Now You See Them; Now You Don’t! 1 2 3 Come Do Some Elf On A Shelf Activities With Me
The Elf on A Shelf is a children’s picture book written by an American mother and daughter Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, and illustrated by Coë Steinwart.
The book was self-published in 2005 and comes with a small elf. It's written in rhyme with watercolor illustrations.
The gist of the story is that Santa knows who is naughty and nice by what his elves report back to him as they fly back and forth each night.
Upon returning, they pick a new place to hide. By choosing a new hiding spot, the members of the family play an on-going game of Hide and Seek. Children are encouraged to name their elf.
Once the elf is named, the "scout" elf receives its special Christmas magic. Now they can fly! However, the magic might go if touched, so the rule for The Elf on the Shelf states: "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know."
In the hope that students will settle down, stay on task, and be better behaved during the hectic month of December, teachers have now gotten on board and purchased an elf for their classrooms.
To launch Elf on a Shelf read the story and let the good behavior modification begin! After all, Santa now has a spy in the room, and the teacher has a helper that is watching.
If you're looking for a costume to wear on the day you introduce your elf activities, or perhaps dress up in for story time, I found one at Oriental Trading. It's just $16. They also have an apron, or simply don the hat for $3. Children's sizes are also available, and would be a real hit in your dress up box,
I spent over an hour sourcing pictures of elf antics, 'til my head was actually spinning! There are virtually 100's of ideas Online, so I decided to start a PIN board with my favorites. Click on the link to catch the Elf Excitement.
If your budget is tight and you'd like to make an elf, instead of buying one, I designed "Twinkle." He's made out of a decorative lunch bag.
I bought my bags at Hobby Lobby. Click on the link to view/download Twinkle, the Elf on a Classroom Shelf "craftivity."
This is also a very easy thing for your kiddo's to make, and can act as a great behavior modification technique, as I've included "Tally Tags."
Children choose one and glue it to the front of their own elf. Whenever you catch a child being good, or when they have completed a task, they may add a tally mark to their card.
Have them use a red marker for tally marks 1-4 and then cross the 5th tally with a green marker.
To ensure honesty, remind students that the elves and Santa are watching, so no cheating. You could also let them know that you have a student tally total that you keep track of, so if you find a discrepancy they will lose their card. You really don't have to keep up with this, just show the paper and it will hopefully do the trick.
Feel free to walk over and add tally marks to children’s bags without saying a word. Believe me, they will be aware of what you are doing and get right down to business. After school, add tally marks to whom ever had a good day. This tally mark can be from the Elf on a Shelf. So children can readily see a difference, make the elf’s tally mark in another color like blue or purple.
Because of the book’s popularity, elf activities were being requested, so I decided to design some. I also had a few "oldies but goodies" which you can find below.
Click on the link to view/download The Christmas Elf, which is a spatial direction booklet, that also has several “craftivities” included, like the stocking with a photo of a real elf tucked inside.
Simply take a picture of each of your students wearing an elf/Santa hat. Students trim and glue to the back of their stocking. A graphing extension is also included.
The booklet Little Elf What Do You See? is a rhyming booklet that incorporates the 5 senses.
If you have lots of kiddo's and want to conserve paper, you'll want to use my up-dated mini version. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE.
Lots of Common Core is covered, as students read, circle capital letters; add end punctuation; underline adjectives; trace and write the "senses" words and then color, cut and glue the matching pictures.
If you're looking for an elf-related writing prompt have students respond to Santa's wanted poster.
He's looking for seasonal elf help. Children write why they feel they'd make a good elf.
After students share their page, collect and collate into a class book. A "You're Hired!" certificate and "Official Santa's Helper Button" are also included. Click on the link to view/download the Wanted: Elf Help packet.
Thanks for visiting today. I design and try to blog daily, so I hope you can pop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES hot off this elf's computer. Feel free to PIN away.
"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel." -Buddy, from the movie Elf
Pumpkin "Punkin" Praise!
Woo Hoo! This is my 400th Blog Article! Wow; that sure happened fast. I hope you've found them helpful.
Are your little “punkins” in need of a little calming?
I’ve found that as the year progresses and students get to know their classmates and become friends, they begin to get more comfortable and very social.
On one hand this is terrific, on the other, little ones can become so excited that they forget to stop talking, raise their hand, and use inside voices.
There’s nothing like a little incentive to make rules and reminders fun. Since October is just around the corner, I thought a Pumpkin Praise Puzzle would be appropriate.
Students earn a pumpkin puzzle piece with a letter on it, for whatever behavior you decide upon. When completely assembled, the pumpkin spells “Pumpkin Praise”.
For those schools celebrating Halloween, I have a Jack-O-lantern. For those who celebrate a harvest theme, I have a plain pumpkin puzzle.
Decide ahead of time, what behavior will earn a pumpkin letter i.e., everyone lining up before the timer rings, everyone completing a task, etc.
For preschoolers you can have instant gratification at the end of the day; they earn a letter for a list of behaviors they have accomplished throughout the day. Remind them that a letter can be taken away for inappropriate behavior as well.
Older students can have delayed gratification, and earn 1 or 2 letters per day, with their reward coming at the end of the week.
Decide with your class what the reward should be, perhaps an extra recess, a nature walk, everyone gets a special treat that they help make for snack time, etc.
Do this for only a day or week or continue through out the month or until interest wanes.
Simply run off the template on orange construction paper. I ran off another copy on green so that I could have a green stem. I also colored in the pumpkin’s facial features with a black marker.
Laminate the pieces and cut them out. Attach a magnet or piece of Velcro so you can attach your pumpkin puzzle to a white or flannel board.
As students earn a puzzle piece, assemble the pumpkin on the board.
I designed this so you could do this as a whole-group activity, but you could easily have your students work on the other pumpkin as a personal achievement puzzle pumpkin.
As children earn puzzle pieces, they could glue them to a sheet of black construction paper and collect their reward once they have completed their pumpkin!
You could make these individual pumpkins smaller by shrinking my template on the copier.
Click on the link to view/download Pumpkin Praise Behavior Modification Puzzle
I hope Pumpkin Praise works for you and that you find yourself praising your little “punkins” through out October!
Do you have a behavior modification technique you could share with us? I’d enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or feel free to leave a comment here.
Thanks for visiting today. PIN away if you find anything on my site you think others might enjoy.
“The rain falls on all of the fields, but crops grow only in those that have been tilled and sown.” –Chinese Proverb
Having Fun Behaving!
Since the star student flags and encouragement cards were such a big hit, I decided to write one more article on behavior modification.
100-Chart Bingo is also a quick, easy and fun way to help improve student behavior. This tip also helps teach math skills and cooperation. What a win-win for everyone!
Here's How To Play:
Run off and laminate the traceable 100 chart.
Run off and laminate the smaller number chart.
Cut up the smaller numbers and put them in a container. You'll need another container to put the chosen numbers in. I have labels for "picked" and "not picked".
Anytime that you recognize good behavior choose a student to draw a number out of the container and have a different student trace it on the 100 chart, using a permanent marker.
The tracings can later be removed with a Mr. Clean Eraser.
I find that if you use a dry erase marker, the color can easily be brushed off by accident.
When the class gets a "BINGO" (a straight line in any direction) they get a reward. 4 corners is also a Bingo.
What will be fun for students is that the diagonal lines are all different lengths. Some are only 2 numbers long, while others, like the one straight across the middle, which includes numbers 1 through 100, is the longest of all.
At the beginning of the year, brainstorm a list of rewards with students, and list them on the reward chart.
You can either have students vote on what reward they want, or choose a number out of another container with however many numbers in it, that correspond to how many rewards you have.
Whatever number they choose, will match a reward on the poster and that’s the one that the students earn.
Also, decide what sorts of behavior warrant the choosing of a number. i.e. the whole class transitioning quietly, completing morning work etc.
List those on the "Just LOVE this kind of bee-utiful bee-havior!" chart.
As an incentive you can list individual students on the other bee-utiful bee-havior chart and decide how many need to make the list in order to get a number drawn.
You could also draw more numbers for better behavior. i.e., a compliment in the hallway from another teacher or in their gym, music, or art classes =’s 2 or 3 numbers drawn; no one is absent, a great report from the substitute, etc. 5 numbers are drawn.
I've included a "Bee good for goodness sake bookmark, + 4 "Buzzin' By" bee-utiful bee-havior happy grams as well as "Caught bee-ing good" awesome cards.
I truly feel that positive reinforcement goes a long way in helping promote great behavior and improving self-esteem.
I think you'll like Behavior Bingo because it teaches patience, as it takes a while to get a Bingo. It also teaches teamwork, because it’s a group effort.
I like the teachable moments it provides. i.e., instead of the student who chooses the number announcing the number, have them give a clue: I drew a number between 30 and 40. My number is less than 10 but more than 6, my number is in the 1st row and is odd. This helps students really understand number concepts as well as look for patterns.
Click on the link to view/download Behavior Bingo Packet
Scroll down for the other 2 articles on Behavior Modification: Star Student Flags & Encouragement Cards
Do you have a behavior tip that works for you? I'd enjoy hearing about it. firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to leave a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas. Thanks in advance for taking the time and for visiting. Feel free to PIN anything you feel others might enjoy.
Hoping to see you tomorrow for more teaching tips.
Getting Students To Shine!
Do you need some stellar work done? Do you want your students to give their best effort and shine brightly? Is their behavior a bit tarnished and requires a bit of star quality?
Why not try this simple star behavior modification technique.
Run off my flag master and color it, or glue on strips of red construction paper and a blue rectangle. You could also buy a picture-poster of a flag and put star stickers over their stars.
Laminate your flag and put it up on the board.
Buy a star hole punch + some star stickers if you don’t already have some squirreled away.
Run off copies of the student flags on white construction paper and have them color their stripes, but NOT the stars.
Ask your students if they remember how many stars are on the flag. Challenge them to get 50 stars as a class before summer vacation.
Brainstorm a list of ways they can earn stars such as: Quiet transitions, their great behavior is noticed and complimented by another teacher, everyone completes their morning work, no one ends up in the Time Out chair etc.
Write these down on the star behavior chart and post them.
If you want to add this option, explain to students that they can also earn star cards for star behavior as well as star work. They are awarded each day.
So many cards equals a trip to the treasure box or whatever other reward you deem appropriate, like work to music of your choice, switch desks with someone, work with no shoes on, lunch with the teacher, receive a pencil or eraser, sit at the teacher’s desk etc.
Each day you also punch the edge of their student flag for a variety of reasons. You caught them being good, they had the best paper, they really improved, they got 100% on a spelling test, they completed all of their morning work etc.
So many star punches and they get to color a star yellow on their flag.
Anyone coloring all 50 stars by the last day of school, gets a special prize or whatever your class votes on.
Discuss the rules with your students, then have them raise their left hand and cross their heart with their right, promising to be a star student that does star work and behaves like a star.
Everyone then signs the contract. If you begin this at the start of the year, I’ve included a Star Gazer graph for you to keep track of who has gotten to color in a star each month + a weekly punch card to help you keep track.
At the end of whatever time period you do this for, there's a certificate of praise.
Whether you do all, or only one of these activities, I’m certain you’ll see students shining a bit brighter!
Click on the link to view/download the Star Student Behavior Modification packet.
“I’ve got a little light and I’m gonna let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”
September's HOT TOPIC is:
Here's a booklet I wrote that might help with one of the #1 reasons for discipline problems: Keeping your HANDS to yourself! Click on the link to print a color booklet for yourself as a wonderful read-aloud. I put 2 on a page for easy copying so you can send a booklet home with each of your students to share with their families. I've also included a CERTIFICATE to help promote great behavior. Children will want to become a member of the "High Five Helping Hands Club!" They'll receive one when they understand the concept and have helping, not hurting hands. There's also a SKILL SHEET where a child can ZAP and X out the hurting hands, as well as a cute ART ACTIVITY where they'll make a "handy" heart-print, sure to become a cherished keepsake that makes a terrific bulletin board too! Have your little ones trace and sign the Helping Hands CONTRACT and watch great behavior grow! FREE BOOKLET
UPDATE: I just made a Teacher's Edition so you can have a BIG copy of the children's size. I laminated my copy, put it in a folder, laminated the children's edition, cut up the picture pieces and put magnet strip on the back. When I'm reading my big teacher's copy I pass out the picture pieces. When I come to that picture the child holding that piece puts it on the white board. We sequence the story. Everyone says the phrase "Please keep these to yourself." when a child puts a picture on the board. I keep these pictures in a baggie in the pocket of my folder. Click on the link to print a copy.
I've also made a Classroom Rules Promise Pledge. Click on the link for a copy. I have my students raise their left hand and then put their right hand over their heart and promise these things, and then sign the contract. I think it makes it official. Promises are a big deal in a young person's life. When an infraction takes place I remind them that they broke their promise and that I'm disappointed in the choice they have made.
If you need an easy Happy Gram Daily Behavior note to send home click on the link.
If you need a note to send parents when their child moves from the green to a red zone click on the link. FYI red zone note.
I also have Windows Of Good Behavior a great behavior modification technique that helps motivate even the "toughies"! At least it's worked on mine! Click on the link for 28-pages of help, including the game, self-esteem building incentives (bookmarks, badges, slap bracelets), happy grams, and directions.
Need some tips to get those students in line and quiet? Click on the link for my 70+ Transition Tips!
(Children say the first 3 lines with you rather loudly, then as they tip toe they say the last 3 softly.)
Ideas from other teachers: (Thank you!)
What To Do With A Real Problem Child
Document: Start a notebook on the child. Have a page for each day and make a bulleted list of everything that they do inappropriately. Have a tally sheet where you time how many times they are out of their seat in one minute intervals. List how many times they were in the Time Out Chair and why they were in it. Have a page of the behavior modification plans and special things that you are doing to help this child. Use the documentation to get the child observed by others, evaluated, tested, etc. Keep documenting.
Make Contact: Keep the parents informed of the child's behavior: Make a form letter so that this is not time consuming for you. Make it a check list. Sign it and have a place for them to sign and return; after so many notes home ask them to call you if your phone calls are not being returned which is usually the case. Set up a conference. Pin these to the child's back so that they will see them. Give copies to your principal.
Ask for help: Inform your principal that you need assistance; can you qualify for an aide? When there are extra volunteers/subs in the building could they please send them to you? When older students are in a block or not doing something could that teacher send down a few helpers to your class? Can the Psych department help? Can the parents/grandparents come in and work-one-on one for an hour one day a week? Is there a near by teacher willing to let this child sit in a chair in their class to get him out of your room for 5 minutes to settle down? Can you set up a program where you can send him to the office, or to the principal for an intervention time when nothing else works?
Set Up Ultimate Consequences: Can you make parents accountable so that If their child continues to be disruptive or hurts another child you can send them home?
Is this child a runner? Keep your door shut, keep that child's seat as far away from the door as possible, they are not to use the bathroom with out adult accompaniment, set up a "Child-On-The-Run" alert system. You have a walkie-talkie and so does the office. If the child runs, you notify the office and they take over. When the child leaves to go with another teacher, they get the walkie-talkie etc.
Cover yourself: You need to make your principal aware that other parents may complain and that this child is a potential threat to your, their, and his safety and that could involve not only complaints but a potential lawsuit. This always seems to give administration a wake up call that they need to listen. Sometimes they are not even aware of what a handful you have. Ask them to come in and observe the situation.
Explain: The rest of your class is definitely affected by a "wild child". You need to explain to them when this child is NOT present that he has a bit of a problem and that you need their help.
Positive Praise: As with all children the importance of praise is so imperative. A really challenging child may only have ever felt how it feels to get attention negatively. I try my best to notice any kind of positive behavior and then recognize it immediately and praise them. This can be a high five, thumbs up, a pat on the back, or simply an encouraging word or a combination. Putting a sticker, or drawing a smilie face or star on their paper is also very rewarding. At times I announce to the class: "X has completed their work, or stayed in their seat, or not been in the Time Out Chair this morning! Let's all clap for them." This child just beams. As with my other students who do a great job, or improve, when this child completes anything (!) I'll hold up their paper and say: "X finished his paper!" Always make sure the praise is genuine and just enough at just the right intervals.