Monthly Archives: September 2018
Introducing Kwik Stix
Kwik Stix continue to be one of my most favorite supplies I have in my classroom. I think I am currently hoarding 6 to 7 brand new boxes of Kwik Stix in my supply closet!! I just love how versatile they are and because they come in 3 different “flavors”; classic colors, neon, and metallic, there is always a project we can use them on!
Enter the beginning of Kindergarten this year…we needed a way to decorate our letter D as we worked our way through the letters of the alphabet. Kwik Stix to the rescue! The paint surface inside was the perfect thing to help us make dots! Lots and lots of dots to decorate our D’s! We also used them to make zig-zags on our Z’s, squiggles on our S’s, and lines on our L’s! Sadly, I forgot to snap pictures of all those experiences. 😦
This was the PERFECT opportunity to introduce my students to Kwik Stix and how we use them.
Each student took a Kwik Stix and we practiced how to gently twist the bottom up to raise the paint up so they could use more. We also took the time to learn how to twist the paint back down so that we didn’t have any smooshed into the lids that would later bring us sadness. 🙂
Many times if we are all using our Kwik Stix for a project (such as in this case), I will pull the entire plastic case out of the box and leave one set on each table for my students to use. They will have access to a variety of colors that way, (learn to share!), and can easily get another color they need.
We also talked about where to put the caps! This is a perpetual problem we have and to solve this problem, we corral our Kwik Stix in an empty deli food container. Each time a student uses a new Kwik Stix, they place the cap in the container so they don’t lose it (and it can’t roll away)! I also save the caps anytime we have a Kwik Stix that runs out of paint. That way if we really can’t find the cap, we can look to the box of extra caps and find one that we can replace it with.
My students have access to Kwik Stix everyday during our free play time and they will always choose them over traditional paint and markers. 🙂 They get super excited that they can paint and that their paintings will be dry in less than 2 minutes so they can take them home on the same day!
I love that the short chubby size fits my Kindergarten students hands perfectly and that we don’t have to leave stacks of papers around the room to dry overnight! Right after my students are done, they just pop their papers into their mailboxes and go on with their next task–while their paper takes a few more seconds to dry. 🙂
Stay tuned for another way to use Kwik Stix next month–this one is going to be super cute and perfect for fall holidays!
Guided Reading Made Simple
I love anything that will help make my life easier and I stumbled upon two great ideas last school year that have helped make my Guided Reading groups run so much more smoothly!
Just changing up these two simple routines has bought me back 3-4 minutes of time and gives my students repeated alphabet practice along with a simple routine they can follow. When my students see their material baskets out and ready by their whiteboards, they know which routine we will be practicing first and have everything they need ready to go!
In the same way, I used to spend 20 minutes or so every Friday afternoon getting magnetic letters ready for my students so we could make words, but after discovering this idea, my students do all the work and practice locating letters too!
Click here to read more about these tips that will buy you back precious Guided Reading minutes!