More Father's Day Fun! A Popsicle Stick Frame!

So, I needed to make something else to go along with my Father's Day Magazines. I decided that a picture frame would be great. I saw some really cute designs on pinterest, and I didn't quite know how to recreate them, so I played with the idea during my prep. This is what I came up with!

I love how they turned out!

Popsicle Sticks
Scrapbook Paper (I used manly designs for Father's Day)
White Liquid Glue
Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: You will need 8+ popsicle sticks for each frame.

Step 2: Choose a paper design - I used regular 12"x12" scrapbook paper for this since I have a large supply. I cut them in strips about 1" wide.

Step 3: Allow students to choose their paper styles.

Step 4: Have students cut the paper strips in ½.

Step 5: Use your paint brush to paint the white glue onto the popsicle sticks. Glue them down to the white side of the paper.

 Step 6: Cut a U shape on the paper around the ends of the popsicle sticks.

Step 7: Paint more glue onto this side of the popsicle stick. It's ok if you get it on the paper. 

Step 8: Fold the edges of the paper over.

Step 9: Repeat step 8 with all the popsicle sticks.

Step 10: Line up your popsicle sticks into this pattern and hot glue together. You could do this with white glue if you have extra time. I was running short on time, so I did this with the hot glue gun. 

Step 11: lay the other side on top to mimic the exact placement of the first set. Do not glue this side to the first one - Just use it for a template of the layout.  Hot glue these sticks together so that you have 2 exact same patterns. 

Step 12: Use your hot glue gun to make a strip of glue at the top of the frame **Make sure that the popsicle stick is glued onto the back of the frame like the one with the pink arrow below. 

Step 13: Hold the 2 frames together.

Voila! Add your picture and you have your custom frame :)

I hope you like this tutorial and that you can use it for many projects to come! 


Father's Day Fun Magazine

Father's Day is such a hard thing to plan for in my school. There are so many children that make gifts for an alternate person for various reasons which makes it a tough day to plan for.

I really love the idea of students writing to the people that they want to acknowledge. When I was coming up with my Mother's Day activity, I decided that a Magazine would be awesome. Not being able to find one, I created one. So, when Father's Day rolled around it was an easy choice to create one for the Dads out there too.

This is what they look like:

Remember how I said there are so many children without Dads? Well, I also created Magazine covers to cater to those students. I didn't want anyone to feel left out. 

Each Father's Day magazine includes a set for Dad, Uncle and Grandpa. Each set also includes 24 different covers and a planning sheet so that you know how many of each to print off. That made it much easier to differentiate for each student's needs and family dynamics.

Each package also has a planning sheet! I know how hard it may be to plan for all students' needs.

Each magazine also has many pages to fill it! Word searches, magazine articles, acrostic poems, dad jokes and MORE! 

Click on the picture below to be taken to the direct link to grab your copy! :)


My 5 Fave Brag Tag Tips

I love using Brag Tags in my classroom. Here are my top 5 tips for using Brag Tags in your classroom!

Create a system that includes all of your students:

When I began thinking about using Brag Tags in my classroom, I wanted it to work for more than just the high achieving students. I wanted this classroom management system to work for students who need motivation and encouragement in order to be successful. When I planned to incorporate this into my classroom, I wanted a beautiful spot to highlight their hard work and achievements and I wanted them to all have a role in it too. 

This is my Brag Tag wall. This bulletin board is my pride and joy both for me and for my kiddos. Not only does it highlight the wonderful achievements that my students accomplish, but we all work together to unlock levels as we earn different Brag Tags (you can see them at the top of this bulletin board). For every 50 Brag Tags that my students earn as a whole, we unlock a level and have a celebration. The rewards are all completely editable so that I could change the rewards from year to year, or replace something that just didn't work for me.  If you would like to read more about this bulletin board, CLICK HERE!

Recognize every brag tag earned:

I know that all of us teachers are busy and this may not seem possible, but I have a few different ways I do this. 
1. A quick shoutout: "Oh my goodness class, do you see how well Billy Bob tidied up his desk? Let's give him a 10 finger woo!" - If you are familiar with whole brain teaching, you know what I mean! 

2.) Have a Brag Tag Campfire. This is a lot of fun. I don't have a photo of it (because I'm always running it and there is no one else to take pictures), but this is basically how I do it. I have my class sit in a circle together. Sometimes we will also have a sharing circle about our week and talk about new goals, but when time doesn't allow itself I hand out our brag tags as we listen to a crackling fire and we recognize the hard work that we have done. 

Here is a picture of my SMART board crackling on the yule log youtube channel while my students are campfire reading with FLASHLIGHTS. How fun is that? This is the closest picture that I have to our campfire ceremony. Hope you get the idea...

Set student goals!

"Oh Miss Pich, what do you mean? We always set goals for our students." I know, I know. I do too. But I also set BRAG TAG GOALS! Every week, I choose a few brag tags that I want the students to work on. Whether it be reading silently, paying attention during floor time or working on a specific math strategy. I use sticky tack to post these brag tags onto my whiteboard Brag Tags of the Week chart. 

This gives my students a visual idea of what they can earn if they work hard and complete tasks throughout the week. 

These are the brag tag posters that I use. They are FREE in my TpT store. I created a few different styles in the freebie. Check it out. 

Award Whole Class Brag Tags

I love the feeling of accomplishing a big project, and so does my class. Whenever our class completes a unit, I issue a class set of brag tags. Here are a few of the ones that my students have earned for units we have covered in school. They feel so proud and accomplished. I also offer a Honor Roll tag that I award to students who completed the unit test with 85% or higher. 

Keep track of the Brag Tags you have given out:

Here is a sample of the tracker that I use for my brag tags. IT IS A GAME CHANGER!

Here are some of the features of this tracker. This set uses student numbers to keep track of who got which brag tag (though the package HERE has an edible version for names as well). Each set is on a separate page. So holiday tags will be in the holiday category - which is conveniently located at the top of the page. Simply check off which students have received which tags. 

This may seem like a simple thing to do, but when you are noticing little Johnny doing something better than he was, but you aren't sure if it was recognized or not, you don't have to sift through all of his things to find out if he has one already. 

If students happen to be away when you give out your end of unit brag tags, you can track that they don't have that one yet. It has made my life so much easier in the Brag Tag world. 

Unfortunately, this set is only for the BRAG TAGS that I have in my TpT shop.

Use Binder Rings to Help You and Your Students Stay Organized

This is another hack that I can't thank enough. I originally started with using a paperclip to hold our tags, but it was always so hard for students to put the tags on. These 1" rings from Amazon are so much easier for students to open to put their Brag Tags onto. Seriously.. Visit Amazon right now and get some!
If you notice in the image below, I have one of my sets of Funny Funny Brag Tags  all bundled together on one binder ring. Whenever I print a new set of Brag Tags, whether it is a set like this, a Flexible Seating set, AR Readers set, or otherwise, I put all the brag tags from the same mini set on a ring so that I can grab them quickly without having to search through several different piles of Brag Tags. I keep all my binder ring collections in a set of drawers. 

If you are interested in checking out any of the products I have listed or in seeing them in action, Follow me on Instagram or click on the links below! :)


Here is an image for you to pin if you want to come back again later. 

Happy teaching! 

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