As I think about ways to foster creative expression and the communication of academic knowledge, one thing I immediately think of is Wikki Stix. They are so ‘child-friendly’ and are also parent and teacher ‘friendly’. How are they ‘friendly’? They are easy to use, they create no mess, and they easily hold together in the formations that young hands create. For a child who wants to draw a shape, a form, or to write a mathematical equation first, Wikki Stix adhere easily to the child’s drawn line or shape on a paper page or on almost any surface. For a child who wants to create a 3-dimensional figure – maybe an animal or character from a book – Wikki Stix adhere perfectly to themselves, to assist a child in creating that 3-dimensional figure, so he or she doesn’t get frustrated, as they might with a product or medium that doesn’t stick easily to itself and hold together. And yet, if a child wants to re-do or modify a design, Wikki Stix can easily be moved or separated – no permanent attachment! One might also wonder why it is an advantage to use Wikki Stix after the child has already written or drawn something. The tactile and kinesthetic effect that using Wikki Stix provides, is extremely beneficial to young children’s learning experiences. The research is quite clear and positive about the positive benefits of multi-sensory learning.
From an educational perspective, Wikki Stix are an engaging and fun product to use in expressing a child’s learning: visually creating a representation for a number or shape in math; or visually showing a pictorial image for a new vocabulary word; or even visually showing a process or procedure in science, by combining the outline of shapes with simple writing, and then also using Wikki Stix to form arrows to indicate direction or forward progress within a process – something like a simple flowchart. And in almost any school subject, basic content can easily be displayed visually by using flexible, colorful Wikki Stix.
Wikki Stix are an important component of all my teaching and learning environments, and they are always a perfect gift for any young child in your life. They help nurture creativity and are also a rewarding and effective tool for communicating almost any type of learning for preschool and elementary aged children. The student engagement that Wikki Stix create, coupled with being able to communicate visually, makes a great and winning learning environment.
About the Author:
Donna L. Knoell, Ph. D. is an educational consultant and international speaker. She has vast experience in the educational community, providing professional development in reading-language arts, mathematics, science, STEM, and social studies. She is a frequent speaker at NAEYC, NCTM, ILA, NSTA, NCSS, LDA, and IDA, and she works with individual schools and districts throughout the United States and abroad. She is a published author and has also created and written numerous educational products for ready use with preschool and elementary children. Most recently, she has written about the importance of visual literacy and visual tools, to help increase student understanding and to deepen the learning experience. She can be reached at email@example.com.