25 Sticky Note Teacher Hacks You’ll Want to Steal

So many ways to help learning stick!

25 Ways to Use Sticky Notes in the Classroom - WeAreTeachers

Sticky notes got their start nearly 40 years ago, when 3M introduced the now-classic yellow Post-it Notes. In the years since, their popularity has skyrocketed, and they’re now available in every shape, size, and color you can imagine. They have endless applications, especially in schools; teachers use sticky notes for math, reading, art, planning, and so much more. Here are 25 clever ways to use sticky notes in the classroom.

Bonus Tip: Did you know you can easily print on sticky notes? Get a free template here!

1. Share what they’re reading.

Sticky Notes Head over Heels for Teacching

Have students write the title of the book they’re currently reading on a sticky note, including the date and page number they’re on. As they finish each book, ask them to rate it and indicate whether they’d recommend it to their classmates.

Source: Head over Heels for Teaching via Instagram

2. Simplify long division.

Post Its Middle School OCD

If dividends, divisors, and differences are confusing your students, help them connect the dots using sticky notes. This hands-on method shows exactly where each number comes from, using color to help guide the way. More info at the link below.

Source: Middle School OCD

3. Play sticky notes Sudoku.

Post Its School Time Snippets

This modified version of the popular numbers game is great for younger kids. For older kids, increase the number of colors and the size of the grid or write numerals on the sticky notes instead of using different colors.

Source: School Time Snippets

4. Design pixelated art.

Sticky Notes E is for Explore

Art meets math as students measure, graph, and create their works of art using sticky notes. Each student can do their own, or have them work in groups to create larger masterpieces.

Source: E is for Explore

5. Practice writing names.

Sticky Notes Here Come the Girls

This works for any kind of writing, but names are a good place for very young kids to start. First students match the letters, then they practice writing them on sticky notes.

Source: Here Come the Girls

6. Make sticky note words.

Post Its Teacher Bits and Bobs

Making words is a fun way for kids to learn sounds and spelling, but letter tiles or cards are easy to lose. Use sticky notes instead—they’re a lot easier to keep track of. Get free printable templates at the link below.

Source: Teacher Bits and Bobs

7. Post it and prove it.

Post Its Teaching HS Math

Check students’ grasp of the concepts you’ve just taught by requiring an “exit ticket” on their way out the door. Give them a question and have each student write their name and answer on a sticky note, posting it to the chart as they leave. Afterward, you can review the answers to see who got the concepts and who needs a bit more help.

Source: Teaching High School Math

8. Set classroom or individual goals.

Post Its SS Blog

Challenge students to set goals, for themselves or for the whole class, and post them as reminders. Move achieved goals to a different chart and celebrate success.

Source: Reflections of an Intentional Teacher

9. Hold a sticky note art show.

Post Its Insta artofteaching

Choose a wall and hold an art show! With such small canvasses, there’s no need to limit how many submissions can be displayed, and the creative options are endless.

Source: Art of Teaching via Instagram

10. Build bar graphs.

Sticky Notes Education to the Core

Introduce this graphing concept by using sticky notes. (Bonus points for using shaped notes that apply to your subject!)

Source: Education to the Core

11. DIY a lesson-plan book.

Post Its Wise and Witty Teacher  

End the expensive search for the perfect lesson planning book … just make your own! The Wise and Witty Teacher walks you through the steps at the link below. You’ll turn an ordinary spiral notebook into a customized planner. Amazing!

Source: The Wise and Witty Teacher

12. Create a story map.

Sticky Notes Growing Kinders

First, make a reusable story map anchor chart. Then, use sticky notes as you map out the story’s characters, settings, theme, and more.

Source: Growing Kinders

13. Mark text for close reading.

Post Its Performing in Education

Close reading involves marking the text to help kids read for purpose. But what about when it’s a library or school-owned book, and marking it up just won’t do? That’s when sticky notes save the day! Use different colors for different concepts and write notes as needed. Get a free printable bookmark to help with close reading at the link below!

Source: Performing in Education

14. Teach variable substitution.

Post Its Middle School OCD Substitution

If your students are having trouble grasping the idea behind substituting numbers for variables, sticky notes can help. Just write the numbers on the notes and stick them into the equation where needed. 

Source: Middle School OCD

15. Review using Connect Four.

Post Its Insta miss5th

Turn pre-test review into a game! Break students into teams. Each right answer gives them the chance to place their color on the board, in a race to see who can connect four squares first.

Source: miss5th via Instagram

16. Draw sticky note portraits.

Post Its Mrs Crosbie

In this twist on sticky note art, students practice drawing to a grid, using individual notes. For a bit of surrealist fun, they can mix up the notes when they finish!

Source: Mrs. Crosbie

17. Indicate when help is needed.

Post Its Love Teach Inspire

Give each kid a red sticky note, a yellow sticky note, and a green sticky note. They can stick corresponding sticky note on the side of their desk during independent work time to show you if they’re struggling or succeeding, without speaking up and interrupting others.

Source: Love. Teach. Inspire.

18. Demonstrate regrouping.

Sticky Notes The Classroom Key

“Carry the one” can be a tricky idea to grasp. Make the visuals easier to understand with a sticky note and a pair of scissors.

Source: The Classroom Key

19. Put up a parking lot.

Post Its Math Coachs Corner

No need to pave paradise … a simple piece of chart paper will do. Use sticky notes to “park” questions that will be answered later or need some research.

Source: Math Coach’s Corner

20. Construct a sticky note clock.

Post Its Home Savvy A to Z

Tired of hearing “What time is gym class?” and “How much longer till lunch?” Use sticky notes instead of numbers and change as needed each day. Make your own clock using a clock kit and cork board as shown or buy a simple model.

Source: Home Savvy A to Z

21. Spread some kindness.

Post Its Pinterest Samantha Dyer

Such a simple way to encourage kindness among your students every day. Write thoughtful notes and stick them to the board for others to take and pass on.

Source: Samantha Dyer via Pinterest

22. Offer a mystery reward.

Post Its Insta teachingonthegc

Write a mystery reward on a piece of paper, then cover it with goals written on sticky notes. As each goal is achieved, remove the note to reveal the reward!

Source: Teaching on the GC via Instagram

23. Write a collaborative card.

Sticky Notes Flapjack Educational Resources

Want to send a thank-you note to a classroom visitor or a message to a sick classmate? Instead of individual cards or passing around one for all to sign (“What if I make a mistaaake?”), have students write their messages on sticky notes and assemble them into one card.

Source: Flapjack Educational Resources

24. Remind them what matters.

Post Its The Middle School Counselor

Ask students to help come up with ways to make their school the best it can be and post them to a board for all to see.

Source: The Middle School Counselor

25. Reflect on the day’s learning.

Sticky Notes Simply Kinder

Use this clever anchor chart idea to reflect on the day’s lessons and experiences. Ask each student, “What stuck with you today?” and leave it up as a reminder for the following morning.

Source: Simply Kinder

How do you use sticky notes in the classroom? Come and share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our favorite dollar store hacks for the classroom.

25 Sticky Note Teacher Hacks You’ll Want to Steal

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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