It's the busiest time of the year!  And I just love it!  The Christmas tree is up, lights are twinkling, and your room is filled with child created decorations.  I wanted to drop in to share some Elf ideas and some Christmas activities we have been working on for the past few weeks!  I team teach Kindergarten, so we actually have two elves.  We wrapped each up in burlap and added to cute tag and letter from The First Grade Parade.  The office called down to let us know we had a special delivery.



Holly was lead teacher that day, so she read The Elf on the Shelf book to them.  And yes, we wear a headset!  We got the voice amplifier from Amazon and it has been a lifesaver.  It's especially great when you are teaching 40 kindergarteners in one classroom!


We had two elves to name, a boy and a girl.  Frosty and Elsa won.  I tried really hard to convince them on voting for Snowflake for the girl's name.  No such luck...


We did a directed drawing of this precious little elf from Learning with Mrs. Parker.  They were super cute and easy!  I just love directed drawings!



In the free Elf pack, there were these little elf circles for a sight word game.  We also used the elves for our table captains.  We clip the the elf to a nameplate at each table.  That person is the table captain for the day.  They pass out and take up items throughout the day.  We rotate the elf each day.  We call them our special elf helper.  


Another cute freebie I found is by Teacher to the Core.  She has some great classroom management ideas, like this cute little jar.  You have to check it out!


Our students really loved Turkey Trouble during November.  I knew they would just love Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano, too.  This book was a great transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.


We used the book to practice making predictions.  It's perfect for that skill.  Since it's kindergarten, most students illustrated their thinking.  We have a few who are beginning to explain their thinking with sentences.


Holly took our turkey labeling anchor chart and Santa'd it up!  Is that even a word?!!


We made these fun Turkey Claus craftivities. 


Another fun, new book we tried out this season was the new Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! story by Doreen Cronin.  


In the story, Duck is at it again and decides to go down the chimney on Christmas Eve.  It's almost time for Santa and Duck get stuck in the chimney.  This book was great for problem and solution.  After the story, we put together these Duck crafts.  The kids thought they were hysterical!




Do you have this book?  It's the cutest!  It sparked the most fun conversations between the students.  It's perfect for a how-to writing activity.  Our kinders weren't really ready for that quite yet.  So, we just did a fun craft and attached this little sentence strip.  It was a much-needed quick craftivity to decorate our hallway.

 



Saxon Phonics is mandated in our district.  Our letter of study last week was the letter R.  We do a four day rotation for each letter.  So, on the fifth day, we usually do an art project related to that letter.  We thought it would be perfect to do this Rudolph directed drawing from ARTventurous.  We used black crayon to outline the pencil and filled in the rest with watercolor paint.  They turned out really cute!



So, those were a few of my favorites from December in kindergarten.  Christmas break has officially begun!  I am still in my pajamas and I'm loving it!!!  Have a great time off and a Merry Christmas!!!






Over the past few years, I have seen so many fun blogposts on Pinterest of parents doing North Pole breakfasts with their kids.  Typically, you do the North Pole breakfast when your elf arrives.  I thought it would be so fun to do a North Pole breakfast to send our classroom Elf on a Shelf back to the North Pole!  So last year, I threw a North Pole breakfast for my second grade class for their Christmas party.

Classroom North Pole Breakfast

It was the cutest and easiest Christmas party ever!  I compiled everything you need to have your own in the freebie pack below!

Classroom North Pole Breakfast

I sent home a letter to parents a couple of weeks before the breakfast so that they could help out by providing the food and drinks.  I included letters for you for both a girl and boy elf. 
Classroom North Pole Breakfast

You will want to make sure you have plenty of the red and white paper straws.  You will need them for the milk and for the powdered doughnuts.  I stuck them in the powdered doughnuts to look like little north poles!  


We needed a healthy little addition to our breakfast, so some parents prepared ready to eat fruit for us.


And finally, a couple of parents made sausage balls for the kids.  This was plenty of food.  Kids aren't typically that hungry during the Christmas party; they're more interested in the important stuff, like presents! ;)



I used bulletin board paper to cover the tables and wrapping paper as a runner on the tables, including the student tables.  I used some little red trees from home to decorate the food table.  While students ate, we watched The Elf on the Shelf movie.  It was all so fun and the room looked so adorable!  It was a hit with the kids and parents!  You can get a copy of the food labels in the freebie, too.  You will need to print them on card stock so you can fold them a sit them on the table.


For students gifts last year, I gave each student Santa's Magic Key.  There are so many of these out there on the blogs.  I had trouble finding the keys I wanted, but I stumbled upon these little ones in the dollar section at Michael's.  They're kinda small, but they did the trick.  I printed the little poem and pasted it to red scrapbook paper and cut them out.  I then punched a hole in the poem and tied the key to the poem.  You can grab the poem by clicking on either pick below.



I also made these mugs for my class.  The week before Christmas break, we did a hot cocoa study, so these made the perfect gift for them!  I picked up the mugs at Old Time Pottery for $1.  I used a Sharpie paint marker for the face and names.



Each mug was stuffed with hot cocoa, a large marshmallow, a short red and white paper straw, and then wrapped with clear cellophane and tied with a ribbon at the top.  Make sure to tell students not to wash the mug in the dishwasher.  


I just love Christmas time!  I hope you will try out the North Pole breakfast idea and let me know how it goes!  I am linking up with the I Teach blogs today!  Be sure to head on over to the fun Linky Party we are having!  So many ideas and fun tips!  Merry Christmas!








November is one of my favorite months in the classroom!  I just love all of the fall colors of our crafts and craftivities, fun Thanksgiving books, and the excitement of the holidays just around the corner.  It's also a very busy time and we seem to be trying to find the time to plan all of those activities we want to include in our classroom.  November is the perfect time to teach author's purpose, especially with the author's purpose is as easy as PIE theme!  Your littles will love being author's purpose chefs!  I wanted to drop in and share some methods, songs, and a freebie I have used over the years to teach this skill.  Hopefully, this will help you out a little with your planning for the next couple of weeks!

These are some of my favorite books to use in November and work for author's purpose.


I always try to do at least one craftivity a week, if not more.  I have kids who ask everyday, "What are we going to make today?"  So, I try to keep them happy!

author's purpose

author's purpose

After reading a Thanksgiving themed book about turkeys, students record details on the feathers that help them decide what the author's purpose is.  

author's purpose

Students then record the author's purpose in sentence form on the white paper portion.

author's purpose

Every week, I like to keep a cooperative group activity going related to our comprehension skill.  We may do this during whole group reading or during centers.  I have four envelopes stuffed with a book or passage and recording sheets.  I usually either get passages from TPT or from www.readworks.org.

author's purpose

Each day, I rotate the envelopes among the groups so that students gain exposure to different books or passages and get needed practice working on the skill with their groups.  This author's purpose recording sheet is one of my favorites!  It can be very difficult for primary students to identify author's purpose, so this sheet provides lots of scaffolding for our little ones.  

author's purpose

I have done interactive notebooks for the past couple of years.  We have one for reading comprehension and one for math.  I love this PIE template for author's purpose!  The details go on the outside and the author's purpose in the middle.  This is something we typically complete whole group.  

author's purpose

Who doesn't love Clifford?!  You have to throw him in to your unit, too!  Here is another simple interactive notebook template.  Simple, quick, and easy practice!

author's purpose

These little flip books and mini-booklets are perfect for independent practice, as well as centers.  You could use them with any book or passage you have in your classroom library or at a center.

author's purpose

I always have anchor charts and posters handy for reference.  These are super important for author's purpose!  That vocabulary can be tricky at first.

author's purpose

author's purpose

       

       

Here is a link to a fun song to help them grasp that new terminology.


We would also do book clubs on Friday.  You can read more about that in the pack!  It's a really fun time to review the concepts learned throughout the week and have a little discussion and snack!

author's purpose

These are some discussion cards to keep students focused during book clubs.  They love these!  I usually assign a group leader to get the discussion going and to keep the group on task.

author's purpose

Last year, I blogged about this author's purpose activity I did with my second graders.  It was SO FUN!  They loved getting to be author's purpose chefs!  You can read more about that HERE and grab this fun FREEBIE!

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose            author's purpose 

author's purpose

Cooking Up Author's Purpose is one of my favorite units I have created!  I hope your students love it and you find it useful!  It's on sale all weekend, November 7-8, so gobble it up while you can!  Have a great weekend!