Alternatives to popsicle sticks

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    You know those big buttons Heidi pulls out of a bag on Project Runway to pick designers? I want that for my classroom lol! I don't like the feel of unfinished wood (popsicle sticks). Can anyone think of something large enough to write students' names on? I'm going to use them to randomly pick students. I might even put them in a velvet bag a la Project Runway :)
     
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  3. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    A few ideas: small floor tiles, the colored foam could be cut into any shape you want, Old CDs, Milk caps or other lids, round squishy-type balls.
     
  4. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    My hs chem teacher used oversized playing cards. He assigned us all a card on the first day of school. When he asked a question he would flashed a card to the class so we would know whose turn it was.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You could put initials on pencils, laminate strips of card stock, give each child a number and use number cards, put initials on poker chips, or just cover the end of the popsicle stick with tape.
     
  6. brandi0718

    brandi0718 Comrade

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    I have seen foam popsicle sticks at the Dollar Tree.
     
  7. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I have seen cardboard name sticks at the teacher stores. You are supposed to be able to write on them with wet-erase and wipe them clean.
     
  8. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Pisces, I would love to see what you are talking about -- I don't watch the show but I like the ideas that are being offered. I like the cd idea. Right now I have a handful of DVD's I am getting ready to throw out because I can't record on them. I may use that idea but my question is where would I place them so that I can easily pick one out when I need to. Also, I notice that my team teacher uses the popsicle sticks to assign job helpers. I would prefer something other than the sticks for that too.

    I have tons of wine cork tops but don't know if it would be feasible to use in place of popsicle sticks. What ya think?
     
  9. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    I have popsicle sticks but always forget to use them b/c they are in a boring cup. Maybe if I get something cool to pull for lotto questions and a cool cup.....I'll actually remember.
     
  10. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Our HS creative writing teacher did this with numbers in jar, and the first week of school my friend snuck in and threw her number away. She never got called on for the rest of the year.....
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I create a matrix for job assignments. Jobs label columns, names label rows. When child is assigned a job, I date to coresponding box. This way each child gets to do each job at least once, maybe twice during the year and keeps them from fighting over the more popular jobs. I keep the whole thing on the computer which makes things really easy to track.

    I don't see why wine bottle corks wouldn't work. Just write one set of innitials on each and put them in a small drawstring bag!
     
  12. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    You think I can mark them with a Sharpie? Some are real cork others are man-made corks. Would love to see a matrix example of what u are talking about - Runsw/Scissors. Great ideas!
     
  13. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Use numbers on your corks, Teachling, so you can reuse them each year! My kids have numbers all year for their mailboxes (so the mail passers aren't seeing grades with names), and I use them for my popsickle sticks, posters, ect. Why remake that stuff each year?
     
  14. DreamToTeach

    DreamToTeach Companion

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    I, too, don't like the feel of those sticks. But, I LOVE the feel of dominos and mahjong tiles! Maybe a collection of those with #s on them in a velvet bag. They might be noisy, but I think I would like that! I'm very tactile. I actually love this idea!
     
  15. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    To get rid of the feel of the popsicle sticks, sponge paint them. I used three different colors to camouflage mine. :)

    In thinking about the wine corks, I do not think that would be a wise choice. Wine cork-> alcohol-related-> no tolerance by most schools= BIG PROBLEM! If your school is as "Say No to Drugs" as most, using wine corks is not a viable option. Just my two cents...
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That was my thought too on the wine corks.
     
  17. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    They don't have to be wine corks. You can buy corks for craft projects.
     
  18. Edelweiss

    Edelweiss Rookie

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  19. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I agree about the corks possibly being a controversy (which I think is silly, but better safe than sorry.)

    I think a lot of teachers have tactile issues LOL. Every summer there are people starting threads about either whiteboards or chalkboards and about how they can't stand the feel of the chalk or the marker on the board. I think it's funny. :)

    I think what I'll end up doing is trying a sewing shop to see if they have very large buttons. Depending on how much they cost, I can buy a "class set" and just write numbers on them. I'll be assigning numbers this year, so that'll work great.
     
  20. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Edelweiss, that link doesn't work for me...
     
  21. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    I don't think wine corks would be a problem. I bring corks to class when we talk about cells and the discovery of cells. It's not like you are tipping the bottle at school. I think if you got a cute container to keep them in, it would work very well. Great idea. I have used plastic clothes pins, cards, popsicle sticks, pencils and poker type chips. I think anythink like that would work. I love using them in the classroom.
     
  22. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I have a phobia of popsicle sticks, and these save my life :)
     
  23. Edelweiss

    Edelweiss Rookie

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  24. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I love those!! And you would use them to assign students?
     
  25. BevAnn

    BevAnn Rookie

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    I use the popsicle sticks with the students' names on them and just have them in a plastic cup. I also have a second set in an apron that I sometimes wear. I also have our cheers written on sticks and in a separate cup. I have gotten splinters from the ones in the apron though! I like the poker chips idea to help with this though.

    Does anyone have the Classroom Wheel from Really Good Stuff?
    http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/spec...net&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EML10000307

    I saw it in one of their catalogs and thought it looked interesting. It has disks that you can change out and one appears to be a blank disk where you could write down students' names. If you do use it let me know, I'm thinking about trying it, but it's about $40.00.
     
  26. BevAnn

    BevAnn Rookie

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    Buttons

    I found some great big buttons on the Oriental Trading website. Here are the links:

    http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/b...g&Source=Google&sd=1+Lb.+Of+Great+Big+Buttons


    http://www.orientaltrading.com/ui/b...og&Source=Google&sd=Bright+Big+Lacing+Buttons
     
  27. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Good stuff, you guys! You gave me sort of an idea. When I go garage sale shopping this weekend I am going to check out board games for pieces that I can use in lieu of popsicle sticks. I saw some last weekend that I could have gotten cheap but didn't since they appeared to have missing pieces. I can buy one that has missing things & use the pieces. I did get the game of life for $4 but it's brand new.
     
  28. iteachstars

    iteachstars Rookie

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    I use mini-frisbees. They are about 3 inches across and I just numbered them with a sharpie. The sets I have came from an easter clearance- 8/$1 and they've lasted for several years, but I see cute ones at dollar tree all the time.

    I have also seen teachers use popsicle sticks shaped like girls and boys that they had their students color with washable markers. It's a step up from the traditional sticks...
     
  29. ArizonaTchr72

    ArizonaTchr72 Companion

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    Twist off bottle caps?

    What if you painted some twist off bottle caps and then wrote student names on those?
     
  30. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    BevAnn, your avitar looks like she's just down about 8 espressos!:woot:
     
  31. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    If you go to Michael's they have all these little painted things in the wood section. I think they are 25 cents each (sometimes they go on sale) and I have used them for game pieces.

    But they have all kinds of animals, plants, kids, school stuff, and all kinds of themes. If you have a sports theme in your class, you could buy a bunch of little basket balls, or a garden theme could have little gardening tools.

    They are smooth and painted.
     
  32. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    I also have that sensory issue and although I am not a classroom teacher yet, I have seen poker chips used and just laminated squares of colorful paper
     
  33. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    :lol: What about those name tags that are hung on margarita glasses when you go to a party? Seriously.

    Suitcase luggage tags.

    Key tags.

    Tops of film canisters. (usually can get free)
     
  34. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    How about making buttons with a button maker, but take off the stick pin?

    I like the idea. I'm tired of wooden sticks. Been doing that forever.
     
  35. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    My son's 4th grade teacher used plastic milk jug lids (screw off type) she made two sets. Inside each lid she glued a picture of the student. She magnetized one set to use on her white board. Her room was divided into groups and she would post the groups on the white board with the magnetized picture milk jug lids.
    She kept the other set in a basket to draw names.
     
  36. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    I found a bag of river rocks at the dollar store. They are about the size of a quarter, smooth and I just put numbers on them. I have seen large plastic buttons at Joann's that could also be used.
     
  37. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    What a great idea, I'm going to start saving those!
     
  38. Love to Teach

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    I use clothespins...I like those because I can just clip them onto the top of the canister so I know who I have already called on. Sometimes, I put them back in though, to keep the kids on their toes! :) If you don't like the wooden ones, you can purchase the plastic ones. Both kinds can be found in colors, too. :)
     
  39. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    The other one I have seen used is just plastic spoons- you write the student name or number on the round part, then flip the spoon over once you have called upon that student already- so you only have the remaining ones left to call from because those already called have the handle pointing upwards instead of the round part.
     
  40. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Hey, I found dominoes that appear to be made of ivory (heavy) for .50 cents for a set. I thought I read some where that they can be used as well. Would I just put numbers on them & assign one per student?
     
  41. DreamToTeach

    DreamToTeach Companion

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    That's a great buy, Teachling. It was me. I am totally going to use dominos because I love handling them (I'm weird I know) vs. all the other things people seem to use. I plan on just putting a # on them so they can be used again and again. I was going to hit the yard sales this morning to see if I can find some, but didn't make it. I'd buy those. You can use them for altered art, too. That's what I use them for. If you want to color them, you can't use paint, but you can use alcohol ink. I'm not messing with that for the class ones, though.
     

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