I'm almost afraid to make this comment, but we have had two amazing days in a row. Honestly, the last two days have been the best days in my classroom all year. There is nothing that feels better than working with kids on writing and everyone being on task to the point you can play Christmas music in the background.
Then, to top it off, I feel like we are finally getting somewhere with CAFE/Daily 5. I'm not kidding - at one point, I looked up, I had a kid working with me (with my green notebook open with the calendar and all the info), two kids working with my T.A., and all of the other kids spread out all over the room reading. It's neat to watch because there were three reading together at the back door, one reading on a stool, one doing word work at a desk other than his own, one sitting behind my desk, several others sitting at desks or on the carpet, and three up in the media center exchanging books. We had Christmas music playing and outside of one little friend, everyone was doing exactly what they should have been doing. I even got to read with five individual students and adjust a few of them on our CAFE menu. Those are the moments when everything is crazy you know you've done something right at least once.
Now, onto my favorite part of the day :) We were sitting and having our CAFE/Daily 5 time and a box showed up. It was freezing cold and I had the kids guessing what it could be. They were so excited that several other classes were wondering what was going on in room 116. I let each of them touch it and it was sweet to see how much the cold package amazed them. They've been anticipating an elf eventually showing up, so most of them guessed that it must be our elf. We opened the package and I've never seen kids more excited. I told them we couldn't read the book or name the elf until they had the room cleaned and were packed up. I'm not exaggerating - they had chairs stacked, floor cleaned, desk cleared, and book bags on their backs in less than 3 minutes. I've never seen them move so fast!
We sat down, read the book, and started making a list of names. There was Jack, Sparkles, Disney, Rudolph, Josh, Drake, Elfie, and many more. Well, then I had them vote and I know this is awful, but they picked a name I didn't like, so I decided we should have a "run off". Yes, you are right, but I'm the teacher... if I want to fix the votes that's my right :) Well, unfortunately the name I didn't like won, so I told the kids we couldn't use that name because Elfie Elf doesn't sound right and I don't know anyone that has the same first name and last name (Of course, it occurs to me now Phillip Phillips does, but his name is cool sounding). I was pretty convincing because in the end all of my students except one agreed with me. I'm thankful that I didn't have to tell them that if they didn't agree with me, I still wouldn't name our elf Elfie Elf... I just couldn't do it. Anyway, we now have an elf named Disney. Oh, which I have now discovered is named after an elf already in that kid's home. Next year, I'm going to make sure I have a list hidden in the book that magically falls out with a list of names. Yes, I seriously would do that! Just ask my teammates.
So, what's next? Well, today I began the crazy adventures of Disney. Today, he decided he wanted to climb and swing on vines. Since he couldn't find any vines, he used a small roll of toilet paper and swung around the room. He finally landed next to my Activboard so he would have a good view of carpet behavior tomorrow.
Anyway, my posts for the next few weeks should be quite entertaining :) Stay tuned for more adventures of Disney.