Monday, December 8, 2014

popsicle stick dictation sets

As you can probably tell by now, I'm not blogging for the fame and fortune. :) I really do need to blog more often though....

I have been agonizing over my popsicle stick dictation sets for awhile now. Actually, I have been becoming downright disgruntled over these things over the last few years. Am I the only one? (Probably.) The beat-up baggies that won't zip closed....they get spilled when the kids return them to my drawer....the ones with holes....quite honestly, I usually just rezip each and every one of them as the (younger) kids bring them up to me because even when they looked and felt zipped, they weren't. Yes, I'm that teacher who likes supplies to be neat and organized. Yet somehow my room never looks like it...

I've been on the hunt for small secure boxes or better bags - anything - that could hold these things! They couldn't cost much either because I knew I'd probably be buying them on my own. (I have a generous budget, but I'm very impatient and like to have things immediately when I spot them!) Finally, I found these small pencil boxes online and loaded them with some great stuff for dictation! Forget the plain old wooden popsicle sticks....nope, not in my classroom! :) Here's what I've got in my sets:
  • pre-colored popsicle sticks from Office Depot; I've used these to group kids: "Orange sticks, read your rhythm. Green sticks, read next." etc. 
  • mega sticks, dyed pinkish-red (with food coloring) for beat bars 
  • mini sticks dyed to match the regular sticks; these are for flags or for shorter bars (ti-tika or tika-ti type combos)
  • white poker chips (found long ago in the Target dollar aisle) with the edges colored in Sharpie for half notes
  • small wooden circles (found at the craft store or more recently, my home crafting stash) dyed to match the regular sticks; 
  • black pipe cleaners for ties

Pic labeled with Skitch...very cool app!

Here's some examples of how they can be used:

I was worried that the boxes would take up a lot of room (the baggies are very compact, which is one nice thing about them) but here's how they look when they're all packed up in a box:

Not bad, huh? The kids are having a great time using them. And this music teacher is happy to throw away all those torn up, ragged ziplock bags!! (It's the little things in life, you know?)


  1. I feel the same way about the budget! Thank goodness for PTA in that case :)

  2. I like the building with music notes. I think you're students love it!

  3. Kelly, you are amazing as always. Thank you for being so generous in your sharing.

  4. Kelly, you are amazing as always. Thank you for being so generous in your sharing.