It’s that time of year! Teachers are busy, busy! Busy teaching, busy with regular life, busy with holiday shopping, decorating, baking, and social engagements. It’s not the time to drop the ball on your teaching, but you want to make memories for your students too! So you’re wondering if you should have an Elf on the Shelf in the classroom!
The antics of that little elf on the shelf in the classroom can be hilarious and magical for your students! But does it fit in? Every classroom and every teacher will have to evaluate this for themselves! Ultimately you have to decide for yourself! So ask yourself these questions:
Do I have time?
Remember your elf on the shelf in the classroom has to move! EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Can you sustain this? Do you have your ideas and materials planned out? Do you have the moments to spare after school every day? Will your own children stumble in to find you moving the elf? Make sure you can handle this before you proceed! It’s better not to have the elf than to run the risk of ruining the belief in magic that your students may have.
Do My Students Celebrate the Holiday?
If not, you will want to consider this before you proceed. Here are two Elf on the Shelf alternatives for students who do not celebrate the holiday. Olaf has a story that goes with him, the Gingerbread man could be used after reading different versions of the story and maybe complete some comprehension activities with it! Keep moving forward with your instruction during the season, and work in some fun too!
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These compare and contrast activities are so much fun, they make keeping students engaged during the holidays easy!
Should I Work on Kindness Instead?
By now your students are comfortable with each other… maybe too comfortable? Are they starting to act like fussing and fighting siblings instead of classmates? Could they use some kindness reminders? Maybe you could have an Elf, Snowman, Gingerbread Man, teachers, or yourself challenge your students to be kind. You could be specific or tell them your watching and see what happens. Click here for a kindness elf activity freebie!
Do My Students Have an Elf at Home?
Y’all this can be confusing and overwhelming to your students! This could ruin the magic instead of bring magic! If most of your students have an elf at home, you should definitely consider an alternative.
I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season in your classroom! I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and the trends and forget what is best for our classrooms overall. Personally, I do not have the time to commit to an elf because my own children have always had practices and such right after school. I use the season to encourage kindness, and allow my students to EARN a reward day with their behavior and kindness. Just do what’s right for you and your students! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Friends!!!