Five on the Fifth

Hey, hey! Welcome back.  November's gone (how in the heck did that happen?), and it's time for me to share five awesome postsfrom the past month from five awesome bloggers.  Want more great posts?  Check out the Five on the Fifth Pinterest board.
I'm a few days late because I've been busy giving away 20 TPT gift cards for my 3,000 follower giveaway!  You have until Wednesday night to enter.
Weekly goal sharing? This awesomeness if from Stephanie at 3rd Grade Thoughts.  She's a blogging/teaching genius with a super cute new blog design.  {Wink. Wink.}  Life is kind of just happening to our kids.  I love that this pulls them into the learning process in an empowering way.

I'm pretty much in love with everything Jen Jones creates.  These strategy cards are no exception.  There are lots of vague, touchy-feely types of professional texts on teaching reading.  I love when someone shows me what it should look like.

I looooooove this problem and solution lesson and extension from One Extra Degree.  She's one smart teacher who likes to get her kids THINKING about what they are reading.  When you visit Amanda's post, just keep scrolling through her blog for some more thinking about reading genius moments.

Yes, please! Yes! Yes! Yes!  Everyone needs this post from Dixie at Teachin' Little Texans.  Because there's always one kid.

And speaking of connecting . . . . Are academics important?  Absolutely.  But creating a community of learners is vital to the success of the classroom.  I love this post written by Kim from Practical Primary Ideas on her Friday Circle.

Elf on the Shelf and Kindness in the Classroom

Happy December to you!  I'm so excited December is here!  I love Christmas, I love reflecting on the year, and I love having a long holiday from school.  Amen, y'all.

I wrote a post a loooooong time ago about how I use my Elf on the Shelf in the classroom.  There are a lot of new people around this blog these days (woohoo!), so I thought it was worth writing about again.  He does fun and kookie stuff, but this is why I really love him:
I put this up in my classroom.  I had it printed on an 11x17 piece of glossy card stock at Office Max for about $1.50 and laminated it.

Throughout the day, kids can write about something kind they observed a classmate doing.  Franklin takes the notes each night to the North Pole.  You know-just in case Santa missed something.

Here's a picture from a previous year:
This year, since I am only working with small groups, this is going to be part of our warm up.  You can download this freebie (regular and large versions) for free here.  You'll need to download the font for the elf's name, or just use another font you like.

We'll have fun with our elf this year, but I love having him as part of our classroom to take the emphasis off of getting and on to others.
{Yes-one year they made cards for Franklin.}

Want more holiday goodness? I posted about my favorite holiday writing activity over on the Owl-Ways Be Inspired blog today!