back even though the class was better, but still not great.  

The kids had spelled out COMPLIMENTS! so they earned a class reward.  The reward they picked was a gingerbread party.  So I had made gingerbread men on a Sunday, but the class was so talkative and chatty that I wasn't about to let them get a reward, so here was Elfie with one of the cookies trying to tempt the class into being super good so we could have the celebration.  No luck.  lol  

Here is Elfie sitting above the behavior chart watching the class.  They were finally much better this day and we were able to have our gingerbread celebration.  

This was from Monday, I had forgotten the note at home, so I had to re-do one at school and there is not color printing at school.  I just colored the border with marker.  Hanging out by the character traits.  

Hanging out on the TV with friends as an extra set of eyes.  

Wednesday, hanging out above the door by the clock.  

Thursday Elfie was hanging out by my window that sees into the hallway and the note mentioned that he was there so he could watch the class inside the room and in the hallway.  Friday Elfie was on my back whiteboard with a good-bye note.  
So there is my Elf Update.  He is now gone back to the North Pole for the year.  How did things go in your room?  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elf mishap

So today Elfie is sitting on my cabinets, next to the Christmas lights waiting for the students to come.
He has earmuffs on his lap, ready in case he needs them, we're all good, the bell rings and students start to come in, and he falls over.  I was like, really????  So there he is laying on the cabinet instead of sitting nicely as students are looking for him.  I wanted to say can you 3 please wait in the hallway for a minute, shut the door, and fix him, but I couldn't.  So they see him and say Elfie fell down!  They thought it was funny though.  I said he as taking a nap, because he was really tired.  lol  So as more kids streamed in, all of the kids would repeat all of that.  It was funny cause during math one of the students in my math group from another class said, when I told him he was napping, "is he tired of us?"  lol  He was joking and it was pretty funny.  So when the class was in PE, I fixed him back up.  Of course the second they walked in the room, they noticed and made a big deal out of it.  They asked if I fixed him and I said, "oh no.  I'm not allowed to touch him, he'll lose his magic!"  One of my boys said, "adults are allowed to touch him."  lol  Well anyway, my kiddos weren't too bad today, they weren't as loud as Mon. & Tues., but they weren't as good as yesterday when there was the threat of him leaving, so no treats for tomorrow.  I'll keep them on hand for when they finally get them (they're just hershey kisses).  Have you had any Elf mishaps?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Earmuffs to the rescue!

So as I've mentioned in the last 2 posts, my class has been uber chatty these past couple of days.  Monday I said, okay, it's the start of a new month, there are holiday decorations up, snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, holiday books out, an elf, it's understandable they are excited and chatty.  However, yesterday they still were, maybe even worse!  I thought there is no way that I am going to make it to the 21st with my sanity if this continues.  Enter earmuffs for Elfie.  I made earmuffs out of little pom pom balls and a pipecleaner.  I used sticky tac to stick the pom poms to the pipecleaner, and then more sticky tac to stick the earmuffs to his ears.  Then I wrote a note, which you can see below.

And another shot, up close.  
So the students came in today and immediately started looking for him.  One of my students found him pretty quickly so they all ran over to where he was to read the note.  They also noticed his earmuffs right away.  One of my girls said, "he's wearing them because it's cold outside."  The students who read the note said, "No, we were too noisy for him and it hurt his little ears."  lol  Let me tell you, it was so quiet in my room during morning work time, I almost couldn't believe it.  I e-mailed 2 of my team members to tell them and my teammate next door replied back, "Where can I get me one of those???"  lol  All day if some students started getting loud, the other students would say, "Be quiet, or Elfie will leave!!!"  Those earmuffs and the note saved my sanity today!  lol  Look at the cute note another one of my little girls wrote to Elfie during Daily 5 time on her white board.  
So tomorrow Elfie wrote a note praising them for their good job and hoping he doesn't have to put those earmuffs on again.  They are on his lap.  lol  We'll see if Elfie has to threaten to leave again to get them to be quiet.  lol  
Another funny thing is that one of my teammates brought in an old elf of hers from home.  It looks NOTHING like the elf on the shelf.  It looks more like a Santa or gnome.  However the kids in her class are treating it just like an elf on the shelf!  So funny!  Then my teammate next door who asked where she could get one since it was helping my class to be quiet, told me after school that one of her kids told her she was the only teacher who didn't have one.  I told her that's not true, then she said, well in 2nd grade.  I said I bet that's not true either, I'm sure our teammate on the end doesn't have one (but none of our students go in her room, so they wouldn't know that).  Well anyway it sounds like she really is going to go out and get an elf for her room, which just cracks me up, as she is Jewish, but whatever, most of the kids in her class aren't!  lol  So it's elf craziness in 2nd grade!  Now to just stay creative with what to do with him...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Elfie Day 2

So I'm being good and getting on again today!
I found an Elf on the Shelf linky party, so Elfie and I are joining in!

So I was hoping that my students would be better today after the excitement of Elfie yesterday and trying to be good to send a good report Santa's way, but that didn't happen.  It's not that they were bad, it's that they wouldn't stop talking!  All day long, I'd stand waiting for them to get quiet and then after enough time passed they'd get quiet for maybe a minute and then it would start all over again!  So today I made earmuffs for Elfie and he's wearing them with a note that said their noise hurt his small ears so he had to wear the earmuffs and could they please get quieter so he doesn't have to wear them.  It probably won't work, but it's worth a shot right?
So today the class found Elfie with a new note on top of the cubbies next to the globe.  I did research to find out where Santa lives and sources said upper Finland is in the arctic circle of the North Pole so that's where he'd live.  So there was an arrow pointing to it.
Amazingly enough no one asked me if I put the arrow on the globe.  They asked if I hung the note up, but not the arrow.  lol  So for tomorrow Elfie is sitting on the ledge of my high window in the library corner, where it's quieter, with his earmuffs and his new note.  We'll see what happens tomorrow!  Is it crazy in your class yet?  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elf fun :)

So when I was little we had this elf that used to get tacked up to hang from the ceiling in our bedroom.  My parents told us that he was watching and listening and would be telling Santa all the good and naughty things we were doing.  He had no name, we saw him come out of the Christmas decorations box every year, we touched him to help put him up, and still we believed.  Even when we got older he still went in the same spot.  Once I became a teacher, he moved with me to my classroom.  I would hang him up in my classroom and I would tell the students the same thing my parents told me.  Then what do you know, 3 years ago I'm in a Hallmark shop (I think) and there is this family tradition kit, "Elf on the Shelf."  It comes with this elf that looks JUST like the elf we had growing up and there is even a book that goes with it.  I can't even believe it when it says how he reports to Santa every night to tell how we've been.  I think to myself, I HAVE to get this for my sister's family, it's just like what we had growing up!!!  Now I have 3 sisters and a brother, but my younger sister and I are the closest in age and we're the ones who went through the elf thing together.  He hung in our room.  The 2 of us are really close and every year I play Santa and buy a family gift.  I go over to their house while they're at her father-in-law's on Christmas Eve, let myself in, and put the gift under the tree so that way they have a fun surprise from Santa too (my sister knows who the real culprit is).  So I buy the "Elf on the Shelf" as their family gift that year from Santa.  The next year, my sister doesn't do anything with it because my niece is only 2 1/2 at the time and wouldn't get it.  I continue to do my thing in the classroom, no one knows anything about "Elf on the Shelf."  Then last year my sister and niece open up the elf and read the book.  My niece loves the story and the elf, but refuses to name it because she doesn't want it to come alive.  She wants it to just stay in her room.  lol  I put up my elf and all of a sudden there are kids who say it's "the elf on the shelf."  I tell them the story of the elf growing up like I have every year.  They ask me what my elf's name is.  I tell them that we never named him.  I also told them that he stays in one spot and doesn't move around, but he's still watching and reporting to Santa and that they can't touch him.  That brings us to this year.  My sister decides she's going to try again with the elf in the hope that my niece will do the whole thing since she's now 4 1/2 (really 4 5/6, she'll be 5 in Feb, lol).  My sister had gotten the movie the year before and they loved that as well.  So she decides to get the skirt and put it on the elf and tell my niece that Santa thought maybe she'd prefer a girl elf.  She gets this whole thing planned and my niece starts asking about the elf and where is it packed up in the basement.  They have to find him.  lol  My sister plays it off but is thinking in her head, "oh great"  lol.  So anyway Thanksgiving weekend this new girl elf comes to the house with a letter from Santa saying that he thought she would prefer a girl elf and to please give it a name.  Well that's enough for my niece who tells my sister, "THAT'S why we couldn't find the elf!"  lol  She does name her this year, Karen, after the little girl who helps Frosty.  Now my sister also has a small version of the elf that hung in our bedroom that she uses as an ornament every year.  Well my niece decides that they need to name that one too and see if it will get it's magic, so she names it Holly.  Why yes it did get magic too, and they have a fun time every morning looking for the 2 elves together.  That brings me back to my classroom where after Thanksgiving break a few of my students have had "the elf on the shelf" come to their homes and they are talking about.  I think to myself, okay this thing has really blown up this year, I think I'm going to have to go all in with the elf instead of my usual.  So Friday when I was switching my room over from November to December I got out my December box and took out the elf.  Now this elf is not new.  He's been around for at least 30 years (not sure if my older siblings had him or not) and he had some holes in his outfit.  I brought him home over the weekend and my mom and I fixed him up so he looks like new.  This morning, I put him in his spot along with a letter from my elf (whom I named Elfie, which my mom gave me a hard time about, lol  She didn't think I was very original, but I thought it was cute).  I also hung these felt-like snowflakes from the ceiling and put up Christmas lights around my cabinets.  When my students came in this morning, they were mesmerized by this and then lost it when they saw Elfie.  They were so excited and had a million questions for me.  I told them we would talk about it during our morning meeting and that they needed to do their morning work.  So it's time for the morning meeting and the kids can't wait to hear what I have to say.  I do my same shpeal about how the elf has been around since I was little and what he was like for me.  I then explain that he now has a name and so he has his magic.  I had borrowed the book from my sister and read it to the class to help explain for the half of the class that didn't know.  This makes one of my little girls say "oooh!  We have one on our tree, but we never named him!  That's why he doesn't move around.  When I get home today I'm going to name him to get him his magic!"  I read the letter from Elfie and tell my class that Elfie was the one who put up the snowflakes and Christmas lights, which impressed them a lot!  lol  All day the students were excited about Elfie so he did not help with behavior at all today.  lol  They were EXTREMELY chatty.  When my teammate's class came in to learn about the art of the week, my kids couldn't wait to tell them about Elfie.  When students from another 2nd grade class came to our room for our math group today, they again couldn't wait to tell them (to which those students went back to their class and shared the news, lol).  All day long that little girl keeps telling me how she's going home to name her elf.  lol  So once my kids are at PE, I e-mail her parents to give them a heads up.  lol  They are fine with it and will be going along with it.  lol  I e-mail all of my parents to give them a heads up so they know what their child is talking about and I've had some really great parent replies back about how great I am for sharing this and doing it with the kids.  So without further adieu, meet Elfie.
You can see the holes in his hat, as we didn't fix those, just his arms and legs.  He was hanging above my reading chair where my boggle board is.  You can download the stationary from here.  It's an editable pdf that comes with the font.  I made my letter a full size for the first one.  The photos below are the snowflakes from the ceiling and the lights that Elfie surprised the kids with.  

Sorry for the blur.  I was in a rush when taking the pics.  The art of the week is a gingerbread glyph we do every year.  I'll tell more about that in a later post some time.  Tonight, Elfie has written the class another note on the stationary for the spot where the students will find him tomorrow.  He's on top of the cubbies, next to the globe, pointing to the North Pole.  I'll try and snap a picture tomorrow.  My plan is to have a note every day (it's a good thing I bought more ink for my printer!  lol).  I also plan on making Elfie some earmuffs out of puff balls and pipe cleaners if the children are noisy again and writing something along the line of how it's hurting his ears and he won't be able to stay around if they are that loud, and maybe sitting on my classroom phone with a note that he's ready to call anyone he needs to.  lol  It should be fun.  Hopefully I'll take pics and let you know what happened for the day every night.  This way the parents will know too.  Are you doing "Elf on the Shelf" in your classroom or at home?  How's it working for you?  Any great ideas you want to share for an Elf in the classroom?