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DIY Pick a Student Sticks for Teachers


Disclosure: this post sponsored by Michaels Stores. All opinions are 100% my own!

Teachers can use these pick a student sticks to call on students in class or distribute classroom chores fairly! So easy to make.

I’m a big fan of teachers. I kind of have to be because my mom has a master’s degree in teaching! But seriously, I have the utmost respect for teachers and what they do. It’s one of the most difficult jobs, and one thing I know from my mother is that they spend a lot of their own money in the classroom for decorations and other accoutrements to make their lives easier.

So I’m here with a fun DIY that is inexpensive to make while at the same time helps teachers do their job a little bit easier – pick a student sticks!

What are pick a student sticks, you ask? Well, teachers have enough on their mind without trying to remember who they called on last, or who needs to be assigned a task. These sticks make that job WAY easier!

Ways to Use These Sticks

The idea is that each student gets a stick with their name on it, and you keep all of the sticks in a container. One side of the stick has the student’s name, and the other side has a design. All sticks start with the names up. When a student’s name is selected, the stick is flipped upside down to indicate they’ve been called on/chosen. You can repeat until all sticks are flipped and then start over! It’s a great way to distribute fairly amongst your students. You can use these for:

  1. Random selection of students in class for answering questions, passing out papers, etc.
  2. Distributing chores amongst the students
  3. Taking turns during games
  4. Grouping students according to ability level (color or paper design coding)

There’s really no limit to the possibilities. AND – I believe I mentioned they are inexpensive to make! I got all my supplies from Michaels. I’ll show you how below. But before I do that, you need to know that Michaels is a huge support of teachers. Did you know that you can take 15% off your entire order at Michaels with your teacher discount?? Pretty awesome.

Also if you are short on time, use the new ‘Buy Online Pick-Up In-Store’ feature! If you need a lot of something, use your discount on all BULK orders. Michaels teacher supplies lets you MAKE this year’s classroom the best yet!

Let’s dive into the tutorial.

DIY Pick a Student Sticks

Gather These Supplies

  • Jumbo craft sticks
  • Mod Podge Hard Coat
  • Scrapbook paper in a variety of patterns – scraps work perfectly for this!
  • Acrylic paint in a variety of colors
  • Sharpie (regular or oil based works fine)
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife and mat
  • Paintbrushes

Start by painting the sticks with the acrylic paint colors of your choice. You can divide colors according to ability or some other measurement. Paint the sticks front and back (you only need to paint halfway down). Let dry.

Place a bit of Mod Podge Hard Coat on a scrap of paper; enough to cover the area of the craft stick.

Place the craft stick down on the paper – about half way down. You can see I measured with a pencil mark. I wanted it to be exact!

Repeat with all of your craft sticks and paper and let them dry.

Trim around the paper. I used scissors to round near the top.

Then I used a craft knife down the sides just because I’m a craft knife ninja! You can use scissors, too.

Once you’re done, repeat the Mod Podge and paper steps with the other side of the craft stick and the same pattern of paper. Make one for every student in class!

Write their names on the craft sticks using a Sharpie. If you are wondering what else you can use to write with (that you can Mod Podge over), I have a guide all about using Mod Podge with ink, pens, pencils, and more. My guide will let you know what smears and what doesn’t.

Once your ink is dry, just Mod Podge over the top.

Your pick a student sticks are done and ready to roll for a new school year!

One of my favorite part of making these was choosing the papers. Michaels has such fun options in the scrapbook paper section. I mean, avocados? Hello!?!?!

I’d love to know if you make these – let me know in the comments. They are so fun and easy and your students are going to love them! Have a great beginning to the new school year.

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