Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas is coming and Santa's Elves are getting busy!

     The classroom is such a busy place when trying to get everything ready for Christmas. Many students are both excited and anxious about this season. Taking time to have activities that build classroom community helps to bring everyone together. Here are some of our favorite activities.

     Create a Classroom Christmas Bulletin Board where all your students “Lend a Hand!” 
Make a Tree: Have every student trace their hand on a 12” X 18” piece of green construction paper as many times as they can fit.  Be sure to model how to get the most hands out of their paper without a lot of waste! All hands are cut out and stapled to the board by layering them into a triangle-like shaped Christmas tree. Start at the top and make it as big as you can. The early finishers can make more hands!!!!

     Make some Presents: Once the tree is constructed, pass out white squares of paper (presents) and have them draw a picture of an item they want to GIVE to someone else. Add the “To-From” tag and staple these under the tree.
     Decorate the Tree: As time allows (or another day) have the students make ornaments to add to the class tree. These can be just their own drawings brightly colored.
     Enjoy this "creation" as a class and remark on how everybody working together can make something wonderful!

     Elves! Elves! Elves!- Who just doesn’t love those helpful little folks? Here’s a song/poem to use on your pocket chart called Did You Ever See an Elf?   It is sung to tune “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”  The words, a Little Reader, and the pocket chart cards are available for a FREE download {HERE}! When singing the song you must go back to the first line each time and then add in the next "new" lyric for the song to work! Check out the Little Reader to get the idea. 

      Quiet time is always needed during the daily activities during this busy season.  Here are some favorite books to read aloud! Jan Brett books are always very special literary treats this time of year!

     Excitement and emotions run high and one needs to pull them off the classroom ceiling at times! Use this engaging classroom community builder to practice being helpers to each other.  Follow this up with how to be helpers at home. This FREEBIE will provide your students with activities to discuss and practice being “Helpful Elves”.  It comes with a song (Tune: Are You Sleeping?) and a craftivity where the students turn themselves into little elves.  There is also a little writing booklet where they can write ideas of how they can be helpful elves at home and in school.  This would make a quick little gift to give to family members and remind everyone to be helpful around the holidays!  Click {HERE} to link to this FREEBIE at our TPT store.
Sometimes the "little elves" need to get the wiggles out so try this fun adaptation to the familiar Hokey Pokey!  Have fun with this little dance!
Here's another song we found a while ago...Nine Little Elves.  It is sung to the tune Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.   We also have children make a class book by illustrating the lyrics.  You can download the Dance chart (above) and the song chart (below) at our website by clicking {HERE}

We hope you have fun with an elf-theme in your classroom this coming Christmas season! Many children experience the whole "Elf on a Shelf" at home.  You can also bring that idea into your classroom. Either purchase the original "Elf on a Shelf" or buy a handcrafted one at a craft fair.  Be sure to give him/her a name! Your elf can leave little treats, special coloring pages, art projects, and notes to the students every afternoon to be discovered when the class enters in the next morning!  Do this only the last few days before the vacation break unless you are FULL of ideas!  Remember to move the elf to a different classroom shelf or the top of a file cabinet, etc. There are loads of creative ideas on the Internet so have a good time with your "elf" friend!  


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