Gifts and Gingerbread

Winter Break is finally here!!!  I am taking a few, quick minute to post some pictures, before I go off to finish shopping, cleaning, and packing.  I'm Canada bound tomorrow!!  
(Not at ALL ready for the cold weather.  I've been freezing here in AZ with the 50 degree weather...)

My favorite class Christmas party so far has been gingerbread houses.  It is EASY and so much fun!  We saved milk cartons and glued them together on boards as a base.  I had parents bring in donations for the houses and come help.  They pretty much ran the whole show!  From setting up, helping make the houses, and cleaning up.  They were lifesavers!  



The creator of this awesome gingerbread house never leaves without giving me a hug and saying thank you.  Today, she just wrote it out and told me she didn't need to say it, because I could just read it.  She's so sweet!  

After some serious deliberating, I gave my class homemade gingerbread play dough and a gingerbread man cookie cutter.  It was perfect to hand out after we made gingerbread houses, and they LOVED it!!!  I found these adorable cookie cutters at Michaels for 99 cents!  I used my teacher discount and saved even more.  I found several versions of the play dough recipe on pinterest, but this is the one I used.  I loved it!  It was easy to make, but took me about seven batches to make enough for my class.  Each single batch made enough for about 4 or 5 students.  I gave them a ball about 2 inches wide.  After seven batches, I had enough for 30 gifts.  Click here to get two different poems and the recipe I used.  Enjoy!

I LOOOOOOOOOVE my parent volunteers!  So I gave them some nail polish from Ulta along with this cute note.  

We gave the office and support staff some chap stick and kisses.  I whipped up this little note to go with.  

Check out more Ho-Ho-Holiday Gift ideas here.

I'm off to the races!  
Happy Holidays everyone!!! 

Elf in the Classroom - Week 2

I am loving having Jingle in our classroom!  It makes this month so much fun, and really does help with behavior.  I almost wish he could stay all year long!  :)

Here's what our little Elf was up to this week.

On Monday, Jingle decorated our class Christmas tree with Candy Canes for us!
You have all been as sweet as can be!
So I left you some treats all over the tree!

On Tuesday, we found Jingle fishing in the sink. 
I really love to catch fish.
Catching good behavior is Santa's big wish!

On Wednesday, Jingle was playing memory with our counting bears! 
I am making so many friends!
I hope my time here never ends!

On Thursday, Jingle moved all of our clips to Parent Contact! 
Have you been naughty or nice???

Sadly, they were NAUGHTY, so Jingle did not come back on Friday.  
He left us this note. 
I went to the North Pole and told Santa the news.
It made him so sad, we both have the blues.
I won't come back into your school,
Unless you promise to follow every rule.
You need to try harder to not talk out.
And work really hard and do not shout.
Treat everyone kindly, and be extra sweet.
And I may come back, with another treat.

The kiddos were DEVASTATED!  Some were really close to tears.  It was SO SAD!  
Jingle also left me this shirt, to help remind them that even though he was staying at the North Pole, he was still watching them.  

(I bought the shirt here.)

They were SO MUCH better on Friday.  
A lot of them wrote notes and drew pictures to apologize to Jingle.
It was sad, but super cute.  :) 

This week our elf is gone but we will try our best on working hard.  Jingle was upset today.  He was sad.  And Santa Claus.
I wonder if he is still sad.
I hope Jingle doesn't get upset.
I think he should come back with us.  

Dear Jingle,
I am sorry that you can't come back until Monday.  I'm sorry for being naughty yesterday.  I miss you and I hope you come back soon!
Love your good friend,
to Jingle
PS  I like your smile

Dear Jingle,
I'm sorry that you had to leave.  I promise it won't happen again.
Love, _____

Check out my Elf in the Classroom packet which includes my calendar of Elf events for the month, notes for the Elf to leave (mine and blanks), the Weekly Elf Reflection page (for a boy/girl Elf), and more!.  

I've loved seeing everyone's Elf in the Classroom posts on instagram.  Follow me (@the_sharpened_pencil) and use the hashtag #elfintheclassroom to post/find more great ideas!  I'm loving it!  :)

Christmas Ornaments

We made these adorable Christmas ornaments this week!  

They are now happily hanging on our class Christmas tree until Christmas.  
Before the break, I'll send them home with one of these notes:

See specific directions and grab a few free notes to go with them here.

Elf in the Classroom - Week 1

Our first week of Elf in the Classroom was a HUGE HIT!!!

On Monday, we heard a loud pounding in the door.  When we checked it out, we found this beautifully wrapped, ICE COLD package waiting for us.  

The class was so excited and begged me to open it right away.  I did, and they were ECSTATIC to find an Elf on the Shelf!  I read them the book and then we quickly voted on a name.  

I left him tied in the box and kept it open on the counter.  
The next morning, we found him here: 
I hope you keep your behavior on point,
So I can keep hanging around this joint!

 On Wednesday, Jingle was caught making snow angels out of my glitter!  
Having no snow was making me bitter.
Thankfully I found all of this glitter!

During our math lesson on surveys, someone asked me to leave a note for Jingle so he could tell us what his favorite snack was.  He answered us during lunch!  
The next day two children brought in a candy cane for Jingle to have.  
It was TOO cute!

On Friday, Jingle made his own little Christmas tree!
You have a lovely Christmas tree,
But this one is just right for me!

 On Friday, Jingle must have been tired from a busy week in our room, because we found him sleeping.  
Don't mind me - I'm just having a snooze.
When I wake, I hope to tell Santa good news!

After lunch we filled out a reflection page on our week with Jingle.
I was amazed by how much they wrote and the thoughtfulness of their responses.  
Maybe we should have an Elf all year????  



Check out my Elf in the Classroom packet which includes my calendar of Elf events for the month, notes for the Elf to leave (mine and blanks), the Weekly Elf Reflection page (for a boy/girl Elf), and more!  

You can follow me on instgram (@the_sharpened_pencil) to see the daily happenings of our little Elf.  

Don't forget to check out the Elf in the Classroom Linky Party hosted by Mel D and Michelle