Teaching Tuesday: Practice Posting and Empower Your Life and Classroom

Dr. Stephanie Knight-Hay

Teacher presenting course curriculum on whiteboard

The word "posting" has evolved into a social media term. However, "posting" a Post-it note was a term used in a simpler time. Have you ever considered the power of this brilliant invention of a sticky square piece of paper? The beauty is the versatility, ease and the efficiency they provide. Plus, they come in a variety of colors and sizes. How can you use them for yourself and in your classroom? Here are some posting ideas.

For You in Your Classroom

Classroom Management Tool

You have just finished a lesson on the book you are studying and you are observing the room. Across the rows, you see Jason doing everything but his work. You are carrying your clipboard and you also have a Post it-note pad in the clip. You quickly jot down: “Jason, if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help." This is a gentle nudge. The gentle reminder remains between you two and the disruption to the class is minimal.

Encouragement Tool

Your students are all quietly working on their essays. This is the perfect opportunity to use a Post-it note. You have read a few of the introductions as you worked the room and you return to your desk. Michelle has been struggling with her writing in the past, but as you quickly observe, she has incredible improvement in her use of colorful adjectives. You jot down; “Michelle, wow! I see you have used four colorful adjectives that make your writing come alive. Keep it up!”

Squirrel Pad Tool

Does your mind wander as you sit at your desk? Maybe while you are working, you discover a stellar lesson idea. Keep Post-it pads in your desk and next to your laptop. The minute a thought comes into your head, jot it down on your "squirrel" pad. Those squirrel thoughts can become future inventions, lessons or a task you have to complete later. Once they are on the pad, they are out of your brain space allowing you to accomplish your task at hand.

For Your Students

Annotation Tool

Your students are reading a new novel together and you want to teach them how to mark up the text. A fun way to call it is “reading with your pencil and talking to the text.” Mini Post-its are perfect for this and children love to use them. Model for them a think out loud as you demonstrate how to identify a character trait. Post it next to the paragraph where you find evidence.

Thinking Tool

Give everyone in your classroom a Post-it pad. Be very clear that it is only to be used as a “think pad” for the next task. Then ask them a question to see if they are following your lesson — like a check for understanding. Have them jot the thought on their post-it, then have them share with their partner. This way there is accountability on what they say since they had to write it independently prior to discussing. This can be used as a stop and jot at any time during a lesson.

Assessment Tool

When the students come in the room for the class, have a question on the board. Direct them to jot the answer on their Post-it pad on their desk then have them come to the board and stick it up. You could also have these be exit tickets on their way out. This is another quick and fun way to assess.

Let us go back to simpler times when “posting” was a tool for classroom fun and efficiency.

Dr. Stephanie Knight-Hay was an experienced 7th and 8th grade English language arts educator. She taught in Title One schools for eight years—helping them grow from underperforming to excelling—and then in an independent school for four years. Knight-Hay is now a Senior Adjunct Professor at Grand Canyon University’s College of Education where she teaches graduate level education and reading courses.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.