Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Post-Its---Great Tools to Involve Students Who Hate Writing:)

How can teachers motivate students to stay on task and enjoy the learning process along the way?  POST-IT NOTES! 

For students to process new information, they must take notes along the way of what they want to remember, what they don’t fully understand, what connections to prior learning, what they may wish to share with partners or small learning groups, etc. 

Binder paper is bulky to work with.  Further, students with limited English skills in both reading and writing (English language learners especially) may feel a bit intimidated by a sheet of paper.  So what is a realistic alternative that every student will warmly welcome?  POST-ITS!

How might teachers incorporate their use in the classroom?  Here are some approaches:

1.     Teachers give a pre-reading activity where students are expected to explore unfamiliar material (as a pre-curser to the lesson) in small groups.  As they analyze the text in teams, they note their reactions, questions, and thoughts to share with their partners on the post-it.  Such a small slip of paper is not intimidating since they can note anything from a complete sentence to a powerful vocabulary word.  Students are also free to draw images that tie into what they understood as well.  For some students a picture can be worth a thousand words.  Once the small groups have gathered their notes and reached a consensus on their take on the reading, they can defend their interpretation citing their notes.
2.     How about using post-its as EXIT TICKETS throughout the lesson?  Instead of a raise of hands (not often very effective since students who don’t understand are not likely to admit it in front of the entire class), teachers can assign 3 numbers with each indicating a level of understanding (no names):  3-I understand everything and be able to explain it to a classmate without help, and 3-I really don’t understand most of it.  The results would be posted on 1 wall.  Since there is no grade, students would not be afraid to be truthful.  The teacher could do a quick glance over and adjust delivery as needed.
3.     What about using post-its as quick notes of recognition for hard work?  These notes would not have grades.  Instead, they would be attempts to recognize hard work and staying on task.  This type of respect for student work boosts self-esteem and that leads to increased engagement in the lesson.

There are also POST-IT apps that might be used if students have cell phones.  Sharing could be done with ease and students would enjoy it.  Here are 13 ways to bring in virtual post-its into a classroom and they are free!

Enjoy the links and have fun with your students using post-itsJ

Denise, Marnie, and Cheryl
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