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Fifth Grade Teacher, Campbell County, KY

Use Sticky Notes for graphing and literature circles

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I use sticky notes to teach number line plots, stem and leaf plots, and even bar graphing. It's a great engagement strategy for math class. Every student has a vested interest in the data being displayed, and it makes the numbers on a graph have real-life value for the students.
So, you may be graphing data on how many siblings you have...each student could sign their name on a post-it note and place it on the number line (or in a column for a bar graph) to show how many students have 0, 1, 2, 3,... siblings.

I also use them for literature circles. Whichever word or passage they chose for their particular task can easily be flagged. If they are creating a discussion question, they can stick it in their book at the point where the question applies. If they are the "Connector" they can write their real world connection on a postit and then stick it on the passage that triggered that connection. They can write their understanding of a new word on a sticky note and tag the place where it was used.

Art teacher Middle and High School from western suburbs of Chicago.

I agree about the pricey side

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I agree about the pricey side of sticky notes- so why not add them to the list of school items students will be leaving in the classroom like they do with their boxes of tissues. One of the middle school teams I have worked with even specify what colors they want based on curriculum. The sticky notes are then gathered and the team has a variety to choose from. One year there was such an overabundance of sticky notes, I was able to do a masterwork mural recreation with the sticky notes instead of paint or pencils.

I cerntaily appreciated the

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I cerntaily appreciated the notion of using sticky notes as an exit slip for students to show their level of understanding as they leave a class. I am a bit concerned with the other examples provide being about a) giving praise as opposed to feedback, and b) giving extra credit points for participation and behaviour. These are not defensible education practices.

Director, Antioch Center for School Renewal

Critical Skills teachers use

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Critical Skills teachers use sticky notes as coaching tools when kids are working collaboratively. They allow us to interject just the right question ( such as: What are you supposed to be working on? What would happen if you said that idea again? Why is your group so committed to creating a poster? Does the challenge require you to use only the book as a resource? Who hasn't been talking? Are you sure all ideas are being heard? etc.) without interrupting the flow of conversation in the group. When a teacher steps in, we find that kids lose their collective train of thought- not to mention a lot of momentum. By sliding the note in and walking away, we can guide from alongside instead of stomping all over their process. We also use them a lot to help organize ideas generated in a brainstorm or in response to a focused-thinking discussion prompt- think affinity grouping, but with a lot more flexibility as well as the ways described here.

Middle School English and Debate Teacher


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I think this is a great idea, but my first thought is that it's a little pricey. Perhaps you can use magnets and scrap paper?

Director of Curriculum at Hochberg Preparatory Academy

Low-Tech Tools

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I recently presented at a state educational conference on low-tech tools that yield high student engagement. I included sticky notes as one of the tools (along with a deck of cards and a small stuffed dog). Among the ways that sticky notes can be used is for students to write their names on one and then place it on a continuum, indicating where they stand on the issue being discussed. The entire class can then see trends along the continuum, and students have to defend their placement.

Another idea is to post dramatic or colorful photos around the classroom and students write a descriptive word about each photo on a note and stick it on. As they circulate, they see their peers' thoughts and might begin to view the images differently. (One rule - the same word cannot be used twice, forcing them to think of vivid details.) It's a great strategy for planning descriptive writing.

The 3M site has more ideas for classroom uses!

Parent of 4 bright children.

Extreme Sticky-note idea

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I saw this experiment with sticky notes recently, and thought it may be a nice addition to the list.
Of course, maybe the school supply list should first add "20-pack of sticky-notes" :)

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