Thursday, July 12, 2018

Post-it Notes in the Classroom: Classroom Management

It takes a lot of effort to get 25 children going the same direction.  Classroom management is the key to a classroom's success.  As a college student I mistakenly thought classroom management was just your rewards/discipline system. Golden tickets or a clip chart somewhere.  (I'll give you a minute to stop laughing).
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I quickly learned that there are tons of things that need managed in a classroom!  Today I'll share ways that sticky notes (I'm partial to the Post-it brand) can help you develop stronger classroom management and organization.
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1. Making Student Groups

Pass out multiple colors of sticky notes.  Students find all of their peers who have the same color and PRESTO! They are a group.


2. Goal Getters

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I made a Goal Getters poster for students this year. They set reading level goals, sight word goals, math goals, and a goal for a district-wide assessment.  They fill in the goals on a sticky note that I pre-print (see above) and then they choose where to put theirs on the chart.

I can't find a picture of my chart and since it's summer the chart is packed away in a box at school somewhere.  This one from 3rd Grade Thoughts is similar though!


3. Blurts

UGH. The blurting drives me batty. You can use these "blurt boxes".  Students start the day (or class period) with 3. If they blurt, you quietly walk over and take one.  If they lose all 3 blurts they have whatever type of consequence you have set up in your classroom like clipping down, walking a minute at recess, doing a think sheet, etc.  You can also set it up as a chart in the classroom instead of having blurt tickets on the desks, like Polka Dot Firsties did here:
From PolkaDotFirsties




















4. Fidget Tickets

Ever had a student take off their glasses, wipe the lenses and put them back on----every 5 minutes?  Or how about the kid who puts their hair into a ponytail, then takes it down, then puts it up---every 3 minutes.
Much like Blurt Boxes, the Fidget Tickets have the same idea.  The visual helps students track their habits. 

For the kiddo with the glasses fixation, simply draw a pair of glasses on a few sticky notes.  Put these on the child's desk.  Each time they take off their glasses, they turn in a ticket (you may have to take it off the desk for them). When all the glasses tickets are used up, they aren't allowed to mess with their glasses anymore.

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5. Chill Pass

Do you have a student prone to melt-downs or work refusal?  Chill passes may be what you need!  Decide ahead of time what the chill pass MEANS.  For some schools/teachers it means the child can go sit in the counselor's room for 5 minutes.  Some schools have a dedicated sensory room for breaks. Some classrooms have a quiet corner that they use. Whatever it may be, the chill pass entitles the student to go take their break for a predetermined amount of time.
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The agreement with the student has to be that once they get back from their break, they do what is expected of them in the classroom.  If you use chill passes but come back and don't work---guess what? I'm not going to give you chill passes anymore.  We both have to keep our end of the deal.

Sticky notes can be an easy way to create a chill pass for a student.  You don't need fancy ones or purchased ones.  Just write "Chill Pass" on a sticky note and give it to the child to turn in as needed.  Some students may just need one a day. You may get a more intense kiddo that needs 5 a day to start with.

Once the student has redeemed a chill pass the teacher keeps it for the rest of the day.  The next school day the child starts the day with all of their chill passes back in their possession to use again.


6. Print on Post-its!

Would all of the special education teachers please raise their hands? This is a GAME. CHANGER.

Here's the 3 I do every week:

  • checklist for all the data I need to take (like "JD on task.  BQ voice level.")
  • rubric for the student with a voice level goal (blue sticky below)
  • defiant/opportunity tally chart, back and forth conversation chart, appropriate response tally chart (those 3 all fit on the lime green sticky pictured below).

I stick all of these right on my schedule/services log that gets carried around with me all the live long day long.  At the end of the week, the data from the sticky notes all gets entered into an Excel sheet. Bingo. Data taking is done.

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7. Color Coded Files

Each student has a hanging file and within it are various manilla files for assessments that we do all year. I use the plain manilla files and add a colored sticky note for the label.  The label has the child's initials and the assessment that will be stored in that file. Example "J.D. Sight Words."  I use the same color for the sight word folder for any student that has sight words progress monitoring.  That way, when I go to file a student's sight word assessment, my brain is trained to look for a file with a yellow sticky note label.

The phoneme segmenting assessments have a pink label.  Oral Reading Fluency assessments have an orange label.  And so forth.

Alternatively, you could use colored file folders like these:


8. Book Bin Labels

If you're looking for adorable book bin labels....this ain't it.  I'm not quite sure yet how I will divide up my growing collection of books; so when I purchased book bins, I just used a sticky note to label them for now. Easy, cheap, simple to remove or change if needed.
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9. Sitting Spots

One of my small groups gathers on the carpet squares to start off each phonics meeting.  I have a sticky note with their name on it. As they come in the room I say, "Find your square, post-it in the air!" 
They walk in, find their spot, sit and hold up their sticky note name and I take it from them.  It takes 30 seconds and then we start group.

I like this because it allows me flexibility with student seating. Rather than have them sit in the same place every day, I can move kids around as needed.

Here's what it looks like in action.  Horribly un-fancy but it works and I've invested all of 3 cents into it (been using the same Post-it notes for 5 months).  Yay for cheap and effective!
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10. Mystery Rewards

Fantastic classroom management idea from TeachingOnTheGC's instagram!  Write a reward and cover it with sticky notes.  Each time they achieve once of the sticky note skills, take it off to reveal part of the reward.  When all the sticky notes are gone, the class gets the reward!
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Photo Cred: Instagram/teachingonthegc

I could even see doing smaller scale mini ones of these (with mini sticky notes, of course!) for individual students or small intervention groups.  
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