20 Ways to Use Sticky Notes in the Classroom

Girl places sticky notes classroom

In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver invented sticky notes by accident. Although he wanted to create a super strong adhesive, he ended up creating an adhesive that wasn’t as strong but could be repositioned to other locations. His mistake has turned out to be a huge benefit to teachers. There are so many great uses for sticky notes in the classroom. Some ways to use sticky notes include to:

  1. Check for understanding. Have students answer a question, provide an example, or complete another quick assignment to help you check for understanding of a new concept. You could do this through an exit slip as they walk out of the door.
  2. Offer praise and encouragement to students.
  3. Have students set personal goals or make your own. Hang them somewhere in the classroom where they can serve as a reminder on a regular basis.
  4. Organize your lesson plan book. Use sticky notes to add ideas and notes that wouldn’t fit in your lesson book otherwise.
  5. Take notes in books to refer to later during class discussions.
  6. Brainstorm or storyboard for an essay, using the sticky notes to organize and move ideas around.
  7. Have students leave notes during peer revision to tell other students what they did well and what they can improve on for their essays.
  8. Label items in the classroom. This is especially helpful if you teach a foreign language. Label the items in the foreign language, so students can practice how to say the word.
  9. Allow students to write questions that they have about something their learning in class.
  10. Send notes home to parents. Attach a sticky note to draw attention to something important, and let parents know what they should do with the document.
  11. Remind yourself of something that you need to do. Leave the sticky note somewhere that you’ll see it.
  12. Bookmark the part of the book that you’re reading to the class.
  13. Label things in the classroom for a substitute. Help him or her find everything around the room they need to complete your lesson plans.
  14. Play games that go along with lesson concepts. For example, if you’re teaching students how to count, you could write 1-20 on 20 different sticky notes and have students put them in order.
  15. Take a classroom poll. Ask the class a question and write possible responses on the board. Then, have students write their name and stick it under the response that they agree with the most.
  16. Have students put together a timeline of events or the plot points of a story.
  17. Make a seating chart. Then, you can move students around, as needed.
  18. Observe students in class. Add the observations to their portfolio for little anecdotes about their classroom behavior and successes.
  19. Conceal information on the board during a lesson. Have students guess what’s under the sticky note.
  20. Create a classroom graph. For example, you could have students put a sticky note under their birthday month, favorite ice cream flavor, or favorite school subject. Then, use the responses to make and discuss graphs.

There are so many uses for sticky notes in the classroom. They can enhance your lessons, simplify your life, and help your students communicate with you. What other ways have you seen sticky notes used in the classroom? Include your ideas in the comments below.

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  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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