Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Post It Notes



Who doesn't love Post-It Notes, right?  I've got them in every shape, size and colour in my classroom!

 Sometimes the top drawer of my desk looks like it contains nothing but Post-It's!  I while back I blogged about my Teacher Must Haves.  Of course, Post-It's were on the list!
I briefly wrote in that post about some of my uses for Post-It's in my classroom and thought this could easily be a post on it's own!




Students write their thoughts on a Post-It.  One thought per note. Then, they share ideas aloud to their table group and can sort as a group. It's easy to rearrange their thoughts into categories, grouping similar ideas and coming to consensus about the most important points.  They are then really simply transferred to the whiteboard or chart paper for a whole class listing.

In the image I've shared here, my class was allowed to use as many stickies as they wanted.  They had to write one detail about weather per note.  We then placed them on the whiteboard under the main categories I taught in the unit.  I could tell right away where the deepest understanding was and where I needed to go back and reteach.


Tickets out the door are a great way to assess student understanding of a topic. I usually have kids pass me their ticket at the door, or just place it on my desk or rainbow table.  I like that it's a quick glance at what they're all thinking, but it's private too.  No one needs to know what someone else wrote down.  You tend to get more honest answers that way, especially as kids get older.

Our librarian, Mrs. Duncan did an awesome activity with the kids this past year.  She read a picture book to each class and asked them "What stuck with you today?" She created an amazing bulletin board full of their stickies.  I wish I had taken a picture of it!  It was neat to see the kindergarten drawings mixed in with the intermediate answers all on the same topic.  A great way to differentiate!


Any time we need to vote in my classroom I pass out a small Post-It to each student.  Sure, I could use scraps of paper, but Post-It's are pre-cut and that's valuable time to me.

Some things we vote on are:
- citizenship awards at the end of the year
- the name for our Elf on a Shelf
- class reward choices


Okay, first off, don't you just love this super old copy of "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing"?!  I just snagged it at the thrift store.  I'm so excited because it has some great images and all my new copies don't have pictures!  #teacherdeals

I start Lit. Circles in my class after Spring Break.  With their book, I give everyone a set of small Post-It notes.  They can use these to mark spots where they make a connection or have a question.  I highly value being able to write in books.  I know it deepens my comprehension.  While it isn't possible for students to write in Lit Circle books, the little flags are a great way to remind them of places they connected with for response and discussion. 

Side note: I find the plasticized ones to be better as they are trickier to write on, cutting down on notes passed about the room with them!  Not always a problem, but it has been in the past.




When I introduce area to my math crew, Post-It notes are always involved.  They think it's super fun to cover a desk top or small whiteboard or notebook cover in square Post-It's.  It's an easy way to add some interest and hands-on learning to deepen the understanding.

It's okay if the Post-It's don't perfectly line up to the edges of the thing you're measuring, it adds in that layer of deeper thinking with some estimation.

 


Post-It's are my quick, easy way to reminding myself where to stop during a read aloud.  I rarely read an entire picture book in a day.  It's usually spread out over a week or more. 

(What can I say, I like to build some suspense!)

A little flag on the side, and I know to stop to discuss, analyze and image or do some writing.




Of course, I use Post-It's for reminders!! Whenever a student asks me to print extra 100s charts, or bring something from home, they know to write me a Post-It and stick it to my laptop.  I can't lose it there and won't forget when I'm working after school.  My day book is usually cluttered with them too.

There are SO MANY more uses for Post-It Notes!  What do you use them for?  Tell me in the comments!

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