Tuesday, May 8, 2012

tuesday teacher tip

It was great to start the day with a made bed. Yeah I know, ridiculous. But my life doesn't really lend its  self to made beds and calm mornings. So here it is, made. Its not pretty, but its made, so I can't complain.
if you could just ignore the fact that it looks like I live in a dorm room, because well I sort of do
Now, on to the real post…

In my student teaching, I used "fair sticks" which my cooperating teacher, Melanie {who I think just might be the best coop teacher on the planet} already had in place. They were simply craft sticks with the kids' numbers on them and were kept in a jar and placed into another stack as the kids name's were called.

They worked great, and the kids knew how the system worked. I didn't use the fair sticks for everything but always for morning calendar, to decide who got to do things on the smart board and sometime even for picking groups or partners.

While her sticks worked just fine, I knew I could beautify them :)
I got the idea from the picture below. These are actually chore sticks, but I knew I could modify the to make amazing fair sticks.

I downloaded her stick labels to use as a template for my own, and made them into numbers rather than chores. I labeled my sticks with the number  and the number word (3 three).

I printed, cut and laminated them. and mod podged them onto the craft sticks. I made the sticks a while ago, and I now know that the lamination step was unnecessary. Or I could have just used a spray adhesive to glue the laminated label down. If I were going to make them again, I would just use the mod podge on regular paper. 

Here's how mine turned out:

They will make a great addition to my future classroom :)

If there is any interest, we could offer these in our etsy shop. Send us an email if you would interested in having us make you your very own set of fair sticks.

Here are a few ways that other people made "fair sticks":
I like that she has two different colors so the sticks can be flipped rather than having two different piles or jars. 

Check out all these other great uses for craft sticks in the classroom:

count 'em up sticks for money practice

use full size paint stir sticks to manage your classroom library. The fact that they use ribbon and glitter is just an added bonus to the functionality

multiple choice sticks, great for older grades. also love the fun colors. 

Activity sticks- great to keep your kids on the ball and break up those long lessons or tests.

What other ways are you using craft sticks in your classroom? Share your comments, or leave us the link to your blog post.
Check back Friday for a freebie to go with your fair sticks.

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