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:

  1. 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!

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

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  3. 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.

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  4. I love using Polar Express story and activities!

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  5. 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!

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

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  7. Polar Express activities and gingerbread ornaments :)

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

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

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

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  11. We love doing a full on polar express day

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  12. 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.

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

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  14. I like do a treasure hunt with clues! :)

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

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

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  17. Great Post! I love the activity!

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

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  18. 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

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

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  20. 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! :)

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

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  22. 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. :-)

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  23. 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

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  24. 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! :)

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  25. 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.

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

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

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  28. I love reading different Christmas books to my students.

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  29. 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!

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

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  31. Christmas mystery graphing pictures

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  32. 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.

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

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

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  36. 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.

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  37. 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.

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  38. 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.

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

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

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  41. I found a fun Polar Express pack.

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  42. 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!

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  43. Christmas around the world and fun Christmas centers ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿป❤️

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

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  45. 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.

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  46. I love working with fractions while baking!

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

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  48. I love to do Holidays around the world!

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  49. I love making gingerbread houses!

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

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

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  52. 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!

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

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  54. 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!

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  55. 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.

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

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