I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having an Elf on the Shelf in the classroom! The kids absolutely love the elf and it really is a great behavior management tool as well :)
I have students in my room that celebrate holidays other than Christmas; however, I make sure to teach ALL of the holidays represented in my classroom (and more). I also send an email to parents letting them know about our elf and reassuring them that it is just for fun and explaining to them what a great behavior tool and motivator the elf is. My parents always agree and they love that the kids are so excited each morning to see the elf. I have so many parents each year that actually end up getting an elf on the shelf for their own home--I love that they are starting a new tradition for their family!
Before our elf arrived, we watched An Elf's Story DVD. The kids are always amazed by this movie. When it is over, we wrote letters to Santa asking if we could have a scout elf for our classroom. The letters were adorable! We sealed them up in an envelope and 'mailed' them out!
About a week later, I wrapped up the Elf on the Shelf box and put it in the freezer to make sure it was cold. I used the 'special delivery' tag from Kinder-Craze on the top of the box. Then, our principal made a special delivery to our classroom! I told the kids to feel how cold the package was and they couldn't believe that it came straight from the North Pole! We read the Elf on the Shelf book and we quickly started brainstorming names for our new elf! We came up with Sparkle! The rest of the day I watched kids go up to Sparkle and talk to her. I love listening to their little conversations.
Everyday Sparkle is in a new spot in the classroom. This week we were actually headed out for a field trip so Sparkle left me this little pad to write down children's names. The kids knew I had this pad with me on the trip and let me tell you...they were all as good as gold! They kept asking me if I had written down any names yet, haha.
Sparkle also colored a picture for us and left us some coloring sheets to color for her! They loved this! They all tried so hard to make beautiful pictures for Sparkle. As they were coloring I overheard them talking about how Sparkle was probably going to decorate her room in the North Pole with these pictures! So cute!