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Building Classroom Community with Kindness Elves


Hello again!

Know that I am revising this post from last November between a bites of leftover pumpkin pie!  You are allowed to enjoy dessert as a meal while on  holiday break, you know!  May you count the many blessings in your life on this day and always!

As I was perusing Pinterest last year for holiday activity and lesson ideas, I came upon this post from Erica Bohrer over at Erica's Ed-Ventures that struck a strong chord.  Her idea of introducing "Classroom Kindness Elves" instead of the ever-popular Elf on the Shelf  is a good one, for many reasons.  Mainly though, it promotes not only the importance of compassion, tolerance, empathy, and caring, but teaches students the value of doing good deeds for others.  It also promotes a classroom atmosphere of positivity, collaboration and community.


Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!





There is a FREE resource pack in her TpT store {HERE}  that includes everything you need to introduce Kindness Elves to your own students!  Please be sure to leave thoughtful feedback when you download it!




Anna from over at The Imagination Tree, is the original creator of the Kindness Elves concept.  She is a parent who wanted an alternative to Elf on the Shelf for her family, a daily visitor who was more helpful than mischievous.....more nice than naughty.  Her elves are modeled after tomten, which were gnomes or trolls often featured in Scandinavian folklore. Tomten were seen as caretakers of Swedish households, little elf-like creatures who--when treated with respect--did favors and small chores for farmers during the winter solstice and around Christmas-time.


Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!


If your group of primary students is anything like mine, the struggle to stay on track with respectful words and actions even after 65+ days of school is real. My plan to improve behavior is to introduce my own pair of Kindness Elves to Room #2 when we get back from Thanksgiving break!

Please understand that I respect and admire all those brave souls who indulge their students in daily Elf on the Shelf antics, but--after  complaints from parents four years ago about students suffering from nightmares, not to mention a huge disruption to learning (and a high volume of screeching) when our elf was found twirling at high speed from the ceiling fan after we returned from an afternoon recess--I "retired" Edward to the North Pole for good!  My students now just enjoy the website whenever we have indoor recess and that is enough!

When I started shopping for my Kindness Elves on  The Imagination Tree  Facebook page I sadly discovered that they are completely sold out of the sets pictured above.  But never fear!  You can still find 25 great "good deeds" suggestions for your students {HERE}.  I was able to find these treasures on Amazon! I expect delivery by next Tuesday, Dec. 1st, along with this beautiful picture book written by Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking




Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!




Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!


I was so excited to order my Kindness Elves, that I went out to my neighborhood Dollar Tree yesterday and found small baskets and other festive accessories that would make their arrival fun and a little bit magical!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates next week!

I also created this set of posters and desk tags so that one boy and one girl in your class can take turns daily being the class "tomtens!" The stuffed elves can perch on their desks with the tag once you've named them, and the pair of students can then take the lead in doing the daily good deed(s) the group has been assigned!  I even included some friendly letter templates the children can use to write letters to the elves if desired!

You'll find the link to this exclusive freebie {HERE}.  The posters can be printed half-page size to save ink!  I just could not resist using the lovely, Nordic hand-knitted textured and colored papers from Scrapster by Melissa Held Designs and Little Stuff as the backgrounds!


Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!



Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!



Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!



Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!



Jan Brett, one of my favorite author/illustrators and features tomten in many of her books.  Christmas Trolls features the twins, Mig and Tig, who learn an important lesson from their new friend Treva about sharing and caring for each other.  Any of these stories would make wonderful mentor texts for your language arts lessons or multicultural holiday study during the month of December, and help your students better understand the giving spirit that defines the true meaning of the season.




This FREE pack of daily notes and reminders from Jen at Teaching in the Tongass will also hopefully help guide my students as they participate in various "random acts of kindness" around our school, our community, and at home throughout the winter months.  




You can even create notes or letters of your own using this FREE clip art set!  
Thank you in advance for leaving thoughtful feedback on both resources!




I also created these three resources last year to help build a more positive classroom community and compliment my unit on Patricia Polacco's holiday books.  They are perfect activities to extend our "elf experience."  Click {HERE} to see them in my store!


WRITING TASK CARDS AND TEMPLATES!
 LIGHT UP THE HOLIDAYS



TWO FREEBIES!
 HOLIDAY CHARACTER TRAIT POSTERS








Introduce Kindness Elves to your primary grade students to promote a classroom atmosphere of collaboration and community this holiday season!



Be sure to check out my Pinterest board for other ideas on how Kindness Elves can make your classroom a caring and joyful place this winter!  






Invitations by Post, an Etsy shop, also has a great selection of Kindness Elves just waiting to be adopted!

As always, thanks for allowing me to share my ideas and classroom creativity with you!

Warm Regards,





Jennifer Reynolds
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