6 Ways to Incorporate Post-Its into your Instruction

Post-its aren't just for student notebooks during reading time or reminders for you on what you need to complete over your prep. There's lots of ways to incorporate this simple tool into your instruction! Take a look at 6 ways I've used them in the classroom!


How to implement: Posts-its are great for creating bar graphs in the classroom. I put a piece of colored duct tape down as my axis and label the categories with a sharpie. Students write their name on a post-it and place it on the category that fits them. Consider use sentence strips to label what the axis represents.

Other ideas: Think if you want to use color to show other patterns. If you are doing a graph on the number of siblings, maybe give all first born students one color, second borns another color and so on. That way, you can discuss your graph in multiple ways. Use for actual math lessons or for morning meeting activities and sharing.


How to implement: Pose a question and have students write their response on a post-it. Then, attach the post-its to a board or large piece of paper (fire optional). Number students off and give them 1 board for each group. Students go around sharing response around the camp fire and discuss what they think. I often don't have students put their names on these and they aren't always in a group with their post-it- it makes students think about the content on the post-it and not who wrote it.

Other ideas: Use for math strategies- students solve a problem and groups discuss/explain how each person solve it. Practice book club and lit circle discussions with accountable talk. 


How to implement: Keep your vocabulary board alive and well! Use post-its to create categories for students to help reference and connect their vocabulary words. The beauty- have students think of how words can be grouped together and have them create their own headers. Instead of grouping words alphabetically, going this route will make your students have to think about their vocabulary word in a different way: "I'm looking for a word used to describe the degree of an angle"

Other ideas: Add quick pictures or other helpful hits to your post-it headers. In the above, I included pictures but also used roots and suffixes to help build in additional supports, such as for the word polygon. Change groups/headers even with the same unit words to help students see other connections between their vocabulary words.


How to implement: Print off images that go with your unit of study and use post-its as your vocabulary cards. Words that are related to a particular concept go under the picture for students to reference.

Other ideas: Decide if you will make them previously, complete with definitions, of pass that work onto your students. Give each group a word and have them practice using dictionaries to find the definition and put it into their own words. Then have students present their word and post it under the appropriate picture for other groups to use and reference. 


How to implement: Post-its are great to make interactive anchor charts. You lay out the outline but leave the meaty work to do together. Prepare your post-its to whatever degree you want. In this chart, I started by just putting each word on a post-it and had students help me place them on when we are most likely to first encounter that word. We then defined it and I wrote the definition with them. You can see the words that we hadn't learned yet at the bottom of the chart without a definition.

Other ideas: You can use this with any content or unit. It's become one of my go-to strategies for making charts as it lets me plan out what I want to get out of the chart, but students still use the chart because they helped in its creation. Consider a variety of post-it styles and sizes. I've used arrow shaped ones for cause/effect relationships for example. 


How to implement: This is a chart fully made out of post-its in a matrix style. When working on broadening our vocabulary for character traits, we made this chart. I gave each student a word and they had to find other people with the same colored post-it. They then had to figure out what all of these words had in common (the top row was not passed out or shared yet). We then put them in an order from what we though were the weaker words vs stronger words. When students then were writing about their biography characters, if they wanted to say their person was honest, they could work towards picking a stronger word (we used our seed, seedling, tree, apple tree rubric system). What I enjoyed about this matrix is I could take columns out. I got tired of hearing brave, fearless, courageous, so I just removed that column and forced students to think of other actions and pick a new word. The matrix using post-its allowed us to be flexible.

Other ideas: Use it for when to use certain transition words in writing (transition words for opinion writing perhaps). For more of a challenge, don't color code post-its. 

What's your favorite way to use post-its?



  1. Love your ideas. I was wondering if you had a link to the fire cards? I love that idea!

    1. Hi Stephanie! I'm not quite sure what you mean? I just took a whiteboard and drew a fire onto it. Then students posted their responses to the question I had asked them (it was a question about respect for this particular time). I use this strategy for a variety of things and don't have a set of fire cards- I just ask it verbally when it comes up and they write their answer. I hope that makes sense and I answered your question. If I didn't, feel free to elaborate more :)

  2. Where did you get your math vocabulary cards?

    1. I made them to match our curriculum. Sad news is now I'm moving up to 4th grade so I will need to make new ones haha!

  3. Your cards look like they go with our 4th grade curriculum. I would be willing to buy them from you! They look great!


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