Saturday, July 20, 2013

You're Doing Everything Wrong: Post-It Note Edition

Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. 
Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), You've Got Mail

I love school supplies. I haven't been in school for a very long time and don't teach anymore but I can't help myself when it comes to buying school supplies. I love it that Target has already started back to school commercials (although I'm not sure that the song "Push It" is 100% appropriate but whatever) and that the summer stuff has been reduced to one aisle and the school supplies are taking over. Come the end of August I'll go buy some new notebooks, pens, and probably a pack of post-its. Thankfully, I'm not the only one. I had this conversation with two friends this week and they were as excited as me to go buy school supplies. Maybe we'll go shopping together.

If I had to rank my favorite school supplies, post-it notes and Le Pen pens/PaperMate Flair pens would be my top choices. I'm very particular when it comes to pens; Le Pens are elegant and make me want to write letters to everyone. Flairs are like markers without being actual markers. I also like the new line of Sharpie pens (and they don't smell). There's something very satisfying in the way these pens glide across a page. The right pen makes all the difference in the world. If you replaced pencils with any of these pen types, I'd take a bouquet of them any day.

I feel about post-its the way some people feel about duct tape: you can do anything with a post-it. Need wrapping paper but you're at the office? Use post-it notes in an interesting pattern to cover the gift. Brainstorming during a team building activity (because we all have to do this all the time)? Organize your thoughts on a post-it and organize by color. Want to propose to someone? Recreate your life together in post-its (with Sharpie pens) and ask away (PS - this is one of my favorite commercials of all time). You can even prank your office mates with post-its. I also enjoy holiday themed versions and shapes (the stars are the most fun to use). I may make a post-it note Christmas tree this year. I don't really have the floor space for a tree but I do have the wall space.

Anyway, I was wasting time on Buzzfeed (because that's what I do - I'm an inside kid) and I found a post called "25 Clever Classroom Tips for Elementary School Teachers". I have a lot of teacher friends so I checked it out with the idea that I'd share it with them if there was anything good.

Check out #23 - it's the best of the list.

Making your own custom post-its - printing on post-its?! Why didn't I know about this? Why didn't I think of this first? I did a Google search after watching the tutorial and apparently, everyone else on the planet knows about this and is making all sorts of awesome custom post-its. Why didn't y'all tell me? Think of all the fun I could have been having all these years with printing my own post-its. Think of all the fun you could be having with me. I'm sad I didn't know about this when I was teaching high school; I can think of so many projects and lessons I could have used this for with my students (particularly my 9th graders). And I'm sure my custom post-its would have elicited more eye-rolls from both my students and my colleagues. Thinking about what I taught on Friday in my new hire class, I could have used custom post-its for at least two of my activities. My college application processing padlets are pretty sweet and I know everyone looooves my diagrams (we have walls you can draw on in our conference rooms) but imagine what I could do with custom post-its?

I have been doing it wrong when it comes to post-its. I have been wasting valuable post-it time. I have not really used post-its to their full potential.

But no more. I have several staff development sessions coming up in the next few weeks plus August new hire training and at least one of those sessions is going to include some custom post-its. Prepare for the awesome.

You can download the templates mentioned in the tutorial on the ELA Seminars site. There are other versions on the interwebs if you search or you could make your own templates if you're so inclined.

Coming Soon: I always complain that people in the DC area (or the DMV if you prefer) don't take full advantage of all the amazing and fun things there are to do here. (And lots of it is free - what is wrong with everyone?) Since I'm no DC expert myself, I've enlisted several of my friends to plan DC Days for me and I'll document my trips around town here on the Island. DC Days (probably not the name - I'll think of something better) start in August. 

Post-it note tree photo from:

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