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December 15, 2014 Using Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom By Christy Crawford
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Are your students buzzing about Elf on the Shelf or their personal scout elf? Read on for easy ways to quell some pre-holiday craziness and get an elf to work in your classroom.

    1. Make an Elf Dance on Any Sight Word, Math Fact, or Flash Card in Just Four Clicks

    Use an augmented reality app to spice up your existing flashcards. Download Aurasma (FREE), and read blogger Erin Klein's Aurasma how-to-guide. Be ready for squeals of delight once students launch the app and hold an iOS or Android device above a sight word or flash cards. 


    2. Code an Elfie Gelfie

    What good is a gelfie, a group selfie, if it can’t be coded? Grab a plush elf (this elf won’t lose its “magic” when touched) and log on to Made With Code. Made with Code makes it easy for anyone to program clothing and accessories for elf gelfies. Use elfie gelfies to introduce computer programming to your students or to inspire interesting journal entries about elves.

    Not ready to code? Check out and surprise hard-working students with an elf music video.


    3. Jazz Up Holiday Journals

    You hide the elf. Students write about the creature’s adventures. Have students create an elf adventures journal cover, then download ColAR’s holiday coloring page for your back page, and ColAR's FREE 3-D coloring app. Hold your iOS or Android above the coloring page and listen for cheers as images come to life. This incredibly easy-to-use augmented reality app is the perfect reward for artists and creative writers.


    4. Read to Your Elf

    Use the popularity of Elf on the Shelf to spark new interest in other good reads. Check out the Grimm Fairy Tale, The Elves and The Shoemaker, or Brandi Dougherty’s The Littlest Elf. Teaching bible school? Check out the ELF-HELP series of books on self-esteem, respect, and being grateful.


    5. Encourage Kindness

    Check out the alternative to Elf on the Shelf that is gaining momentum around the world, and then push kindness around your school community. See The Imagination Tree for inexpensive elf options or Kindness Elves to create your own kind elf.


    6. Get the Good Stuff

    Start each morning by having a student read a joke from Over the Big Moon's printable Elf on the Shelf joke cards. Use Crystal and Company's Elf on the Shelf printable lunchbox notes to inspire more laughs or give a child a small note of encouragement.

    Play nurse to an injured elf with Over the Big Moon's Magical Recovery Kit. (You know one of your students is going to try to touch the elf.)

    Read an email to your class from Santa Claus via The Elf on the Shelf Teacher Resource Center. Sign up for elf-themed lesson plans and activity sheets.  

    Or check out festivals of light around the world with my post, "Using Technology to Teach Holidays."

    Happy Holidays to you and your students!


    Got milk?



    Common Core? Common Schmore! Even elves get Center Time!


    Remember, you can still use the Readers, Friends, and Family discount. Just click on the coupon below.



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