This is my first year having an Elf on the Shelf in the classroom and I'll start out by saying that I am fully aware of how RIDICULOUS the amount of fun I'm having with our classroom elf is. I'll admit it-I was feeling burnt out. I was feeling grumpy and ready for Winter Break more than I've ever been ready for Winter Break. This elf has made me look forward to going to school each day and I can only hope it's done the same for my students.
-I love seeing the grins on their faces and the way they all shuffle into the classroom to get a glimpse of where our elf is and what he's been up to.
-I love hearing the chatter about it as they're on playground and as they're going about their day.
-I love that their imaginations are at work 24/7 coming up with ideas of things we can add for our elf (he needs a cubby, a stocking, a computer, a book box, and more, according to the students). He is definitely a part of our little 2nd grade family.
-I love plotting out what our elf is going to do and setting him up.
-I think the part I love the most though, is a part I wasn't expecting in this elf adventure, and that's the devious collaboration I'm enjoying with my fellow 2nd grade teachers at school. We're sneaking into one another's classrooms and moving the elves unbeknownst to each other, buying one another Elf on the Shelf (or EOTS as I have secretly dubbed it) paraphernalia (DVD's, clothing made for Ken dolls, etc.).
Here's what's been going on in my classroom:
Our elf arrived from Santa straight from the North Pole. The package was cold and our wonderful school librarian really played it up when she delivered the package to us.
After reading the story to the students, they each were given a sticky note and told to write a suggestion for a name. The elf was going to pick out his name that night. When the kids came to school the next morning, they found that the elf had chosen the suggestion of...
Bacon has been found playing Battleship with some classroom snowmen
Swinging from the snowflake decorations
Sitting in the Christmas tree which he
(a coworker snuck in my room and did this one while we were at recess and the kids thought this was
And finally, engaged in, "The Great Snowball Fight of 2013" with another classroom's elf who was unable to go to the North Pole for the night because someone in the class had touched him.
I even had a student bring in a DVD earlier this week with a home movie of her elf moving. Her parents had set up a video camera in their living room to catch the elf leaving for the North Pole at night. These parents went the extra mile and had the elf walking along the couch, jumping down, walking to the door, jumping up to the door handle, and heading out. There was some great video editing, the help of a fishing pole, and some parents who didn't want their children to stop believing just yet. I showed the class the video and it was pandemonium in the classroom. The next day, a big slew of students had a newly adopted elf at home. A classroom of believers. I love imagination.
I did a little EOTS surgery this weekend on Bacon and followed this tutorial on how to quickly add wire to his arms and legs to make him bendable.
I also added Velcro to his hands. A whole new world of possibilities has emerged for this elf!
Each night Bacon writes a letter to the students on elf paper telling them things he was up to, what he told Santa, things he likes in the classroom, etc. Each day the students write a journal entry about what our elf was up to that day.
If you want a quick journal printable to use for your elf, I'm sharing mine as a freebie. Just click on the picture to take you to it!
Time to link up your Elf on the Shelf classroom shenanigans with Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations.
See you over there!