In this blog post, I am going to be showing you 7 practical ways to use sticky notes in English class, aside of course from reminding yourself of your to-do lists.
Sticky notes got their start nearly 40 years ago, and the yellow-classic-notes were used when 3M introduced them to the schools and offices. In a short span of years, the popularity of sticky notes has skyrocketed, and this might be the reason why they are now available in every size, color, and shape.
Nowadays, post-it notes have applications in schools and colleges where teachers use them in Maths, art, reading, writing, and many other activities.
1. As exit slips
All you have to do is to provide kids with red, green, and yellow sticky notes and ask them how they are feeling after the end of the lesson.
Green means they have got everything; yellow means they are struggling to understand; and red means they are stuck somewhere. This will help you understand which student is getting the lectures and who isn’t.
Ask them to write their comments on the post-it notes such as what they liked about the lesson, any questions that they may have or things that they want to know more about.
These color-coded sticky notes will not only tell you right away the impact of your lesson but also give you specific insights about your students.
2. As a vocab game
Now here’s a fun way for your EFL/ESL students to learn new vocabulary words!
Write some letters on sticky notes and mix them. Now, ask your kids to make new words from the mixed letters and paste them on the empty spaces on the board.
It’s true that you can do this activity using tiles or cards, but they are easy to lose, and obviously they don’t stick on their own. This is why I recommend using sticky notes instead – there’s just no fear of losing them as they are sticky and they are easy to rip-off as well.
3. Setting short-term goals
One of the ways to use sticky notes in English class is for setting short-term goals! According to research, people tend to act more on their goals when they have written them on their book, pages, or sticky notes!
Allow or teach your students to use sticky notes for writing up their individual goals or language goals in order to complete them on time. Hang them somewhere in the classroom where they can serve as a reminder on a regular basis.
4. Sharing what they’re reading
Have students write the titles of the book which they are currently reading on the sticky notes, including the page number, date & time, and other relevant things.
This will help them be accountable and keep them on track of their reading. Seeing their peers progress encourage students to do the same.
When they finish the book, ask them for feedback and indicate whether they are going to recommend it to their classmates or not.
5. As scratch paper
Most of our course books ask our students to describe a thing, talk to their partner or answer comprehension questions. In most of my EFL/ESL classes, students need ample time to think first before actually producing the language so I ask them to get a sticky note and write down their ideas.
Sure they can use their notebook but post-it notes stay on the page that the notes are about. They come in handy during review.
6. Moving ideas around
Are students putting together a timeline of events or the plot points of a story? Sticky notes are really good for such brainstorming activities as they are easy to organize or move around the table or board!
7. Leaving instant feedback
I like to go around the classroom while students are working. Sometimes they are so focused and quiet that I don’t want create a distraction by talking to one student or two. What I do is that I use sticky notes instead to leave short comments and instant feedback that students can read on their own.
Similarly, I encourage students during peer reviews to leave notes that contain their feedback on the other student’s work. I think this gives a more personal touch compared to using pre-formatted forms.