7 Ways to Use Post-It Notes in the Classroom

I know, I know.  I’m in the middle of a series on behavior, but I keep interrupting myself.  However, I really wanted to take advantage of the chance to link up with Speech Time Fun with the How Do You Use It linky because I simply CANNOT live without post-it notes in the classroom.  Really!  I can’t!  They are only slightly less important to me than Velcro (and that’s really just because I’ve run classrooms with no Velcro and used paperclips for attaching the kids’ schedules).  So, before I get started, just a couple of notes.  Never fear, the 5 Steps to Meaningful Behavioral Support posts will be back soon (unless I get distracted–Oh, look, a squirrel!).  Really, I only have a few more distracting posts to insert into the series.  It’s summer!  If you need your behavior fix, you can find the series HERE.  If you are looking for your Workbasket fix in the linky, you can find it HERE.  In the meantime, if you want to see ideas about how to use post-it notes in the classroom, keep reading.

1.  You know I’m a data geek, so this should come as no surprise.  I use post-it notes to take data on when I’m mixing up skills I’m teaching in discrete trials (and in group instruction when I don’t want to find the little box).  It’s easy to take data on the post-it all in one place and then transfer it sometimes.  I love these graph paper post-its as well…you can get them through Amazon and I’ve included an affiliate link at the end of the post for easy reference.

2.  Also not surprising, since i love data and feedback, I love to use post-it notes when I review students’ data, particularly to give feedback to staff.  This allows me to leave positive feedback about things that are going well and reminders of about what might be missing.  For instance, I like to try to get at least 5 opportunities for a skill in a specific activity which isn’t always easy.  This is probably the most common reminder I use, but this was really good data collection too so I wanted to make sure to give some positive feedback as well.  It makes for easy reference when I am writing up consultation reports as well.  I love these Super Sticky post-its because they don’t get disconnected from the data in the paper shuffle (there is an affiliate link below for reference too).

3. I work in many classrooms that are not my own and I don’t always have something I need to pull out and model for the staff or try with a student to see if it works.  Sometimes I’ve remembered to throw a token board in my bag, but most of the time it’s not handy.  Post-it notes make for an easy way to throw together a reinforcement system for work or group times.  They are especially helpful if I can’t use an app on my iPhone beause the student becomes too distracted.  Most of the time it works best when the student can read, because I cannot draw the reinforcer picture, but sometimes just the visual representation of what he or she needs to complete is enough.

Post-its are also great for creating impromptu schedules, whether (4) mini-schedules or (5) first-then.  I also use them to substitute for a missing visual on a schedule in a pinch (and then replace it later).  Again, this works best if the student’s can read, but for the first-then I can sometimes point to the materials (e.g., point to the math sheet then point to the “first” note; point to the computer and then point to the “then” note) and the student gets what it means.  I’m also a big fan of mini-schedules or breaking a single task down into the steps to get through it.  Post-its are a great tool to use on the fly so I try to always have some nearby.

6. Post-its are also great for giving visual cues to adults.  They are great for reminders but also to give them scripts and ideas about how to expand language in activities.  This one is giving directions for how to expand language when reading the story to the class.  I’ve talked about this use before HERE.

7.  They are also a great way to create communication scripts on the fly and make it easy to fade them out.  You can see here how the scripts just change by dropping off the last word and leaving a blank until there is just a blank note and then a scrap of a note at the end to fade out the script entirely. I talked more about the use of scripts for communication and this process HERE.

Wow, there are so many more uses that came to mind just while writing this post. You could use post-its for response cards in the classroom.  Give students 2 colors–yellow is yes, red is no. Or have them write their answers on the post-its and hold them up (I do this in training with adults to increase engagement).

I also use them for impromptu parking lots to show students where to set down a favorite item (read: perseveration) while we work, so they always know they can get it back.  The post-it note can create that spot for them at least temporarily.

So, are you looking for more ideas about how to use post-its in speech or the special education classrooms?  Check out the link-up at Speech Time Fun.

And if you are looking for new and interesting post-it notes like the ones I talked about above or just ones to make things more interesting in the classrooms.  You might want to check these out from Amazon.

Amazon.com Widgets

Until next time,

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