The Power of the Sticky Note

It's the little things that make our students happy, isn't it? When I taught in Washington I was sitting in one of those "we're all so happy to be here" meetings and noticed that one teacher had a stack of post-it notes, and was filling out one after the other. Since I was engaged in learning easily distracted, I asked her what on Earth she was doing. She passed the notes my way. She was writing a note to each of her students to acknowledge something positive that they had done that day. She told me that she leaves them on their desks to find in the morning and some of them keep it on their desk day after day. I thought that this was a fantastic idea and began to implement it shortly after. Well, I must say, that it truly did make a difference to my students! It's funny that something so small could have such a positive impression on students, but I speak from experience when I say that it does. Now, I know what you are thinking, "When am I supposed to find the time to fill out sticky notes every day?" I don't do them every day. What I do is keep a pack of stickies on me. If I am walking around the classroom and notice that Johnny is doing a great job at __________, then I write the note as I am walking around the room and keep it with me until the students leave, then leave it on his desk to find the next morning. I don't leave one for every student every day, because I am afraid it wouldn't be as special anymore. I do keep a tally next to each student's name so that I'm sure that they are being equally distributed as well. I have one student who received two sticky notes in the first month and he proudly displays them on his desk. He's not the only one. It's amazing when little things make a big difference, isn't it?

And hey, I think my colleague was on to something. Sit in the back of the room for those meetings that are less than the most fun you've ever had, and multi-task away!

I hope that you aren't all as tired as I am at the end of a very long September. Wowzers! I think I'm really starting to feel my age these days! On that note, it's 11pm and Monday is just around the corner. Time to say goodbye for now, friends! Grab some sticky notes and make a child's day this week! You'll be glad you did!


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