Laminated Poster-Boards and Post-Its

God bless them both. As Common Core makes its stake, I need more resources. I need to get the kids off the pro-board and onto their desks — but how?!

In our economy, I cannot simply go and buy 10 pads of giant post-its, a new slew of markers, a bunch of little post-its, and some new posters for my class. Instead: I have to come up with all that stuff on the cheap-side.

Which is difficult!

I started last semester with using scrapped paper (chopped up into small pieces) as my “exit tickets” and for other activities in the class that required a little bit of feedback, vs an entire sheet of notebook paper that I would inevitably have to grade.

Toward the end of the semester I started utilizing post-its. We made individual predictions and posted them on the whiteboard. We made tweets from main characters. We did all sorts of things. And the kids ATE IT UP. They love post-its: I mean who doesn’t?

Heading into this semester, I figured I’d get right to it and ask students to bring a set of post-its as required materials. We used them immediately. Yesterday we used them when making a 20 words (no more, no less) summary of the article “In Praise of the F Word.”

Today, I pegged the students into working groups by writing their names on the post-its. Not only did they know where they were going, but they had a medium on which to write their assignment (as a group). I had them agree on the 3 main ideas (and most of them were spot on!) and re-write them on the post-it (that I will use as a grade for them today).

As an exit ticket, I will have the students write their name on another post-it and then write two things they learned today. A common response was, “Well, I don’t know: I forgot.” And I smiled and shook my head, “That’s the point: look back at your notes, think!” And then they got it. Closure is so crucial. Especially when I have block schedule. An hour and a half is a lot of time and material to cover.

Post-its are great, but so is cheap poster-board. I originally purchased the board for a time-line I’m going to create in my room, but as the first day came, I knew I’d need it for other things.

I’ve used three boards to make mock-index cards with MLA citation templates for display in my room.

I bought a pack that had 4 fluorescent boards in it — which class with my color scheme so badly I can’t even explain it. I sent them up to the librarian to laminate. By yesterday morning, they were done and cut out.

Today, we used the boards for concept mapping in groups. I can’t afford giant post-its and markers but I have 10 dry-erase markers and now 4 “white-boards” for groups so… solved that problem.

We will use both the post-its (purchsed in mass quantities by a multitude) and the reusable boards throughout the semester. I’m so unbelievably excited. I know it’s just two small things but I have to be on my game and these little tricks help so much.

Today was another Common Core success, thanks to Sherry, the librarian, and my good ol’ brain. PTL.



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