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


A group of teacher-authors has come together wanting to give back to our sweet followers.  Each blogger has a chance for their readers to win $25.00 gift cards.  You can enter for a chance to win a $25.00 TpT gift card below.    I will announce the winner on December 4th.  Don't forget to check out the other fabulous bloggers below for your chance to win other amazing gift cards (by clicking on the little blue frog).  Good luck!





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Blessings,


66 comments:

ZippadeeZazz said...

I like to use my Christmas movie Avent calendar - each day, you turn the number over and there a different Christmas movie on each of the reverse sides, then we have he chance to watch it during break!

Amy M said...

I try to incorporate holiday activities into all subject areas. Thank you for the giveaway :)

aclark said...

I like to read the different gingerbread stories and when we're done, the students get to decorate a foam gingerbread to use as a magnet.

Retta Miller said...

i like decorating a little tree

Mia Qunin said...

I love using Polar Express story and activities!

lorena said...

Gingerbread activities :)

Paula Beckerman said...

I love this idea, especially that the elf is invisible, and there's so little prep for busy teachers to do. Thank you for sharing!

Angel Norman said...

I love doing Christmas Around the World! The kids love seeing all the fun traditions!!

Lauren Dull said...

Polar Express activities and gingerbread ornaments :)

Morgan Hanna said...

Thanks for participating in our blog hop! Love your post!

Meghan Harris said...

Thanks for participating in the blog hop! Love your post!

Math whiz said...

I like to incorporate holiday activities into the math and science lessons! So much fun!

Michelle Weiss said...

We love doing a full on polar express day

Coll Sig said...

For writing - Diary of a Reindeer (inspired by Diary of a Wimpy Kid) There's a website where we research the different characteristics of the reindeer. Each student then writes a three diary entries from the reindeer's point of view. The journal entries are from a week before xmas, xmas eve, the day following xmas.

kathy said...

I love having students make ornaments for their families that also work on fine motor skills!

Lisa M said...

I like do a treasure hunt with clues! :)

Emily Levine said...

I like doing the Gingerbread Man Exchange with other students/classrooms around the US.
Happy Holidays!

1stgradefireworks said...

Making reindeer stick ornaments! Wendy 1stgradefireworks@gmail.com

Oh So Elementary said...

Great Post! I love the activity!

I love reading different gingerbread man stories and working on cute gingerbread crafts, writing, and science lessons!!

Karen F. said...

I love to have the Elf visit our classroom.. sometimes its the Elf on a Shelf and sometimes its a Kindness Elf.. depends upon the kiddos I have

Jessica Zannini - Notes From the Portable said...

Such a great idea! And yes the tattling gets out of control. Too funny!

live laugh love to learn said...

Each teacher on my 5th grade team plans a holiday craft activity. Each student gets to choose what they want to make and we split them up and have a festive hour creating in the classroom! I love to serve hot cocoa and have a blazing yule log projected with holiday songs playing! It's my favorite day! :)

Katy said...

Making stockings :)

Cindy said...

Polar Express celebration!!

Sara Drazkowski said...

I do classroom stocking where students write compliments to each other!

Grade 2 Hullabaloo said...

Great ideas! I really like your elf idea. One thing I do instead of having a book exchange between students, the children have a token gift exchange. They bring small items to put in decorated gift bags. I need only to remind them about the goodie bags if they get a little rowdy. :-)

Darla Shaver said...

I like to add a CHristmas card creation station to my rotation after THanksgiving. THe kids love it! Writing and stamping and including their favorite people on their card lists!
darlasu2000@yahoo.com

megan said...

I do a Gingerbread person unit so it's inclusive of all my diverse families. We also talk about all the different ways to celebrate holidays around the world throughout the year. I love decorating gingerbread people on the last day of school, with holiday music and hot chocolate! :)

Diva Small said...

We do a gift exchange and that normally takes up most of the afternoon as the students are exchanging, exclaiming and giving thanks for the gifts received.

Lori R said...

I like to read gingerbread stories and have the class make gingerbread houses.

Kirsten Bigara said...

This is such a lovely idea! :)

Miss Karen said...

I always enjoy having a gingerbread man hunt around the school the week we read and compare/contrast different gingerbread stories.

cindy winkler said...

I love reading different Christmas books to my students.

emiddelhoven said...

Thank you! Such wonderful ideas!

Natalie said...

Every year in fourth grade we do a book report where the kids read their favorite childhood Christmas story. We hear The Night Before Christmas about 10 times but it's so fun!

Kim H. said...

Secret Santa

Ms. Hoag said...

Polar Express

Anonymous said...

I love reading T'was the Night Before Christmas and having them come up with their own version of it. Thanks!

Megan Wallen said...

Christmas mystery graphing pictures

Kelly said...

We always create a class Christmas card using a holiday picture we all take together. We hand them out around the school and send them home to parents.

irishjade725 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
irishjade725 said...

Deleted first comment due to typo. I have my students research how Christmas (or other winter holidays) are celebrated in different countries.

amberjo226 said...

We write thank you notes and caught being good notes on cute christmas clip art and decorate the hall with them :)

zookeeper said...

I use the elf on the shelf with an actual elf. He is frozen if there is too much noise and then can't move until the room is quiet again.

Tina Boley said...

I love to study the book "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with my students. So many opportunities to teach different themes...most importantly compassion and acceptance.

Tina Boley said...

I love to study the book "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with my students. So many opportunities to teach different themes...most importantly compassion and acceptance.

Mrs. Brown said...

I love to have my students do our Christmas program for their parents! They always love doing this!

kathleen culhane said...

This year we are participating in the gingerbread exchange. I also love celebrating grinch day with my kids!

Emily P said...

I found a fun Polar Express pack.

Erin Schofer said...

So many things to choose from at this time of year, but I always love the cooperative group projects we do to get us in the spirit... including door decorating!

Victoria Ybarra said...

Christmas around the world and fun Christmas centers 😁🎄🎅🏻❤️

Chandra Martin said...

I love doing Christmas around the world. Each classroom is a different country and we do different activities in each class.

Christa Joy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and great activity. This is definitely a crazy time of year and we all need all the help we can get. This would work well as part of my behavior management plan for December.

Kristin said...

I love working with fractions while baking!

Emily Miller said...

I love to celebrate Kings Day with my students - it makes the holidays last even longer!

Kathy Simpson said...

Love your idea!!! Happy Holidays!!

Kathy Simpson said...

Love your idea!!! Happy Holidays!!

Andrea Lee said...

I love to do Holidays around the world!

LynnIvy said...

I love making gingerbread houses!

Kim said...

We draw ourselves as elves and post them on a bulletin board. Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

Julie from The Best Days said...

This is a great idea! I'm going to share this on my FB page! :)

Carol P. said...

Our class does a 12 Random Days of Kindness activity. Kids love it and it's super sweet to get lovely messages from each other.
We also eat up some gingerbread cookies!

Penelope said...

We make the fun (yet messy) gingerbread houses. These are always a big hit.

Callie W. said...

We are lucky enough to have a "baker" parent this year who is going to bring in all the supplies to bake gingerbread cookies. Yummo!

Michelle said...

Hi, My students make language arts snowglobes each year. The snowglobe finished products change each year depending on the topic we are studying at the time. This year's topic is figurative language.

Markisha said...

I like to incorporate math and making ornaments by doing word problem Christmas tress.