Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday Made It-Classroom and Home Decor, Ultimate Response to Reading Resource

Yes, I know it's Tuesday...I just always seem to run into snags, but I did make it! :)
My first made it was inspired by a chore chart post and as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to make them for my classroom. I've used sticks with students names for years. I don't use them all the time, but I love if I have to pick someone on the spot to have a privilege or start a discussion, they're readily available. For years I just wrote their name with a Sharpie, but these are too cute aren't they?

On my computer I created the "popsicle stick" shape and then typed my student names. I wanted two sets, a black and white set and a color set.
I cut the straight edges with a paper cutter and then trimmed the rounded corner by hand with scissors. Great task while watching a movie!
 After cutting the paper, I applied a thin coat of Modge Podge (glossy) to the stick, lined the paper up on the stick, then applied another layer of Modge Podge. I think they'll hold up with one coat, but I did apply a second coat later that night just to be sure. I didn't do all that work for them to fall apart!
 I had extra room on my page of student names, so I threw in a couple of fun sticks I think my class will like. If I'm calling on students to answer questions, I may get called and have to answer. Or, your choice means they get to select someone else to answer or receive a privilege. Free five minutes will probably be decided along the way...five minutes to talk, five minutes of extra reading time, etc.
I use my Student Sticks almost every day. Student sticks increase engagement and eliminate the possibility of favoring specific students or only calling on the same volunteers all the time.
I use my sticks for:
  • randomly calling on students to gauge understanding during a lesson
  • assigning groups
  • deciding who will receive a special privilege
  • posing a question of the day or to start a class discussion
  • selecting who gets to line up first or choose books first
**My students even use the student sticks when having to select a friend in the class to help with something or eat lunch with them. (this is my favorite!) They say they can't pick because everyone is their friend, so they have to use the sticks. :) 
You may have noticed some blank popsicle stick shapes-those are for the back of the sticks. I was a little too ambitious when I made these! LOL! I will add the backs, but not this week! haha

 My next made-it is for the home. I wasn't sure if this would work, but I was tired of this red flower painting, so I thought I would try painting over it. I didn't want it hung up anymore anyway, so I figured I had nothing to lose! I used the inexpensive acrylic paints from Hobby Lobby ($1). I just mixed some colors and painted over the existing flowers and then painted on a clear coat to make it shiny again. It's not perfect, but my new painting and pillows give the room a different look. 

So, if you don't like one of your existing pieces of art because of the color or find one at a garage sale, paint over it with colors that match your color scheme! 
 Sooooooo excited to present this made-it! It's only taken me FOREVER and a day! This is a compilation of ideas I've created and used since the beginning of my teaching! I love to engage my students and get them excited about reading and responding to reading, not reading tests, but FUN & different ways to respond to reading! This resource includes over 60 activities to share with your students before, during, and after reading. They can be used with ANY shared chapter or picture book or used for independent use. My favorite part of using these activities are the discussion sparks that fly among my students!
Grab it now while it's 50% off!!!
Click here to check it out!

 I hope you found some ideas for your classroom or your head today! :) Go check out all the other fabulous ideas on Tara's Monday Made It!


  1. I love your popsicle sticks! They look great! Any chance you're going to put the template on TPT (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)?

    Shafer's Shenanigans

  2. I love this idea! It would make my sticks look so much nicer!! I tried to create a template but have failed miserably. Will you make yours available?

  3. Your Popsicle sticks look great! I love your bonus sticks, especially the one with your name. Thank you for putting together such a great resource for reading responses. That set looks amazing!

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. Great ideas. I like the other sticks you added. That's so much fun! I never would have thought to paint the flowers-- what a great way to stretch your artwork.

    My Bright Blue House

  5. Stop with the cuteness!!! You just need to make 2 of all that cute and then send one set my way! Those sticks!!! Adorable!!!! Love the little bucket they're in too!!! Thanks for linking up my friend!!!! XO
    4th Grade Frolics

  6. If I start pulling paintings off the wall in the middle of the night to "sparkle" them up....I will just tell Jerm that I HAD to because you did it first and I want to be like you. You worked magic on that painting. LOVE it and the sticks...now I need to get sticks too!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. How did you make the template so perfect to fit the sticks?? They are adorable!!

  8. Love the sticks! I'll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

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