Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Easy Way to Use Sticky Notes in the Primary Classroom

Hi everyone! Lauren here, from A Teachable Teacher.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I hope those leprechauns didn't wreak too much havoc on your day. ;-)

I'm here to share a simply, easy, definitely-not-fancy-but-the-kids-think-it's-so-cool way to incorporate sticky notes into your classroom.  I shared it briefly on Instagram, but now you get all the gory details (not really).

The best part is that you can adapt this activity for any skill you're working on in class.  We just happened to be working on compound words, so I'm going to share how we used sticky notes last week.  Just a warning - the photos are not fancy, because the activity is not fancy! I just snapped the photos with my iPhone and am sharing them with you unedited! *gasp.* I know.  I thought I was a perfectionist.  But I guess today I'm just tired. ;-) #bereal 

Every week we have a story of the week. Last week it just so happened to be If You Give a Pig a Pancake and our skill was reviewing compound words.  

DAY 1: After reading the story, I passed out one sticky note to each student.  I told them they could pick any compound word in the story. (It had to be different from their partner).  On the sticky note they needed their name, the compound word (color coded), and an illustration.

Clearly, this is my favorite one.  Who wouldn't feel sorry for that poor (yet needy) pig?

After time was up, each team (table group) came to the front of the room.  Each student shared the compound word they found.  They used this sentence frame:  
I found the compound word ______.  
It is made up of the words ____ and ____.

Then comes their favorite part: Stick it on the whiteboard. I know, it's the little things! (I told you it's nothing fancy!)

DAY 2: Once again, I called each team (table group) up to the whiteboard.  I let each student pick any sticky note he/she wanted, as long as it wasn't their own.  

Students went back to their seats and they had to use the word from the sticky note in a complete sentence on their whiteboards.  They checked their partners sentence to make sure it was complete and included a capital, spaces, and punctuation.

Next, each team came up to the front of the room with their whiteboards.  Each student shared using the following frames:
I chose __(student)_'s sticky note with the compound word ____.  
Insert sentence with compound word here.

Everybody claps and the student returns to their seat.  At the very end, I let them keep their friend's sticky note.  They LOVE getting to say whose sticky note they got and they love taking it home.

Not only did we practice compound words, but we practiced them in context.  My students realized that compounds words aren't just something we are doing during grammar, they are all around us.  And because of that, I hear "Ahh, this page has a compound word!" "My sister said a compound word!"  "I saw a movie and the character used a compound word!" all.day.long.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything! =)

We also frequently do this activity with our spelling skill of the week.  How do you use sticky notes in your classroom?


  1. I love this! It is so simple and yet engaging and fun! Thanks for sharing your great idea!

  2. We love sticky notes in my classroom too. I used the bigger ones (I think they are 11x11 or so-they are bright yellow) to do some sorting activities earlier in the year and they were a big hit too. Thanks for sharing another way to use these!

    A Very Curious Class

  3. What a fun way to use sticky notes! I love that they got to pick someone else's the next day. My kids will go CRAZY for this activity! Thanks for the inspiration!
    First Grade Bangs