Christmas Archives - Tales from Outside the Classroom
How to Catch an Elf Display

How to Catch an Elf

Last year, I found the book How to Catch an Elf through Scholastic and fell in love with it immediately!  If you don’t know it, the elves and Santa go through various contraptions that are set in an effort to catch them.  After reading it, I was inspired to create a fun, thematic, procedural writing unit with the book as the jumping point.  If you aren’t familiar with the book, you can find it on

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Christmas Parent Gifts with art inspiration

Art Inspired Christmas Parent Gifts

I work at an arts integrated magnet school, and I’m always looking for meaningful ways to incorporate the arts into our day.  I love using art in our parent gifts throughout the year, and Christmas is no different.  Because I’m looping with my class for 3 years, I want to make sure to keep our Christmas gifts for parents fresh each year, so I was on the hunt for some new ideas.  I’m really happy

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December in our Classroom

Is there a teacher out there who breezes through December?  If so, I need her tips because December kicks my butt every year.  This year, things seemed to be crazier than normal.  As a Fine Arts magnet school each grade level gets a month each year to showcase what we’ve been learning and applying it to the fine arts.  It’s amazing.  I wish I had photos to show you of our planning and projects and

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Holiday Gift Giving

This time of year I’m always on the hunt for the perfect gift.  I tend to stress about giving gifts because I want them to be perfect.  I want the receiver to know I put a lot of thought into them and I want the gift to be something meaningful to them.  That’s why we give gifts anyway, right?  Here are ideas for gifts for the people in your lives. Gifts for Students $1 books

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I’m still tired!

Yesterday was my first official Christmas party as a classroom teacher.  It also happens that we don’t have room parents or parent volunteers to help with our parties.  And, also, my Friday special got moved to Thursday since the art teacher didn’t want them after a party.  I’m flexible like that.  It also meant that we had the entire stinking day together.  What’s a teacher to do?  Lose her mind. Well, the morning was relatively

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

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