Friday, November 25, 2016

Santa's Little helper

Santa's Little Helper


Hi, guys!  How are you? Has Christmas-itis hit your students yet?  Are they antsy for a break and in the process of trying to send you over the edge?  The month of December can be challenging for teachers and students alike.  As a kid, they can't wait until they are watching cartoons, staying up late and impatiently waiting for Santa's arrival.  Teachers, well..our  my wish list is to catch up on sleep, eat a meal that I don't have to scarf down and watch Netflix.

The month of December is CRAZY!  (Can I get an AMEN???) There is so much to learn and such little time to squeeze it all in, and the redirecting may seem never ending.

Are any of these thoughts running through your head?
  1. Attention spans mysteriously have been cut in half.
  2. Students have suddenly forgotten how to walk in the hallway correctly.
  3. Tattling is Out...of..Control!
  4. You find yourself reviewing necessary procedures and routines like you did at the beginning of the school year. 
  5. Keeping hands to self suddenly becomes a never ending chore. 
  6. Homework.....What homework?  I didn't know we had homework?  Why didn't you tell me?
  7. You can't decide if the constant rambling you hear is all in your head or if your once quiet class has permanently departed (for a trip to the North Pole leaving you behind with a classroom full of replacements) 
Did you find yourself shaking your head in agreement?  Yep, I totally get it and am right there with ya, girl!  It is a HARD time of the year, but you don't have to be counting down the hour, days until the break.  I have an easy activity that will help your students stay on track and save your Teacher-in-December sanity.  

How, might you ask?  

It is a super duper easy activity that I call Santa's Little Helper and requires little prep on your part (Hallelujah).  

I love to begin this activity when we return from Thanksgiving break.  They are hyped up from a few days off and utterly excited to start their countdown to Christmas.

Below is how I use this in my classroom.  I like to keep it simple because this time of year is stressful enough without adding any extra stress to my plate (I need HELP, not extra work). 

  • Print off the letter from your classroom elf.  I have left a space in the message for you to name your elf.  Now, I know you might be thinking, "Just great, exactly what I want to do, go out and buy an elf."  No worries!!!  You do not have to buy an elf.  When I began this fun project 17 years ago, I did not have an elf that my class could see (and honestly I think it works well, maybe even better depending on the year).  
  • I leave the elf coloring page (found in your packet) and a candy cane on their desk for them to color after I read the letter.  Once I read the letter, I tell them just like Santa; they cannot see our classroom elf.  They never know when he is watching. 
  • During the next few weeks, I keep an eye out for students making good choices.  When this happens, I place a certificate and a candy cane on their desk (when they are not in the classroom).  I try to change up the time that the elf leaves his surprise.  It helps to keep them on their toes. 
I hope your students enjoy this activity as much as mine.

You can grab your copy of Santa's Little Helper HERE


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Blessings,