Kindness Elves in the Classroom

 I am always looking for new ways to teach kindness in my classroom.  It is not as easy as teaching the concrete subjects like addition.  Children need us to model kindness and they need the opportunity to apply what they have learned about kindness.   I found this  interesting article in the Washington Post about how 80% of the children, in a Harvard study, said that their parents were more concerned with their child's academics and happiness, than if their children had empathy or concern for others.  I get it it; teaching empathy is something that can easily get pushed to the side.   I am here to say, let's not push it to the side.   Let's take a week and use Kindness Elves to motivate our students to be kind.  Hopefully, the lessons learned will be engraved in our students' hearts.  And let's all admit it: the Elf on the Shelf is kind of creepy!!

First off, I would like to give credit where credit is due.  I saw {THIS} post on The Imagination Tree about using “Kindness Elves” as an alternative to the Elf on the Shelf.  She has the most adorable elves and great ideas for using the Kindness Elves with your own children.
 I have always tried to teach kindness in my classroom, through my Compassion Unit on TpT and through Go Orange for Animals day in April.   I thought I would modify this “Kindness Elf” idea and make it a new classroom tradition and the idea for this post and FREEBIE was born!

I created 24 pre-made notes for you to use with your Kindness Elf and 4 blank ones.   You can download the notes {HERE from TpT} or {HERE from Google Drive}.

I ordered my elves from an Etsy shop.  They are so adorable and well made, but I have to warn you that the shipping took weeks because they come from Latvia.

I found these elves on Amazon, if you want something that will arrive quicker. 

 These are books that I have used to start discussions on compassion and kindness.  

Lastly, here are some additional resources to foster kindness in your classroom:

My friend, Rachelle Smith's Random Acts of Christmas Kindness packet on TpT.

Kristen Smith has an awesome packet called The Kindness Helpers.   There is even a video link in her product description!  Thanks for sharing this with us Kristen. 

Teaching in the Tongass created Kindness Elf notes and clipart after I shared Imagination Tree's blog post on my facebook fan page.  I think the elves are pretty darn cute!!

And lastly, you MUST share this video with your students!  My sweet, friend Natalie of What the Teacher Wants, shared it with me, because she said it reminded her of me. Awe!!  
*Be prepared to cry.

I saw this video on the Today Show:

Here are a few of the other videos I share with my students:

Are you ready to spread some kindness this holiday season?
Go ahead and make someones Bad Day, Good.
Let's hashtag #baddaygood  #kindnessintheclassroom #sharekindness .

*Don't forget to @ericabohrer on Twitter and @EricaBohrer on Instagram.

Give Thanks for Teachers Giveaway

We are thankful for you!   To show our appreciation, a few other bloggers and myself have gotten together to offer you the chance to win a $200 gift card to Target or TpT (your choice).  I don't know about you but those two places make my teacher heart happy!   Enter below for a chance to win!

Thanksgiving Math and More!

Our math program is pretty drab (you can check out Engage NY here), so I like to liven things up with weekly math centers.   I wish there was the time in my day to do these everyday but there is not and once a week will have to do.  My first graders love math centers and don't even realize they are practicing their facts and reinforcing the math concepts taught through Engage NY.   

The center pictures above practices finding the missing addend or part of the number bond.  It took a while to get my students not to add the part to the whole.  By having them place the whole number of chips in the "Whole" spot on the work-mat and then drag the part down, they were able to visually see the missing part. 

 I needed a hallway display and my turkey feather math craft has always been a favorite of mine.  I updated this a bit from my Thanksgiving packet to include printable feather and body templates.   It also follows the number bond model.

 Engage NY does not utilize 10 frames in the first grade curriculum, instead they call them "five groups" and do not include the frame around it.  I don't agree with this.  Most students lack the fine motor and visual perception to make five groups without a frame.   Therefore, I utilize ten frames in my math centers and on my anchor charts.   For this center, I have also include a recording sheet where the equal sign is in the beginning.

Word problems in first grade at this time of year!  You have to see the ones included in the math program we use, ridiculously challenging.   Since this was a required topic, I decided to make my own word problems with the numbers not spelled out and include some visuals.   I also included the answer as a sentence on the word problem card.  Then I created the recording sheet to help the students with their work.  I would still recommend reading these to your students. 

Students are asked to decide which is a more efficient strategy to use on a number path: hop forward or hop back.  The idea is that if the numbers are far apart, you should hop back because that will be less hops and your answer is the number you land on.  If the numbers are closer together, you hop forward until you reach the whole number and count your hops.  
 It is always good to practice all the ways to make ten!

Thanks for stopping by!  As always feel free to pin.

Other Thanksgiving themed packets from my store:

Thanksgiving Freebies:

Bats Interactive Science Notebook

This week, we are studying bats!  The kids are so interested in them.  Here some photos from my interactive notebook packet. 

Thanks for stoping by!


Have you heard, there is supposed to be a full moon this week?  That on top of all the Halloween hype.  We are in for it. 

Here are some fun and educational activities to help you and your students celebrate Halloween.
Click the photos to find the sources.

The following activities are from my Pumpkins! Packet.  

This Ways to Make Ten Center is from my Halloween Math Packet

The manipulatives above are actually mini-erasers from Target's Dollar Spot.  If you cannot find mini-erasers, candy corn is a good alternative.  I leave the bag open to let them harden over a few nights before letting the kids use them. 

From my latest 1st Grade Pumpkin Math Centers Packet:

Here is a freebie I created a few years back, it is a free Candy Corn Estimation and Counting Math Center packet.  Click on the pictures to download on TpT.  Scroll down to go to some other Halloween themed freebies I found via Pinterest.  *Bloggers love comments.  Please, leave positive feedback if you download our items!

Via Pinterest, I have found these other wonderful Halloween Freebies that I thought I would share with you!

*Click on the picture for the tracers.  Leslie Ann has the photos under another post.  
This freebie is from

From my friend, Cara Carroll!

This freebie is by Kristen of Ladybug Teacher Files

This sign is another oldie from my blog.  My dog, Sophie, gets so stressed when people come to the door that I just leave a bowl out.  Fingers crossed that the whole bowl does not get taken!

I hope you survive the week!  

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