Friday, December 7, 2012

Elf Economics and Sparkle Points

Does your district do a pacing guide?  Ours does, and it's usually determined by a representation of teachers who either meet during the school year, or during the summer.  It's a recommended guideline of when/length you teach one of the standards.  We do have a lot of students who move within our county, so it makes sense.

I just don't understand why it seems to change every year.  Or the fact that we teach NO Science this nine weeks, and no History NEXT nine weeks!.  Hmmm.

Anyway, we normally do our Economics unit in late winter or spring.  Not so this year.  It's a crazy time of year.  I mean, a "is it a full moon tonight because the kids are acting crazy!" time of year!!!!  (And that was the week AFTER Thanksgiving!).  Yes, I know they're excited about the Christmas season - which was what inspired me.

Have you ever thought that an elf is actually a producer?  An elf uses capital, natural, and "human" resources (kinda - do we think Santa as "human"?).  An elf would definitely deal with scarcity, and buying gifts is DEFINITELY making an economic choice!  Throw barter and money in there, and it's a unit!

Thus was born "Elf Economics."  I've taken my unit and completely revamped it so that my students are now elves-in-training.  Seriously.  We filled out an application and everything!  Which then led to an elf visiting our room and leaving us some directions on how to earn "sparkle points" based on student work habits and behavior.  If they earn a sparkle point for the day, the elf leaves them (or the teacher to pass out) a treat each morning for the previous day's behavior.  They earned their first treat this morning - special marshmallows that tasted like candy canes!  It was a big hit with the kids.

Unfortunately, the elf leaves the scent of vanilla cookies behind, so even though he's invisible, we know he's there.  He also leaves glitter EVERYWHERE.  Red and green, of course, but after two days, we're still finding it in folders, books, etc.  My kids told me they knew the elf wasn't me because I wouldn't mess up the room like that! :)

He also left a friend behind to keep an eye on the kids.

So, we've been working our way through the Elf Training Center, which they were nice enough to leave on my wiki page.  It's a work in progress.

At some point, I'll have it all together and be able to say "voila - here it is!"  (And of course, they'll move economics to some other part of the year - but I guess the Easter Bunny can teach economics as well, right????).

Until then, if you'd like to use it, feel free to visit the {ETC} on my wiki page.  It seems to change a little each day as the elves update it.  I'll try to put the rest on my teacher store as it is completed, or leave you a link for Google Drive!  I hope to have more pics up soon!  Until then, enjoy your weekend.  We are also counting down to "Snowman Day" which our school has on December 20th - it'll be here before we know it! :)


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