Sticky notes – children seem to be obsessed with them.
Earlier this year, I was teaching a Year 2 class that would do ANY activity if it involved adhering a sticky note to something. The whiteboard, their books, each other…you name it, if you could stick a sticky note on it, you had captured their attention! Sticky notes’ ability to stick and re-stick time and again make them a great time- and money-saving hack when it comes teaching.
I’m sure that’s what Dr Spencer Silver intended when he stumbled upon the low-strength adhesive in his lab back in 1968, right?
The invention of sticky notes may have been an accident, but these 36 sticky note tips will help even the most uninspired teacher intentionally make learning “stick” in their classroom!
36 Sticky Notes Tips to Make Learning Stick
Classroom Jobs/Roles – Create easily interchangeable name tags and labels for all of your posters and charts that need regular updating. Display one of our many colourful Classroom Jobs Teaching Resources and use sticky notes to make rotating the weekly jobs roster a breeze!
How Are You Feeling Today? – This is a great, easy to use idea for students who may need a little help expressing their emotions.
Blurt Chart – As an alternative to our Blurt Buttons management strategy, ask your students to try to keep three sticky notes next to their name, by being more mindful about blurting out. At the end of the week, the students with all three notes get a reward!
Sticky Note Incentives – Use our Sticky Note Printing Template and read our blog on How To Print On Sticky Notes to create some sticky note incentives. Display them on a rewards chart for enticing rewards that your students can choose from.
Progress Tracking – Display our fantastic Summit of Success Goal Mountain to motivate your students to achieve their goals! Each time students reach one of their goals, they can move their Mountain Goat sticky note to the Summit of Success Goal Mountain.
Once the whole class has filled the mountain they get a reward of your choosing!
Mystery Rewards – Create a grid of sticky notes that are covering a secret reward. Remove a sticky note every time your class achieves a goal.
Feedback – Give relevant and immediate feedback when marking student work. Stick the note over a child’s writing so they know exactly what you’re referring to.
Encouragement – Leave encouraging notes for your students if you’re going to be away or know they’ve worked really hard on something. It’s a surprise they’ll love!
Send Home Notes – Carry a pad of sticky notes around with you during the day. Use it to write notes and feedback to parents when things pop into your mind. Stick it in a student’s diary before the end of the day. Time-saving and memory saving!
Fact Families – Use numbers on sticky notes to provide students with an easy way to arrange and rearrange multiplication and division fact families.
Tell The Time – Use sticky notes to create a clock face. Have hours on top and lift the flap to reveal the minutes!
Build a Column Graph – Give your class a survey question and a sticky note. Have them write their answer on their sticky note, then create a large column graph on the whiteboard to display their results! You can also use colour coded sticky notes to create a visually pleasing column graph display.
Long Division Teaching Strategy – Colour coded sticky notes make great visuals to cement the properties of long division. Divide, multiply, subtract, repeat!
Demonstrate Regrouping – Sticky notes make a great manipulative to demonstrate regrouping numbers in addition and subtraction.
Write the whole number on the sticky note, then cut the tens from the ones to regroup to the next column.
Missing Addends – Students can choose from a selection of sticky notes to fill in the blanks with missing addends.
Word Walls – Ask students to add a sticky note to the class word wall when they think of a word. Categorise their words and rearrange the notes to fit under each category.
Story Map – Similar to the reading notes, students can use sticky notes to help unpack a story. Project or enlarge and display our Story Map Worksheet. As you read, have your students contribute their ideas by adding sticky notes to the display!
Persuasive Tug of War – Use our Persuasive Topic Cards for Upper Primary and Persuasive Topic Cards for Lower Primary to select a debate topic, and divide the class into two teams – ‘For’ and ‘Against’.
Give them five minutes to think of as many arguments as possible. Stick the arguments as ‘tugs’ onto either side of the debate wall and the team with the most valid ‘tugs’ wins!
Descriptive Writing – Make editing visible. Encourage your students to read over their written work and target vocabulary that could be improved. They can show you their improvements by placing a sticky note with the new word over the old!
Sticky Note Letter Hunt – Write single letters, digraphs and consonant blends on sticky notes and place them around the room. Give the class a countdown timer to make as many words as they can by collecting sticky notes. Bonus points for multiple syllables!
Spelling Practice – Students can use sticky note letters, digraphs and blends to make words. Encourage your class to practise their onset and rime skills by using colour coded sticky notes. Our Consonant Blend Consonant (CVC) Words worksheet work beautifully with an alphabet of sticky notes to practise matching consonants to the correct word.
Games and Puzzles
Connect 4 – The timeless classic can be made into a whole class game. Draw up a giant grid on your whiteboard, ask each student to write their initials onto four sticky notes and let the games begin!
Stinky Feet Game – This game is a great long-term behaviour management challenge – with a twist. Create a display with sticky notes with points written on the underside of them. Every time a team is deserving of some points, they get to choose a sticky note. There is a catch…some notes are ‘stinky’ and have negative points written on them! Count the points at the end of the week, or have teams bring you their notes straight away and re-stick the notes near the display to use next time.
Sticky Note Sudoku – Prepare the answers to a Sudoku challenge on sticky notes in advance. Have your students fill in the blank Sudoku boxes. For a challenge, make it a race!
Secret Sticky Note Quiz – There’s no better way to get brains firing than setting a challenge question! Freshen up your warm ups by sticking a different question under each student’s chair. An added bonus is that it is easy to differentiate between students with different ability levels!
Teacher Planner Organising – Turn your teacher planner into a ‘lift the flap’ book for yourself. Put a sticky note flap over each lesson to maximise space. Use the sticky notes to keep track of anecdotal messages to yourself about students’ work, lesson outcomes, or behaviour.
Seating Chart Planning – Student seating arrangement is one of the most important organisational routines to carry out each year (or even each term!). Create an easily manipulated seating chart with sticky notes.
Sticky Note Paper Bag Animal – Use sticky notes to create these adorable Sticky Note Animals on paper bags. Your students can create this for an art project, STEM challenge, or simply as a fun end of year activity! Re-purpose the paper bags as piñatas, party bags, or cute animal displays in the classroom.
Transforming Origami Star – Your students will love our tutorial on this Origami Transforming Star Using Sticky Notes. This is a great art activity that also aids in fine motor development. Just make sure you keep your ‘ninjas’ in check so they don’t go flying across the room!
Design Pixel Art – Design an image on a piece of grid paper and then recreate it using sticky notes for pixelated art fun! Our Hundreds Board Mystery Picture Task Cards provide a great opportunity for this activity to be cross-curricular linked to maths.
Mosaic Mural – Take your pixel art to the next level by creating a mural on your class window – made entirely of sticky notes!
5 Senses Visual Stimulus Labels – Give your students a visual stimulus, such as our Narrative Prompt Posters and brainstorm what they see, hear, smell, taste and feel when looking at the image. Stick their ideas on the picture and get writing!
Mapping Skills – Use this activity to get to know your students – where are you from, where have you travelled, where do you want to go? For the upper grades, use sticky notes with our Map Templates for students to show their knowledge and understanding of place names, climate zones, landmarks…the list is endless! Cut sticky notes into strips to make it easier to label with more detail.
Exit and Entry Slips – Give students a sticky note to write something they learned from the lesson – they must post it on the ‘Exit’ board before being able to leave the room for lunch!
Sticky Notes Parking Lot – Do you ever get asked a question during a lesson and go off on a tangent that prompts more questions that send you off on further tangents…until you can’t even remember what you were talking about in the first place? Save your sanity and create a Sticky Notes Parking Lot for students’ questions that you can come back to and answer later.
KWL Chart– This is a great hack to use when creating an evolving KWL chart in the classroom. Display our adorable polkadot Know Wonder Learnt – KWL Chart and encourage students to track their knowledge and understanding as you progress through a unit of work.
There really is no end to the usefulness of sticky notes in the classroom!
How have you helped learning ‘stick’ in your class with sticky notes?
Use #teachstarter and share your tips and tricks with us!