Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snowball the Elf, Real Reindeer, and a Gift From Flat Stanley

Snowball the Elf arrived in our room on Monday! He decided to hang out on the Christmas tree and brought his first clue to the Case of the Missing Candy Cane Mystery. The clues came from an activity pack by Anita Goodwin.

 Clue #1

The children's first time seeing Snowflake.

The letters were hidden under the children's chairs that day. The letters spelled, "reindeer." Some of the letters are green, some are red. After we find all of the clues, the children are supposed to take the red letters and unscramble them to find the name of the place where the candy canes are hidden.

On the second day, Snowflake wanted a softer place to settle for the day.

 He decided to get into our class bucket of pom poms, which the class earns when everyone is making good choices. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take a picture before the children came. When they saw he had "spilled" some of the pom poms, they decided to put them back in the bucket. So, I had to stage these pom poms to make the picture look better. :)

Clue #2 - The letters were hidden on the playground, and spelled "lights."

Today, Snowflake decided to do some reading in our library center.

 Soon after the children came in, one of my "little darlings" decided that moving the book was a good way to move Snowflake without touching him. He ended up laying on the book for the entire day.

Clue #3 - The letters were hidden in the library, and spelled "ornaments." It took them a while to unscramble that word! :)

Keep checking back for periodic updates on Snowflake!

Now for the further adventures of Flat Stanley!

Thanks to Mary-Jo (my friend since 7th Grade) and her family, here is Flat Stanley in Connecticut. Not only did he get to see real reindeer, but he got to see snow! I miss snow! We don't get much of that here in Florida!

Today I got to do one of those last minute lessons that turn out to be really interesting! I went up to the office during lunch time, and found I had a package. I had no idea what it was, but the box said, "Byrd's Cookies." I thought it might be something from one of our Flat Stanley recipients. I got back to my room, opened the package, and found that it contained a tin of cookies. I was excited about sharing this with the class, and went to get them in the cafeteria. 

When we came back, I suddenly had an idea! We usually do Math after lunch, but I figured it was okay to switch things up a little bit. I quickly went over to the box, which the children couldn't see, closed it up, covered the words with paper, and brought it over to the carpet to show the children. I told them they were going to write about what could be in the box. After holding and shaking the box, they had to think of 3 things it could be, and tell why they thought that. The children were very excited about this, and we even managed to extend this into practice for looking up words in the dictionary.

The "mystery box" with the words covered

 Working hard on their writing!

Still writing!

After writing, we shared our ideas with the class. Most of them were thinking of items like Christmas ornaments, lights, gingerbread, books, etc. One child even said she thought the box contained cookies from Flat Stanley! Afterward, I opened the box and showed them the styrofoam peanuts. Some of them seemed excited about that, but some were disappointed. Then, I pulled out the cookie tin, and read the note attached to it. The cookies were from a student's grandmother, who signed the card from the child and Flat Stanley. They were so excited! Then, I opened the tin...

I was shocked to see a tiny ant crawl across the tissue paper. When I lifted a pack of the cookies, there were more ants underneath. YUCK! You can't see them in the picture since most of them are under the cookies, and thankfully they seemed to stay there. Even though the cookies were wrapped in plastic, I didn't want to take any chances by giving them to the children. I apologized to them, and explained to them why I had to throw the cookies away. They seemed to take it okay, but I still felt bad. I think I felt worse about it than they did! So, I told them I would buy some cookies for us to have tomorrow. They liked that idea! 

Overall, it was a great last-minute lesson despite the ants. I just love those lessons that just seem to flow so naturally!

As always, feel free to comment below! I love to hear from my readers!


  1. I love reading about these elf activities! I've never done it but am thinking it might be fun to do next year. I love the scrambled clues - and your classroom looks great. :)

  2. Thank you! I've never done the elf in the classroom before, but we've been doing it at home for years. I'm so glad I found the scrambles clues! The kids seem to love them!


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