Sparkles, our Elf on the Shelf and Gus, our resident ghost and trickster have been leaving surprises all month. I decided to try to catch them in the act with the Santa Spy Cam app. We caught Sparkles’ friends in the act! You can see our classroom in the video! They left us a note! Too much fun! The Santa Spy Cam app is really cool. Take a look at this app at the app store or online and see the amazing things that are possible with this app!
Here are a few of the treats left for us each day!
The students seemed to really enjoy the visit from Sparkles and rushed to find out what she had left for us each day! We will miss her!
We have been having a great time making Christmas cards to send to 30 other classrooms from around the world. We are taking part in the Holiday Card Exchange with over 1,100 other classes in the world. This project is organized by a lovely lady in California named Jennifer Wagner. We have to make 30 cards and send them to the 30 names on our list. We will be receiving cards back from all the names on our list! We took part in this project last year and it was very exciting. This year we have cards going to Kenya, New Zealand, and Japan. We have cards going to five places in Canada, and lots of cards going to a large variety of places in the United States!
Sparkles, our Elf on the Shelf is back this year and started her visit with a snowball fight with the dinosaurs in the classroom. The snowballs were miniature marshmallows! Of course,we had to eat up the marshmallows to prevent further fights.
She has been leaving treats for the children each day!
Sinterclaas paid a visit too!
We are starting a new type of Brown Bag sharing over the next few weeks. We will be sharing our favorite Christmas customs. My family celebrates Sinterclass. I brought my wooden shoes to school and taught the children a few words in Dutch. That was enough to have our classroom become honorary Dutch citizens for the day and Sinterclaas paid a surprise visit! He left some Dutch gingerbread, chocolate coins, pencils, and chocolate letters. Very yummy!
We had a lot of fun with elves this month! We have Sparkles, our Elf on the Shelf who teamed up with Gus, our resident ghost mischief-maker working together to leave surprises for the children almost every day! They left messages, puzzles, stickers, suggestions for stories to read, and sometimes special treats to eat! I managed to catch them in the act using a special app called Santa Spy Cam! They built a castle using the blocks in the classroom at our Christmas center and filled it with candycanes. The video above is the evidence!
We also filled out applications to become elves. I sent them home for Christmas. Hope you enjoyed them!
We also had a surprise visit from Santa Claus!
He spent a long time visiting with the children and told us a lot about elves. Apparently their favourite food is candycanes!
There were a few elves in his sack that tried to get out but he managed to keep them hidden!
Our Polar Express day was a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone for supporting this day! We made hot chocolate and had yummy cookies. We used up the leftover graham crackers from the Gingerbread house building to make some S’mores! Very yummy!
We listened to the story first and then we each got a jingle bell just like in the story. Luckily, no one had a hole in their pocket!
We also danced to these two Christmas Just Dance Kids videos! The Grade Sevens came to help us dance to the Santa one!
This is the Jingle Bells one! Lots of fun!
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Have a Happy New Year!
The weeks have been flying by! Why does December go so fast when you are an adult and so slow when you are a kid?
The elf and Gus have been surprising us each day in a different spot! Here are just a few of their antics! They have been leaving us books to read and puzzles to do!
We have been working on the iPads and we have used them quite a bit for silent reading time. By adding the headphones to the iPads the children can listen to the stories without distraction. I bought a neat accessory that lets me have several children at a time listen to one iPad using their headphones!
We have been doing lots of things with the iPads and with Christmas. We have been drawing gingerbread men and making patterns. We hope to incorporate these into a little book!
We made Christmas poems using Doodle Buddy. The children had to create text boxes and add them to the screen and then add the pictures. Doesn’t sound like much but when you are six it is a big deal!
They also had to change colors and use different sizes of stamps. Lots of fun!
Really looking forward to all the neat things we can try!
Today we used the iPads to post on our student blogs! We managed to put the app for KidBlog on all the iPads. It is a great app! We walked through the steps to take a picture and then blog about it. The only real glitch we had is that some of the children inadvertently did their entries on someone else’s name. I think that we need to do a repeat of the lesson on how to sign out when you are done and make sure you are signed on as yourself. I will have to try to find the time to have the children who blogged on someone else’s blog to redo their entry!
But all in all I think we did GREAT! It is not a small task for primary students to navigate around the page and add images and so on. The children copied the title and the first sentence from the board and then were encouraged to write their own sentence. We had some interesting invented spellings but I think everyone can understand what they were trying to write! It is a lot of work for those little fingers to type those sentences. Everyone was really focussed and wanted to get the job done! We had a couple of the students who figured it out really quickly and were able to help everyone else! We couldn’t have done it without them!
I hope you take a minute to have a look! Gus and Sparkles even wrote their name on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!
The Elf and Gus have been having a good time in our classroom. They decorated a little tree and decided to read Christmas stories on Wednesday night. They left some Christmas confetti to play with too. We are trying to record what they are up to each day in our little booklets about their adventures.
On Thursday night they went for a ride on Mr. Mugs!
We had a great time making gingerbread houses with our Big Buddies on Friday! We hope to blog about it in our student blogs this week! We have downloaded Kid Blog onto the iPads and are learning how to use it. It is a free app!
Today Sinterclaas left a treat for our class. I am a first generation Canadian as my parents emigrated to Canada in 1952. We brought some customs that we still celebrate today! One of my favourites is Dutch Christmas. So, today I brought my wooden shoes to school. The children learned to count to 10 in Dutch and say Merry Christmas. Sinterclaas must have noticed because when we put my wooden shoes outside our classroom door, Sinterclaas came! He brought little treats for the children along with special gingerbread cookies called speculaas, some gumdrops, and chocolate letters. Lots of fun.
The Elf and Gus built a castle out of the blocks last night and played with some of our dinosaurs! Take a look! The children brainstormed some names for the elf and the elf is going to let us know what her name will be in the morning!
We decided to take our silent reading up a notch and used the iPads and our headphones and listened to the stories on the I Like Books app again today. It is hard to tell which story is their favourite! I like this program because as it reads the story the words are also highlighted.
Today when we came to school we had a new visitor! We have a little ghost named Gus who likes to write to us each day and play tricks on Mrs. Anton. He always seems to know where the stapler is even if Mrs. Anton doesn’t! Today he had a visitor to help him!
An elf on the shelf arrived from the North Pole and together they wrote the morning message backwards, went for a ride on our big life size stegosaurus, and left us a puzzle to play with today!
So, of course, we had to write about it and draw pictures! We used Doodle Buddy again for the pictures. We are making a little journal chronicling The Adventures of the Elf and Gus. I don’t have pictures of it yet but the children did some great work there too.
We also did some more spelling with word families and some Christmas words on the iPads again this morning. So easy to find the common endings and underline them or look for a little word within a big one!
We also tried out some of the spelling apps. I will post the names of the Spelling apps tomorrow! In the excitement, I forgot to write it down…
Now, I wonder what we will find Gus and the elf up to tomorrow!