Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Power of a Post-It

My shelf is filled with a variety of Post-It Notes for different occasions. From marking to AfL, the humble Post-It has found its way into many of my lessons and it's definitely here to stay.


After a fantastic twilight with AfL guru Claire Gadsby, I saw just how effective a small, sticky piece of paper can be. If a pupil hasn't fully grasped a concept, write a little reminder of the workings on a Post-It. The Post-It can then travel with them through their book until a time you feel it can be removed and put onto a 'Progress Chart' or 'Wall of Knowledge'. If the error rears its ugly head again, the Post-It comes back off the wall and goes straight back into the book that it came from. The idea that the Post-It travels with the pupil is invaluable. I often found myself writing similar comments over a few pages if feedback had not been acted on but this eradicates the problem. As a result of the Post-Its, pupils now actively carry them across a series of pages or even between units of work.

Purple Post-It of Progress

Has a pupil completed their work to a really high standard making it hard to set a target? I use a purple (often deemed to be the colour of progress) Post-It to set an additional challenge. Examples are:

  • Now that we've seen... can you add... to this piece?
  • Can you use help somebody who hasn't quite grasped this?
  • Could you write an explanation of...? 
  • Can you annotate the key parts of your work that make it good? 
  • What could you do to make this work even better?

If pupils actively engage with these Purple Post-Its, it allows them to stretch and challenge themselves while acting as a form of differentiation for the top end pupils.

Speech Bubbles

These are an absolute steal at only 80p a pack at Wilko. I use these for when I've given a pupil oral feedback in class. It's often the case that you spend 2-3 minutes chatting to a pupil about how to further improve or how their work is going but once this is said, how much do they actually remember? After conversations, give pupils one of these Post-Its to 'Catch Your Comment'. Can they write what you told them? How are they best going to express what you said in a way which will help them remember? This also serves as a reminder to you as to why a certain student may have not finished an activity!

Arrow Labels

Another absolute steal from Wilko at only £1.00 for 150 stickers. These serve as another item of paraphernalia when it comes to my marking. I use these to draw attention to targets, excellent pieces of work or grammar points that are important for Controlled Assessment work. After spending 5 weeks on a topic, pupils aren't likely to remember where all the key content is for their Controlled Assessment and these just serve as a gentle pointer of where to be looking in order to secure those all important marks. 

I've also heard squeals of 'Oh my god, look at this Post-It, it's telling me what I need to do!".

If only I could get these in TL!

Post-It Plenary

I can guarantee that everybody has had that spare five minutes at the end of the lesson where they're not entirely sure what to do in order to keep the class entertained. Post-Its can act as a really quick and easy method of AfL. One of my favourites is giving pupils a basic sentence and seeing what they can add based on the lesson they've just sat through. Get the pupils to come out and stick them on the board effectively acting as an exit ticket while providing you with a very clear picture of who has picked up what in your lesson. Sometimes I get pupils to swap Post-Its and translate what their partner has written too which tests both their receptive and production skills.

Got any other great Post-It tips?
Leave a comment below!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these really good ideas! have the speech bubbles and I agree that they are very useful :-)