December, a little turkey, and an elf on the shelf!

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Is it just me, or is anyone else completely floored that it is already December?!  I keep asking myself where has the time gone.  Everyone said that the hardest part of being a first year teacher was making it to Thanksgiving break.  Well, that has come and gone and I don’t know if it’s just a placebo effect (look at that vocab!), but I really feel a lot calmer and organized.  However, my to-do list has not gotten any smaller.

This week we have been testing our scholars to find out their reading level growth.  It’s a long process, as I’m sure you all know, but it is so rewarding to see how many levels some of my scholars have grown!  It makes me feel like all of the late nights, early mornings, and stress are so worth it.  The best part is seeing their faces light up when they get to put stickers on our class reading tracker to show their growth towards their reading goals!

This is definitely late – but I just have to share!  One of my team mates found this really cool idea to have kids disguise a turkey with their families so that it wouldn’t be eaten for Thanksgiving.  We then let them “hide out” in the classroom until the day before break when we wrote about the turkeys’ disguises.  This was a perfect activity for helping them to practice adding details in their writing.  Here are some of the finished turkey’s.

And here is probably my favorite turkey in disguise!  You can actually lift up the sunflower base and see the turkey underneath.  I was pretty blown away by some of the creativity that my scholars showed in creating these!

I’ve been trying to build in a little more learning related to holidays; it seems like we never really get to talk about them or do related activities – so…. I got an Elf on the Shelf!  The kids have gone crazy over her and have rushed in all this week to try and find her and see what she is doing.  On Monday, we read the story and talked about what elves do, then our own little elf made her first appearance during morning meeting.  We brainstormed names for her, then I made a ballot for each kid to cast his or her vote on Tuesday.  The winning name was Layla. 

Each day we have been using this simple writing page to write about what our elf is doing.

You can get your own copy for free from GA Peach Teacher.

I also want to find a holiday printable book for each scholar to help learn about all of the different winter holidays.  If anyone has any that they know of – please let me know!

I suppose that I have put off lesson planning for long enough, so I will leave you with a few pictures of our elf from this week.

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