The many uses of sticky notes

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Throughout my PGCE year, I used sticky notes after having seen them used during lessons I observed. At first I thought that handing out sticky notes would be a bit of a hassle, however I am not fully converted to using them in almost any lesson and with every year group. They can be used for assessing, sharing ideas and improving work.

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One way that I like to use sticky notes in particular, is in a plenary. Having differentiated tasks on the white board, which pupils can choose from to complete on their sticky notes is a simple way to assess learner progress of all attainments. However the useful addition of using sticky notes rather than just paper or completing the tasks in their exercise books is that they can then stick their responses to the whiteboard in the area of the task that they have completed. This allows the teacher to see at a glance the distribution of understanding and progress across the entire class without the immediate need to read each individual response. However, I must add that in order to truly assess learning it is important to read responses, to ensure that pupils have correctly self assessed their progress.

Furthermore, sticky notes can be used for printing feedback onto. If the sticky notes are placed onto piece of paper and then fed into the printer, it is possible to print directly onto the sticky note paper. This is particularly useful for general marking comments or when pupils are drafting coursework or practising essay writing. I stick these directly onto essay or into books where they do not tend to become unstuck and fall out.

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A final suggesting of using sticky notes is for sharing ideas. Particularly in my subject, sharing ideas and opinions is very important and happens every lesson. Sticky notes become very useful for this as they are small and portable ways to share ideas around the classroom. Pupils are able to comment on other people’s views, add counter arguments or further develop their ideas which can then be passed back to the original owner who can easily stick the note into their exercise book.

Of course, sticky notes are really just a much more convenient alternative to a small piece of paper which can be stuck down using glue. However I have found that anything that reduces the faffing around that glueing brings and reduces time spent on meaningless tasks is of benefit to use during a lesson!

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