Grinch Day

Hi, everyone! I'm Elsa from, The Whole Wheat Class and I am so thrilled to be bringing you my first post for The Primary Punchbowl. What an honor to be associated with this great group of teachers.
The countdown is ON for Winter break and some of you lucky ducks are already home netflixin', baking', and relaxin'. I can't wait to join you! 
I'm here to re-cap our Grinch Day. I hope you'll be able to pin some ideas for next year or incorporate some in your celebration this year, if you're still working. I'd also LOVE if you would comment with your own Grinch Day ideas.
I do Grinch Day a little differently than some. For my class, Grinch Day is a complete surprise and it all begins with our Secret Snowflake Challenges. (You can read about that HERE.) Basically, about 2 weeks before break, I challenge my students to perform as many random acts of kindness as possible. This year we began on the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, December 14th. My kiddos are only in 1st grade so I don't go into detail about what occurred that day. Instead I challenge them to come up with 26 random acts of kindness (one for each life lost that terrible day). We write them on hearts with the premise of teaching the Grinch how to be kind. 
This year my sweet little Mini-Wheats were so inspired, they were counting their random acts of kindness all day. "Mrs. Wheat, I'm on RAK number 19!". Hey, whatever it takes! I hope those 26 lost souls could feel all the love and kindness being spread in our classroom and school that day. I like to believe that they could.
Over the next few days we carry out our Secret Snowflake missions throughout the school and community (random acts of kindness). Once all of our missions are complete I  surprise my kids with Grinch Day!
I stay late and decorate the classroom. Green tinsel garland, green snowflakes, green candy canes on our tree, as much green as I can find. This year I confiscated all their supplies and left them only green crayons and tiny golf pencils to work with! 
I also changed our rules with Grinch labels and turned everyone's behavior card to red.  You will also notice the date is wrong. But the thing the drove my kiddos right over the edge....
I changed all of our computer screens and iPad screens to pictures of the Grinch. They flipped when they saw it. I think at that point they truly believed that this wasn't some trick I had played on them but that the Grinch himself had really taken over our classroom. 
Unfortunately for my kiddos we still had a normal morning of learning. I made sure to copy our activities on green paper but we needed to get through Reader's Workshop and Writer's Workshop because we MUST complete this unit before break. #thestruggleisreal. In order to get my kids back on track and ready to get down to business I read them this note the Grinch left us. We talked about what terrible ideas he had and how awful it was that he STILL didn't seem to understand how our classroom works. By the end of our conversation my kids were down right MAD. To be honest I was a little worried I'd gone too far. :) I told them we absolutely had to PROVE to the Grinch that kindness and good behavior were important and the only way to be. I'm here to tell you that they bought it, hook, line, and sinker. You could have heard a pin drop during centers and every. single. kid. finished their opinion piece in Writers Workshop. It was a Grinchy miracle...could also be that I promised them that we would watch The Grinch movie in the afternoon if we got all of our work done. :)

After our afternoon special my Mini-Wheats returned to the classroom to find this note on the smart board, all of their supplies back where they belonged, and Who-Pudding as a snack. They were so dang proud of their little ol' selves.
For the last surprise of the day: Who -Pudding. 2 drops of green food coloring hidden in the middle of the cup + instructions from the Grinch to stir = magic.  
This was a day my firsts will not soon forget. I love this tradition and I LOVE reading about and incorporating all the other great Grinch Day ideas. Got one? Be sure to comment below!
If you're interested in learning more about my holiday plans, freebies, free gift tags,  Snow Globe ornaments, Secret Snowflake Missions, and so much more, I hope you'll join me at The Whole Wheat Class Blog, Facebook Page, and Instagram.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you all experience the magic of the season and a wonderful, restful break!

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