The elf. The Elf. THE ELF!!!!!!!

Okay. Let's be honest. I had ZERO intentions of bringing the Elf on the Shelf into our classroom. Zero. I know so many of you out there find him/her adorable. I don't. His/Her eyes are creepy to me. And, so because I am a scaredy, I did not want this elf staring at me all day. My mind was made up.

Then, I saw this post by The First Grade Parade!
I was already feeling a little guilty that I had not joined in on the fun of the Elf on the Shelf...so with that guilt and her post (sharing a CUTE elf)...I decided to take the plunge! So, I ordered the elf. But, I also ordered enough for each student! *More on that at the end of this post! 

It's actually a VERY good thing that I decided to bring this elf into our classroom. You see, my students had a sub (my very good friend) and they had a VERY TOUGH DAY. I have a chatty, sometimes tough class and they took advantage of having a sub. Well, I took this and turned it into a lesson. 

I had my students write a letter to Santa, asking him to forgive them for their behavior. I also suggested they ask him to send an elf to help them ensure they would be on the "Nice" List! They loved this idea. So, the next day...an elf appeared in our classroom!

Isn't she just adorable?! I think so!!! 
She came with a letter from Santa explaining the rules and that she would be watching them each day. Because their behavior was the reason she appeared, I did not make her a naughty elf! She was just there to watch them and report to Santa about THEIR behavior. She did like to move about the classroom!

The first thing we did was brainstorm and vote on a name. This is where I knew my students were learning from this. One of my sweet, sweet girls chose the name McKenzie...She said, "I think we should name her McKenzie." Of course my heart just melted. Melted. You see, that is my friend's (their sub's) last name!!!! The other students said, "Yeah, yeah!" Of course, we had to vote, but I could tell their hearts were already in the right place.



The first spot McKenzie moved after getting her name!
This is after a day that my class had a lot of energy! I told them they must have tired her out! She slept all day!  
If I were an elf student...I would be a quiet worker. I would listen and move my clip up. I would always be respectful. Wuv, McKenzie

I added McKenzie to our bulletin board! This little note and this elf craftivity is from A Cupcake for the Teacher!
I just adore her stuff! 

The next day was my birthday!!! Yep, #42! Yikes!!! I decided to wear this shirt...and it worked! 
 McKenzie recognized my students' wonderful behavior and rewarded them with this!
They were oh, so excited!!! I brought in little cupcakes and ice cream for the day..so we watched this movie and had yummy treats! My class also made and secretly (or not so secretly, but I pretended not to see!!) passed around a card for everyone to sign! I have some pretty amazing students! So sweet! It was a good day!

On our Polar Express Day, Santa sent my students bells! He also sent this letter! Oh, the excitement!!!

 My students were beyond excited by this letter! And, even more excited because it said something special was on its way!
My class decided that McKenzie wanted us to read this book to her! So, we did! 
I found this adorable tin and notepad at the Dollar Tree! You know this was a BIG hit!

The closer we got to the end of the week, the more my students made McKenzie work! She spent this whole day on the clip chart! It worked!

The special delivery tag is a freebie from The First Grade Parade!
   Look what showed up in our classroom the last day before break! Remember, Santa said if they made good choices there would be a surprise?! So, so exciting!!! 
 I am sorry the letter is out of focus! Basically, it says that Santa was glad that they decided to turn their behavior around. He said they are all on the "Nice" List and he brought them all their very own elf! BUT, these elves do not have magic, so they can play with and hug them all they want! He said that McKenzie will be back in the North Pole when they come back from break, but she will be back next year and they can come and visit! 
OH, THE EXCITEMENT!!! WOWIE! WOW! WOW! I knew they would be excited for these little elves, but this was probably the BEST gift and reaction ever! So much fun!

What I learned from our elf:
*She was a fun addition to our classroom
*Did our behavior improve because she was there? I'm not really sure. It's hard to tell. 
*I *think* our elf might have made my students even more excited
*You have to be a really great liar actress to host an elf in your classroom
*You have to think of answers on the fly! Especially if you have non-believers or investigators
*Non-believers became believers because of our little elf!
*She brought a lot of magic and the spirit of Christmas into our classroom
*She will *probably* return again next year. She's just too cute not to!!!

Did an elf join your class? I would love to hear about her shenanigans and/or excitement!

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