Sunday, December 16, 2012

Timmy, our classroom elf

It's amazing what an elf on the shelf can do for a rambunctious group of first graders who are eagerly awaiting Christmas break! Our elf, Timmy, has been at the forefront of our learning for the past two weeks. Timmy has helped us to become better picture takers, better email readers, and has helped us learn how to attach pictures to our emails.

2 weeks ago a package arrived straight from the North Pole with a book called, The Elf on the Shelf and a small, cute elf who we have now affectionately named Timmy. As we read the story we found out that our elf will be reporting back to Santa each and every night and that the next day he will be in a different location in our room. We also found out that once Christmas arrives, that our elf will return to the North Pole until next year. For that reason, we decided that we'd better document Timmy's adventures while we had the chance so... each morning when the kiddos come in, they immediately begin to scour the room for Timmy. Once they find him they get their iPad out and take a picture of him. 

Now that we have our email accounts sync'd to our iPads I usually write my kiddos a morning message similar to the one below. Each morning there is some sort of technology task to do such as replying to a question, taking a picture, or attaching a picture to an email. This has been a great way for my kids to practice their technology skills in an authentic way while also improving their reading and writing abilities.

Looking ahead at the big picture, my rationale for having them take a picture each day is that at the end of this "elfie" journey, we will document Timmy's adventures in our classroom by each uploading our pics into the app iMovie. It's my hope to then share our projects on our classroom blog and/or have each child send their project via email to their parents. I had thought about using PicCollage again but opted against it with the number of pictures that we will have and thought that the slideshow format would be better suited.

On a techy, but not really side note, we made these adorable techy Santas today. Being a 1:1 iPad room, these were just too cute to pass up. The kids got quite a kick out of his big black glasses. You can find the project here if you're interested.

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