Monday, November 30, 2015

Elf in the Classroom (Ideas and Free Activities)

At dinner tonight my daughter started up a conversation about holidays and explained that Christmas is her number one.  I was not surprised in the least.  Then she proceeded to tell me that getting visits from our family elf is one of her favorite parts of Christmas.
Our Ms. Joy arrives tomorrow and so does my class elf, Anderson.  At the moment I have an"E" written in Sharpie on my hand.  That E stands for elves...the elves that I better not forget about or else.
I should probably just keep a Sharpie E on my hand for the next 24 days, just in case.

If your class gets a visit for an elf, here are a few activities (old and new) that you might want to use with your students to take advantage of all the elf-induced excitement.

First up is a fun Elf Glyph.
These glyphs make a very festive display.  As part of this project, there is a little data collection/analysis activity, if you want to extend the activity a bit.  A writing prompt is included as well.
Elf Glyph:  A Fun Holiday Creativity is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  You can click here for more details.

Next up is an elf themed scoot (or write the room or math center).  My firsties have been working on fact families.  I made this simple activity for students to complete in small groups.
You can click on one of the picture below for a FREE copy of Elf Friends: A Free Math Activity (Practice with Fact Families).

Another elf inspired goody for your classroom (or even for home) is my Diary of an Elf:  A Free Writing Activity.  Your students can get in some extra writing as they chronicle the adventures of their elf with this daily journal.  
For a FREE copy of Diary of an Elf, click on the picture below.

I have one more elf freebie before I wrap things up.  It's my Elftastic Rhymes.  This quick, print and go sort features rhyming words for the book The Elf on the Shelf.  I like to use it after I read the book to the class.  
Students read each set of words and determine if they rhyme or not.  If your students are anything like mine, they can always use more practice with rhyming words.
For a FREE copy of Elftastic Rhymes, click on one of the pictures below.

I hope you've picked up some ideas that will help incorporate elf into some of your learning activities.  If you have a favorite elf in the classroom idea, I'd love to hear about it :).
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Tidbits (Activities and Freebies)

It's a little less than a week until Thanksgiving.  I cannot believe it.  It seems like Halloween was just last weekend.  Craziness!  We'll have a couple of days in school next week to wrap up some of our Thanksgiving activities, then we're off for a little break.
Traditionally, my first graders get a little (let just say) spirited the week or two leading up to a holiday/break.  Being prepped and ready with plenty of engaging learning activites is super important.  Here's a peek some at a few Thanksgiving inspired math and literacy activities we stayed busy with this week.

We started off by making our Pilgrim Writing Craftivity.  Our class cabinets have been embarrassingly bare for the past couple of weeks and these little Pilgrims look great.
On the backs of the Pilgrims, students wrote about what they are thankful for.

Some of our literacy time has been devoted to Thanksgiving themed literacy centers.  I am so happy to see how much independence most of my students are gaining as we work through our year of math and literacy centers.

Speaking of math centers, those have been Thanksgiving themed as well.  Math centers are an awesome way to provide ongoing review and to lay the ground work for upcoming instruction.  The fact that they can be seasonally inspired makes them even better.

Another Thanksgiving related resource we used during our math time was my It's Turkey Time Math Mini Book.  I made this book a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since.  It includes word problems that review several of the skills we've been working on so far this school year.
If you would like to have a FREE copy of this math mini book, click on the picture below.

We wrapped up our week with a fun round of scoot.  When I say fun, I mean FUN!  My firsties think scoot is awesome.  They love moving around the room or in this case switching from desk to desk.  They get a huge kick out of scoot.
Since we have been working on subtraction the past few weeks, our scoot focused on basic subtraction equations.

If you would like a FREE copy of my Perky Turkey Subtraction Scoot, you can click on the picture below.
I addition to using this freebie for scoot with your students, it also works great as a math center or as a write the room activity.

Hope some of these activities are helpful to you during these last few days before Thanksgiving.  If you are among the lucky teachers that have the entire week of Thanksgiving off...enjoy your well deserved break.