As I have been doing my planning this week (haven’t we all?), I had a bit of a light-bulb effect with post it notes and realised just how versatile they really are! They’re bright, portable and useful for virtually every lesson in someway or another! The best thing is – they’re cheap! I love them using them, particularly in starters and plenaries. Most of the ideas, activities or tasks below are transferable to other subjects too. I’m sure this type of post has been blogged before but it’s a useful refresher anyhow!
Here are my top 15 ideas for the use of post it notes in no particular order:
1. ‘Guess me’ (Shapes or numbers). Now I’m sure most of you have played this with a cigarette paper in the pub so it may sound familiar. Get your class to partner up, ask them to write a type of shape or number on a post it note and stick it on their partners head without them seeing it. They then have to ask questions about what is on the post it, which can really extend their vocabulary. It’s fantastic for developing children’s knowledge of properties of different mathematical concepts.
2. ‘Bar Chart‘ – I’ve always done this in class, especially useful in lower KS2. Create an axis on the whiteboard, ask the class a question such as ‘What is your favourite type of pet?’ and children use post it notes to create bars on a chart. Really visual and great to refer to throughout a lesson.
3. ‘Inverse‘ – This especially works well when solving calculations. Write numbers individually on post it notes and put mathematical symbols ( + – = ) on them too. Children really understand what inverse means by physically moving the post it notes around. Children can be challenge by using lots of different symbols or colour code the post it notes to make it clearer for pupils who are struggling.
4. ‘Add, Edit, replace, extend‘ When children write sentences, let them put individual words on post it notes. Then other children (or themselves) can collaborate and add, edit, replace and extend sentences by moving post it around or adding new post it notes to up level sentences. This also works well when explaining complex sentences more clearly…moving words around can really develop children’s understanding.
5. ‘Peer assessment‘ Such a powerful tool! Children peer assess each other using post it notes. Post it notes are useful for when you want the piece of work to go on display and you don’t want other children’s writing on it.
6. ‘Where in the world?‘ Using a blank map of the world, children can try to identify different countries, earthquakes, volcanoes, rivers…anything geographical based! It’s a good discussion point for when working in separate groups or as a whole class starter etc.
7. ‘What are you thinking?‘ When reading a text as a class, the type of activity in the picture below is perfect to get different opinions!
8. ‘Order’ Get the children to order numbers, history dates, parts of a story – anything that needs to be ordered, post it notes are useful for! I’ve done this for things like the 10 commandments in Judaism – children were asked to put them in order of importance. Fantastic discussions!
9. ‘Working Walls’ – Probably the most common way of utilising post it notes are for children adding answers, thoughts and ideas on working walls. This helps to identify any misconceptions that arise from lessons!
10. ‘Labelling’ – children can order different parts of a flower or scientific diagram.
11. ‘Questions‘ Children can write questions on post it notes and link it to a piece of artwork or historical figure. They’re useful for developing inquisitive minds, adding speech bubbles to drama freeze frames and so on.
12. Venn Diagrams – Using two large hoops,and two criteria, children to add numbers or shapes into the correct section!
13. ‘Thought maps’ – Fab for children’s thoughts, questions & knowledge on any given topic. Always useful to do at the beginning of a topic and at the end to establish progress much like a KWFL grid.
14. ‘Symmetry’ Give the children the chance to be creative and deepen their understanding of symmetry! The use of different shaped & coloured post it notes help here…
15. ‘Exit notes/slips’ Finally, as this is the last idea for use of post it notes, I thought it appropriate to end with it. Children can post it note what they have learnt in the lesson, day or week so it enables us, as teachers, to identify the stick-ability aspect of their learning – useful for understanding what went went (or not!)
So…what is your favourite idea for the use of post it notes above? How else have you used them in your lessons? Please share so we can all enhance our lessons for virtually no cost at all and for when making making resources is too time consuming!