Something magical happens to students’ brains when they are given sticky notes to use while they are reading. I have used this sticky note strategy for lessons in all subjects. It is because of this magic that every year I buy a VAST amount of sticky notes.
If they are reading textbook material (Science, History, Geography), students can take notes on stickies, ask questions, make connections or summarize different chunks of the material.
If students are reading fiction such as novels or short stories students can use the sticky notes to make chapter notes, flag interesting passages, ask questions, make connections.
Sticky notes are also a great assessment tool. Have students read a section of something, then have them ask a question about the material they just read. The teacher can collect these sticky notes and quickly see who has understood the material and who needs some more assistance.
I wanted to keep my students accountable for their independent reading practice time, but I needed a system that did not require a lot of set up and could be assessed quickly to find the immediate needs of the students. I gave every student some sticky notes. Their mission was to flag any connections they made while reading these non-fiction articles. They were to write their connections on the sticky notes. Once they have read a few articles independently I collected all their connections.
I created a simple organizer of the four types of connections and had each student write their name on the top of the organizer, then stick all their stickies under the correct connections heading. I could now quickly see who could make deep text-world connections and who needed help moving beyond text-self connections.
Leave me a comment on how you use sticky notes in your classroom or during lessons. I love to get ideas from my readers and follow teaching colleagues.
I also created these free graphic organizers to help support your students during their silent reading. The spaces on the organizers were specifically designed to leave enough room for sticky notes. Click on the image above to download these free resources for your classroom.
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