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Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity

I had my students do this "Elf Laws" activity, and I'm not sure who had more fun, the kids or me!
 
Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!
 

The first part of the activity asks the children to put the Elf Laws in order with the most important law being #1 and the least important law being #10.

Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important! 

Once I convinced them that any answer was correct as long as they could defend their answer, the fun started. The children worked in pairs making their decisions and defending their decisions. I enjoyed some delightful conversations! 


Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

I've developed the skill of pretending I'm working on something else while they work in order to hear those true conversations.

Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

 I'm sure you've done it...pretend you're organizing books for tomorrow and walk by slowly. These are precious moments!

Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

Well, once they got their laws in order, the real fun started: writing about why they put the laws in the order they did. Some children had a little trouble starting, but I prompted with some questions like, "Why do you think cleaning up the workshop is so important?" Or "why is tooth brushing more important than singing carols?" Or "why don't you think wearing hats is an important rule?" 

Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

Their answers were priceless! 

Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

Here are some examples of how they defended their Elf Rules:

  • Elves  need to show respect to other elves, just like we do. 
  • It's not important to brush teeth, that's what dentists are for!
  • Elves don't need to wear hats. They work indoors. 
  • They need to clean up the workshop. What if Santa tripped over something? We want Santa safe.
  • Of course they need to care for the reindeer. Who else is going to do it?
  • Elves work very hard making all those toys. It's important for them to get a break after Christmas. Just like us!

Aren't kids precious?


Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!

This is the perfect activity for this time of year. It keeps them engaged, and it's a valuable learning experience. For more activities like this, please see Science and Social Studies Printables for December. These will get you through those last few days.
 Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!




Elf Laws: A Social Studies Activity- Here's a fun activity to help get your children engaged in the process of law-making and thinking about what is really important!



Holiday Magic!

The holidays will be here before you know it! I've been putting my holiday resources in order, and here are a few that will keep the kiddos engaged, along with some fun learning as well! (Just like magic!)
 
Holiday magic: This blog post contains ideas for fun and engaging activities designed for learning!
 
Here's one of my favorite collections: Science and Social Studies Printables for December!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/December-Social-Studies-and-Science-Activities-1606765?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Dec%20S%20and%20SS

This has all sorts of Science and Social Studies activities! It's got close reads on the aurora borealis and the north pole, a mapping activity about the North Pole, classifying animals by habitats, science activities on holiday scents and the effect of marshmallows on hot chocolate, and there's even a civics activity on elf laws!

Here's a great way to start each day with the children thinking!

These Morning Meeting Greeting Questions can be displayed each morning for discussion,  or printed for written responses. Every day has a totally different question, based on the calendar and unusual national holidays!

The kiddos won't even know they're having learning experiences, they'll be having so much fun!
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Holiday-Themed-No-Prep-Activities-for-Literacy-and-Math-1001419?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Holiday%20No%20Prep

Holiday No Prep Printables has loads of Math and Literacy activities that are just perfect for those few days just before the holidays, when you're trying to keep them focused, but all they want to do is talk about the upcoming holidays! This collection will perform its holiday magic on the kiddos!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Drawing-Holiday-Conclusions-1541232?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Drawing%20Holiday%20Conclusions


Drawing Holiday Conclusions is a favorite of my students! These task cards can be used as a center, as part of a Scoot game, or as skill practice in a reading group. This is always a hit!

Finally, one of my favorite freebies! This resource is totally magical! The children LOVE to listen to the music of the Nutcracker and visualize the storyline. Their pictures are delightful, and it's always a peaceful time while they listen and illustrate. (Sh... don't tell them they are practicing important reading skills like visualizing and sequencing a story!)

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Nutcracker-Story-for-Visualization-Summarizing-and-Illustration-170834


I hope these resources bring some magic to your holiday season!



Holiday magic: This blog post contains ideas for fun and engaging activities designed for learning!

Science and Social Studies Activities for November

Science and Social Studies are my very favorite things to teach! However, it's so hard to find time in the schedule to teach these. But I manage to find time by overlapping with other subjects, such as reading, and including science and social studies concepts with the calendar!  


Science and Social Studies for November: here are several Science and Social Studies activities designed for second grade, with November themes.

Here's my favorite resource for November!
Science and Social Studies Activities for November!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20S%20and%20SS



I'm determined to make your life easier, and I hope this resource does the job!  I've taken many of the important second grade skills, mixed in a few November special days, and came up with these activities! There are close reading activities, mini-books, sorting activities,and even a S.T.E.M. activity to do with leftover Halloween candy corn! It's guaranteed fun for the kids, easy for the teachers, and valuable learning experiences!

Here are a couple of my favorite parts:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20S%20and%20SS

A Turkey Fact Mini-book! (With vocabulary and comprehension questions.)


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20S%20and%20SS

Daylight Savings Time Close Read. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20S%20and%20SS


A STEM Engineering Challenge with leftover Halloween candy corn!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20S%20and%20SS


Thanksgiving Fact or Fiction? This one was so much fun to make: Children have to decide whether things could have happened back in the 1600s at the first Thanksgiving! Expect plenty of giggles!

If you like these, check out some of my Science and Social Studies Bundles: Autumn Bundle



 





https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-for-Summer-3798698?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Summer%20S%20and%20SS



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Whole-Year-of-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-3799288?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Year%20S%20and%20SS


These resources have made my life so much easier! I hope they do the same for you!

Science and Social Studies for November: here are several Science and Social Studies activities designed for second grade, with November themes.


Looking at November

I'm looking at the calendar, and I just can't believe we're approaching November already!
 
There's a lot going on in November, but no need to fear, I've got your teaching needs covered!
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including 5 freebies!
 
 Here are a couple of resources to start off November:
November Morning Meeting Greeting Activities


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Morning-Meeting-Greeting-Activities-4111596?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Nov%20calendar%20questions



https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Parent-Communication-Brochure-November-Edition-4113299?utm_source=November%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=November%20brochures

Here is one of my favorite November resources: Science and Social Studies Activities for November!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/November-Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-2182527?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=nov%20s%20and%20ss

Don't forget Election Day!


I'm sure I'll be having the kiddos vote for something, but they won't be voting for president... far too controversial! This one's a freebie! Election Day Graphing Option for Little Kids

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Election-Day-Graphing-for-Little-Kids-2853951?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Election%20Day%20freebie
 

Veteran's Day is November 11th! 


Here's a fun activity to help the children understand what a Veteran really is! This will spark some great conversations! See the image for the link! Veterans True or False

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Veterans-True-or-False-166057?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=veterans%20true%20or%20false


Once they figure out what Veterans are, they can write thank you notes to Veterans using this freebie! See the image for the link. Thank You Veterans!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thank-you-Veterans-Writing-Paper-Freebie-166059?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=thank%20you%20veterans


Since Election Day and Veterans Day are both Patriotic holidays, enjoy these Patriotic Brain Breaks! See the image for the link to this freebie! Patriotic Brain Breaks

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0KBPcFG6hwLVUgzTVJNOGxQQmM/view?usp=sharing


Of course, everyone's favorite November holiday is Thanksgiving! Check out these Printables! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thanksgiving-No-Prep-Literacy-and-Math-Activities-982540?utm_source=November%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Thanksgiving%20no%20prep


Here's a math game to practice +9s! Turkey Nines  (Oh my goodness, they LOVE this game! It works like "Old Maid")
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dont-be-a-Turkey-Game-for-Adding-9s-409160?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Turkey%20Nines


And guess what... there's a freebie version!  Turkey Nines Freebie!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Adding-Nines-Freebie-409094?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Turkey%20Nines%20Freebie


Just one more: The Thanksgiving Story: an informational text for children to illustrate. This has a primary level recount of the Pilgrims from all those years ago. The children can visualize the story, then draw their images. See the image for the link!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Thanksgiving-Story-Informational-Text-for-Visualizing-and-Illustration-168614?utm_source=blog%20post&utm_campaign=Thanksgiving%20Story


I hope you find something your students will love for the month of November!



November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including 5 freebies!


Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students

Many teachers love to reward their students for doing a good job on their classwork. 
 
Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students - Rewarding students MAY do more harm than good. Here are some reasons.
 


I have mixed feelings about this, and here are some reason why.



Rewards can make behavior and work habits worse in the long run. Simple rewards can certainly motivate children to work harder, but once the reward is gone, the motivation stops. Behaviors and work habits go downhill fast once the children have been rewarded. "Why should I read if I'm not earning a prize?"



Rewards cost money. Teachers don't have a lot of money. 



Rewards give the wrong impression. Good behavior is what's expected. Giving rewards makes good behavior an extra effort worth of a prize. It's almost like turning good behavior into a job, with a paycheck as the prize. 



Rewards lead to entitlement. Children develop a sense of entitlement for simply doing what is expected. Unfortunately, this leads to adults who feel entitled simply for showing up at work. 


Learning is its own reward. Students need to be developing a sense of pride in what they do. That is the true reward! Feeling good about working hard for something is a wonderful feeling! Taking pride in a project done well, or a successful test is a prize within itself. 

Despite all these reasons, I won't say that rewards should never be used. There are some children that need that extra motivation in order to be successful. Some children have behavioral challenges or educational challenges that make school very hard. In these cases, rewards should be used carefully.

Five Reasons NOT to Reward Students - Rewarding students MAY do more harm than good. Here are some reasons.

The Lucky One!

Have you ever had to have one or two items that were slightly different from the others, and were concerned the children might feel "cheated" if their item was different?
 
The Lucky One: This is a little trick I learned from the cafeteria ladies in my school. Different is lucky!
 

Here's a little trick I found from the cafeteria workers at my school. There was one tray that was slightly different from the others. Rather than letting the kids feel left out when they got that tray, the "different" tray became known as the LUCKY tray!

Here are my math counters for Monday. I was short one ziplock and had to use a "regular" ziplock bag. Which set would be the "special" one?
 
The Lucky One: This is a little trick I learned from the cafeteria ladies in my school. Different is lucky!

It's all a matter of attitude, isn't it?


Just be careful. When our math program didn't send enough work books, I had to run off one extra copy until the new workbook arrived. They didn't consider the one black and white page the "lucky" one, when all the other copies were colorful!
 
The Lucky One: This is a little trick I learned from the cafeteria ladies in my school. Different is lucky!



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