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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.

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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.

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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!

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Back to School Literacy Centers

This year, somehow, I had the foresight to plan out my beginning of year literacy centers BEFORE I left for summer break.  I have no idea where I got that idea or when that idea popped into my head, but it was the best idea. Ever.

Imagine walking back into your room after summer break, and you have one less thing to do! #winning. Seriously.  I walked into my classroom and my literacy centers were ready to go.  Everything I needed to help my beginning of year Kinders learn the routines and procedures associated with learning the alphabet was there in a tub, ready to go.

I came up with 8 easy literacy centers that would help my students get into the grove of literacy centers on the fourth day of school.  Yes, the fourth day of school! That was another brilliant idea! Starting literacy centers as soon as I could.  Getting students in a routine as soon as we can gets them started on the road to independence (and frees you up to meet with small groups sooner!).  Anyway…

8 great literacy center ideas that take so little prep on your part, you will be amazed (and maybe even a little impressed with yourself!).

 

My students have been loving these activities this week (and half of them have asked when we are going to start “learning”)!! Find out all the details here and then get your literacy centers going!

These literacy center ideas are PERFECT for pulling back out later in the year to work with ELL students or other students who haven’t quite mastered all their letter names yet.  They are appropriate, fun, and help those learners who need a bit of an extra boost!

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Amazing Alphabet Ideas

One of the skills we practice constantly in Kindergarten is the recognition of letters.  During the beginning of the year, we practice naming and identifying letters and move towards putting a sound with each letter.  We eventually end up using those letters to make words and sentences.

When I introduce alphabet activities to my students, I try to make them as fun and as engaging as possible.  I also try to build in as many learning styles as I can so that my students will have a way to remember the letters in a way that makes the most sense to them.

Here are a few ways that I introduce letters to my students at the beginning of the year or anytime I see that a student needs to review the letters.

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You can read more about these ideas here. 🙂

I’ll be back soon to tell you why I’ve been so absent from blogging soon. 🙂

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