DIY Wand Tutorial

Today’s blog post came from a suggestion from a friend after seeing my post on Instagram. I am a self confessed/fully fledged ‘Potter Head’ and I have managed to rub off my love of magic onto the children in my class. With this in mind I was trying to think of what I could get my pupils for an end of year leaving gift. Buying them each a copy of the Philosophers’ Stone was well out of my price range and I was running out of time to make something for them.  I remember the excitement of my kids when I came dressed up as Hermione Granger on World Book Day and how they all wanted to have a go using my ‘real’ wand!

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So I made a quick dash to my local Poundland and Hobby Craft stores and purchased everything I needed to make them each their own wand for about £11! I started to post my progress on Instagram when a friend suggested I make a step by step guide for any other Potter obsessed people! I have never done one of these before so hopefully this is useful and makes sense!!

You will need:

Chopping board
Pencils
Scissors
Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks!
String
Brown acrylic paint
Metallic nail varnish + clear nail varnish
Paint brush + small sponge.
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First you need to cut about 1 metre of string.

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Then put a small amount of hot glue and the end of the pencil on top of the rubber if it has one. Carefully attach the string while glue is still wet.

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When the glue has set carefully wrap around the string for about 10-12cm depending on the length you want the handle. Wrap back and forth until you are happy with the thickness of the handle. Secure the loose end with another blob of hot glue.

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Apply hot glue all over the string. BE CAREFUL! It will drip so rotate the pencil slowly to try and prevent it dripping off the pencil completely. I tried a few methods and they all worked well.

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For a drippy looking handle which reminds me more of Lord Voldemorts’ wand stand pencil in a glass of rice or pasta and apply lots of hot glue at the top of the pencil. I blew carefully to help it set quicker.

For a smoother looking handle I applied glue in strips across the handle and then rolled the pencil on the chopping board. I did this twice per handle and I ended up with a cool wooden like texture.

To create an ‘Elder Wand’ effect I slowly added a ring around the pencil blowing carefully to speed up the glue setting.  I did this 2 or 3 times per pencil. I would recommend doing this when the glue gun hasn’t been on too long. The hotter the glue the faster it comes out and the more like it is to drip off and burn you!!

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I stood all of my wands in a glass of rice or pasta and let them cool fully for about 20 minutes. (Just enough time to make and enjoy a cuppa!)

Then to decorate! I did this in 2 stages as I didn’t have enough space to dry them. I started to apply brown acrylic paint to the handle and half way along the pencil. I used a brush and used stippling motion. I did this for 2 reasons – it added to the texture of the ‘wood’ and meant that it added enough paint not to need a second coat. Again I stood them in a glass of rice or pasta as I had finished with them.

I decided to add some bronze coloured metallic nail varnish and used a sponge to pick out some of the detailing that I had added with the glue.  I didn’t do this on all of the wands but I do think at added a lovely touch.

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They were left to dry completely over night. I then decided to add a tiny amount of clear nail varnish on the handles of the wands to make sure the paint wouldn’t come off too easily.

I found one of my favourite quotes from Harry Potter and stuck it to some card. I then made two 3cm slits in the centre of the card and slotted the pencil in.

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Lumos!

I am really pleased with how they came out and how easy it was to do. I think the children will love them . I would definitely make them again if I turned my next class into a bunch of Potter Heads too! I hope this was useful. Please let me know if you had a go and tag me in your pictures on Instagram.

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My wands!

Not a bad teacher!

Hello…

Today was the first day back at school after half term. I got lots done during my week off and even caught up on some much needed sleep. Zzzzzz
Even though I got lots ticked off my to do list I still managed to get to work this morning and feel like someone had plopped me on a treadmill going too fast!

I made time each day during half term to read some blogs by other teachers and keep to an eye on the articles that had been shared on the TES website. I read an article from an anonymous writer titled ‘We are not just teachers, we are people – and one bad lesson doesn’t make me a bad person.’  This really struck a chord with me. At the end of last term I had by first observation that didn’t go as well as I wanted. I forgot lots of the things that I normally put into my lessons, I over thought things and panicked. I hate being observed and following my observation I felt rubbish.

I am a very self critical person and I am a perfectionist. I hate letting people down and I don’t like it when my hard work, analysis of data and knowledge of my children doesn’t go to plan! I came home that day feeling like a failure and I doubted myself as a teacher. I am very lucky that Mr. W is level headed and calmed me down and reminded me that one bad lesson doesn’t make me a bad person or even a bad teacher.

I think that I am lucky that I have a job that I love (most of the time) but it can become an obsession and I know for the sake of my own wellbeing  (and sanity) that I don’t let it  take over every part of my life. I know from past experiences that it is hard to hear criticism of my teaching without taking it to mean  criticism directly of myself as a person however the blog made a very valid point that I will be putting on a post it note on my desk tomorrow –  ‘Don’t let one mistake in a lesson define you’  I will try my hardest to learn from my mistakes to help me be a better and happier teacher!

I understand the need to monitor teaching and learning and I am grateful (kind of!) that I am being observed on Wednesday which hopefully will show what I am really capable of. Fingers crossed that it all goes it plan!

Wish me luck!

Mrs W

Shoeless Writing

Last week I read an article which spoke about the decade-long study, by researchers at Bournemouth University, that found that allowing pupils to take off  their shoes, as is custom in Scandinavia, helped them to engage better in class. I spoke to my class last week about this idea and they have been asking everyday if it was ‘the day’ that they could take their shoes off to complete a Big Write.

I have never had so many children eager to complete an extended piece of writing (the phrase blood from a stone fits well here.) They really couldn’t wait. So on Wednesday after lunch I got my class registered and then I gave them the option to take off their shoes – I didn’t think they would all want to take off their shoes and reveal stinky tootsies. However, all 30 of them whisked off their shoes in record time and had them lined up neatly against the wall (finally my OCD is rubbing off on them!) We spent a few minutes wriggling our feet and enjoying the feeling of our feet being free- the children were so excited that I too had removed my shoes. (Don’t worry I had sprayed my feet with fabreez during my lunch break didn’t want the children commenting on my smelly feet!)

We quickly moved on to the writing task which was linked to our topic of ‘Chocolate’ where the children had been given the following statement ‘The Cadbury brothers are considered by some to be the most influential chocolate makers in British history. Mrs M has said they are warm-hearted, industrious and ambitious. Do you agree?’ They needed to research, find the meanings of the words and then explain if they agreed or disagreed with the statement. I thought this was going to be tricky but they had found some great information using the iPads (yep I am still using them too!)

They did brilliantly.

I got home with my mountain of books to mark and instead of dread I found I was delighted with the quality and the quantity of work that they had produced. They had written some of the best pieces of ‘long writing’ they have ever completed for me. This was great especially when you consider they had eaten pizza with pasta for lunch and I was worried they would slip into that ‘Carb Coma’ that normally follows meals like that.

In short they ALL loved being shoe free. They were disappointed when they had to put on their shoes and lots of them have requested that every Big Write should be shoeless. I really can’t think of a reason for this not to be a regular thing in my classroom and I look forward to more great pieces of work from them! Maybe you could try it in your classes too.

Barefoot = Brilliant Work

Mrs W

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