35 Uses for Post It Notes in the Classroom

Who doesn't love Post Its (which is actually a brand name...sticky notes is the generic)? They come in several sizes, many colors and best of all....they stick! I always put Post Its on my student supply list because they are just so handy. Here are some nifty things you can do with Post Its:
  1. As a bookmark (duh)
  2. Reading response while reading: interesting words, favorite parts, questions, inferences, connections etc.
  3. Use in class polls: Write the poll with the options on the whiteboard. Students put their names on Post Its and stick them to the area where they want to vote.
  4. Instant mood survey: Students have three colors to display on one corner of their desks, green (I'm feeling great), yellow (things are okay), red (I am not doing well). It will help you to know who to call on, who to give a break to, and who might need some extra attention, all without the student having to say anything. 
  5. For brainstorming. Write the topic on the board and have student write their ideas on Post Its and stick them under the topic. Good also for pre-reading or pre-unit questions.
  6. Mapping out the plot of a story. One sentence per Post It.
  7. Informal time lines.
  8. On parent material, such as permission slips that you need to be read. Have the student write, "Read Me" in big letters on a brightly colored Post It. Use sparingly or it will get ignored.
  9. On students: math facts, site words, etc. Students must greet each other by the answer. Fun to do for a day. 
  10. Customize them with your own message. Here is a free printing template.
  11. Use to write comments and grades on student projects that you cannot write directly on.
  12. Temporary labels (for file folders, parts of the room for a game, books etc.)
  13. Post It Planner, here is a blog post on how.
  14. Post It Lesson Plan Book, here is a blog post on how.
  15. Idea Board...got an idea (for a lesson, TpT product, teaching strategy etc.) put it on a Post It and put it on the Idea Board. Take them off as you do them.
  16. Reminders (another duh)
  17. Use part of a pad of Post Its to make a flip-book.
  18. Notes to students, "Thanks for working quietly," "See me at recess." "Shhhhh" etc.
  19. Notes students write to each other - just make sure they keep it positive.
  20. Instant name tags
  21. To make a seating chart (one name per Post It - arrange and rearrange as needed)
  22. One word: Flush! 
  23. Two words: Seat Down
  24. Three words: Wash Your Hands
  25. To create class graphs
  26. Student-created calendar pieces. Each student gets to create one number for the month.
  27. Scavenger/treasure hunts (write the clues on Post Its)
  28. Any kind of collaborative list: great books, fun places go visit, types of dinosaurs, equations that equal 10 etc. 
  29. Make a memory wall at the end of the year. Here is a post on how.
  30. For summarizing. Start with a big Post It, then go to a medium sized one, then a small one. Here is a picture of how that works.
  31. Labels for piles of paper, "To grade," "Monday Homework," "Send Home," etc. 
  32. Hidden Math: Here is a fun game. Number Post-Its and put a different math fact on each one. Hide around the room (easy 'cause they are sticky!). Give kids a numbered answer sheet and clip boards. See if they can find and solve all of the problems. 
  33. Quick observational notes: Keep stickies in a folder. Jot down notes about individual students as needed throughout the day. Later transfer to more permanent records.
  34. Labels for in-progress science experiments
  35. Have students write down questions they need answered - sometimes it is not the right time to ask. If they write them down, they can ask at a more appropriate time without forgetting. 
Other Cool Post It Stuff
Here is my Post It Pinterest Board with more ideas.

Here are some Post It Note things I saw on Amazon:

What do YOU do with Post Its? Please share with a comment.


Louise Crump said...

I purchase an inexpensive sticky note memo holder from one of those vendors who comes to the school several times a year. Usually pay about $4. I keep it on a desk in the front of the room to be used for bookmarks. Students know where it is, and they don't have to ask to get one any time they need a bookmark. Works great!

~HoJo~ said...

When I taught Kindergarten, I used them during writing centers. I would have 5-8 different styles available for students to write on. They could write reminders or notes to friends, family, or me. Every couple weeks I would switch out the sticky notes. I actually had to limit them to two notes a day because they were so popular! :)

Sfoote said...

I made a story map with poster board and have a section for each: title, characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each of my small reading groups is responsible for one of the areas each week. Each group gets a post-it pad and uses the post-it notes to write things down about each section. The kids loving using them and they're easy to remove!

Anonymous said...

I borrowed this from another teacher. Using the tiny square ones draw out a grid of your seating arrangement on a piece of copy paper or posterboard. Write individual names of students on each post it. Can rearrange when needed without having to reprint or erase anything. Also very useful to colorcode by group. Visual scan of who to put together and who has already been. Also helps you learn names at the beginning of the year and visually scan to take attendance. Love post its!

kidpeople said...

I use the small rectangular ones in writing workshop. I teach my students to use one to write down a small moment story that comes to mind, but that they don't have time to write that day. They post their note on the inside pocket of their writing folders. When they write that story, they post that sticky note in their folder behind their pieces, so they have a record of the stories they have written (of course, they have the actual stories, but this way they get a feeling of accomplishment when they see all those notes.) This really helps the kids who have a hard time coming up with ideas. Useful for kindergarten, up.

Anonymous said...

I teach pre-k. I put about ten post-its randomly on my white board and write either ten numbers or sight words, one on each post-it. Then I hide a smiley sticker under one of them. The students say the number or word that they think it's under and I lift it to check. The kids love this!

Cara Ornellas said...

My students use them as flags in their journals. They mark certain ways to write essays, literature books we are reading, different science concepts, the list goes on. So much better than writing on binder paper and trying to keep in a binder. The pages don't tear out and they can turn right to what they want.

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