Nov 6, 2015

A New Classroom Tool: Kwik Stix

My teacher eye and brain is always on the lookout for new ways to engage my students.  Even if it is an old tool that I can repurpose.  Some brains are better at this than others.  For example, my teammate shared an idea today to turn the bottom of a plant pot into a clock.  What!!??  Why doesn't my brain work like that?
That's okay.  I'll keep working at it :)

Last week, The Pencil Grip company asked if they could send me their Kwik Stix to try out.  They are tempera paint sticks (they work like a glue sticks) that dry in 90 seconds (I found it takes less than 60 seconds).  So basically, you uncap it, twist up, and paint.

I was really on the fence about accepting this product because I do not paint.  My instruction is all small group intervention instruction.  The lessons do not lend themselves to painting, coloring, or other types of crafts.

But...

These do not have to be used for painting.  I decided this would be a great tool to use during my sight word intervention or during the phonics portion of my guided reading groups.  So...yes!  I accepted the invitation to try them out.


My students use a variety of methods to work on sight words.  We write on top of bumpy placemats, they trace on top of paint bags, rice trays have been used, and a variety of writing utensils.  The paint sticks offer, yet, another avenue to engage the students in writing the words or phonics sounds that they need to know automatically.  And from what I learned during my brain research PD, handwriting is going to help their brain to automatically recall what is being written.

Once I pulled out the paint sticks, they were very eager to try out the new tool.  (Possibly too eager because I know I did not ask them to write the word that many times.)  But they wrote the word, said the word, and the paint did not rub off on them at all!  I found that it dried in only a few seconds.

The more that I observed them using the paint sticks to write sight words, I noticed that it did not work well for them unless they used a fluid movement.  I do not mean that there is a defect in the Kwik Stix.  What I mean is that the sticks are thick and if they do not write their letters with the correct motions, they end up with letter like this...

 I see students write like this over and over again.  They stop the motion, pick up their pencils, and then make the curves of the letters.  With the sticks, they cannot see exactly where to connect the lines.  So they end up with letters like the one above.  I think Kwik Stix could be a great way to practice using a fluid motion when writing letters.  The kindergarten teachers at my school are eager to try this out!

It says that the paint sticks work on paper, canvas, and even wood.  I would like to provide my students with some different textured surfaces to add more multi-sensory techniques to my sight word lessons and the handwriting practice.  Some wood, bumpy surfaces would be an interesting contrast to the smooth paint stick.

I am excited to find more ways to use these paint sticks in my small groups.  But am enjoying their excitement and eagerness to write with them.  Do you have any ideas for me?

You can grab your own set here.  One winner will get a 6 pack of paint sticks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway




5 comments:

  1. Those look awesome! How long does one stick last??

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  2. I might need to check these out! They look like fun!

    Amanda

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  3. WOW, great idea! To help with fluid motions--so tricky for my first graders. and it drives me CRAZY!!!
    Alyce

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  4. These look like something I would like even for 3rd grade...I love mess free! :D

    Kelly
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

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