Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Special Visitors...Planned and Unplanned!!

What a day!   I had an observation planned with my peer evaluator - my district has adopted a new Robert Marzano evaluation system and all teachers who have taught for less than 3 years have a peer evaluator from the district observe them several times a year.  He had just walked in and I was getting ready to start my lesson on common and proper nouns when the door opened.  Who walked in, but our principal ready to do his own observation (unplanned observations from administration are yet another part of our new evaluation system).  For a split second I panicked - especially when the principal sat down at my messy desk!  But I resisted the urge to run over and clear it off for him.  I kept my cool, smiled and started talking about nouns.  My class was fantastic - I think they were a little concerned as to why we had two visitors but it definitely helped their self control!  I introduced Common Cate and Proper Penelope and drew pictures of each.  We talked about the difference between the words common and proper and related the differences to nouns.  Then we made a list of all the common and proper nouns we could think of.  After my lesson, the class practiced using the Christmas themed common and proper noun sort I had made.  As our principal was leaving, he complimented the class by telling them they work like second graders - which is the highest form of praise you could give my class!  They just love to be considered as smart as second graders!

We had another special visitor today!
Can you see him peeking out over the top of the tree??? 
Our elf finally made his appearance - a day after I planned but better late than never.  I found my elf at Michael's a few years ago.  I started using him when I taught preschool.  I do my own little version of the elf on the shelf - the elf moves every night and we use him for writing prompts and other activities but I don't have the book or the movie. 

The kids came in this morning and found red and green footprints on their desks and a note from Santa in the rocking chair.  Of course they didn't know it was from Santa.  It was folded and when I went to sit down for the morning meeting I asked who put a note in my chair.   Everyone glanced around, trying to find the culprit who didn't follow Miss Watters' directions.  I asked where we put notes in the morning.  "In the basket on your desk" eighteen little friends recited (we've gone over this A LOT).  I looked sad and sighed - like I couldn't believe after 71 days of school someone still wasn't following directions.  Then I picked it up and gasped.  (I'm pretty sure the parent volunteer who helps on Tuesday mornings thought something was seriously wrong - I'm telling you I missed my calling as an actress on a soap opera!)  I shared the note from Santa.  He explained that he sent an elf to keep an eye on us and he hoped everyone would make good choices. Santa also mentioned that he was worried anyone who had to move their boat from Smooth Sailing to Stormy Seas might end up on the naughty list.  Santa was really looking out for me, making sure everyone knew how important it was to do their homework and use kind words! :)

The elf also left us a gift under our palm tree.   
You can imagine the confusion when everyone realized it was a worksheet.  What??  Santa sent us work??? They simply could not believe it.  But they LOVED it!  This is an awesome freebie from Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory.  It's a story about an elf and the kids fill in the blank spaces with adjectives!  (I ran the adjectives on the back in an attempt to be green - I'm not always as green as I could be and I'm trying to get better!)  They had a great time writing their silly elf stories and an even better time sharing them with the class!                     

Head on over to Kelley's page to grab your copy of this freebie!  Thanks Kelley!


  1. Glad the kids were good during the observation. What a pain to have two people observing. But at least it went smooth and it sounds like to did an excellent job. Fun ideas with your elf too.
    I'm a new follower.
    The Hive

  2. HI Lindsay, I just found your blog and am a new follower! Thanks for sharing about the Elf writing activity. I'm going over to Kelly's page to check it out.
    Connie Anderson:)

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