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Sticky notes can be effective tools that assist a student with: Following
directions/instructions, time management, summarizing reading content, reading
comprehension and recall, behavior modification, and semantic mapping.
How to make students want to use sticky notes?
Make it as fun as possible. Have the students color the pictures that they draw on
their sticky notes. Turn it into a game or competition.
Populations and why sticky notes work:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Helps the student
focus, decreases impulsivity, and decreases excessive talking and/or
movement around the classroom.
Learning Disabilities: Simplifies material and uses visuals to aid in recall.
English Language Learners: Helps student summarize reading and focus
on main events.

Rainbow Sticky-Note Semantic Mapping

Teaching tool where the teacher identifies a key word and instructs the students to brain storm
related words or topics. The students will place information into categories and subcategories.
This strategy is based on the idea that learning builds upon knowledge that a student already
knows or has experienced.
Population this strategy works best for?
Learning Disabilities

Teacher will identify a key word, write it on a sticky note, and place the sticky note
on the board.
Students will be instructed to get into groups and brainstorm a list of related words
and/or ideas based on what they already know about the topic.
Student will write each idea on a separate sticky note.
Teacher will collect all the sticky notes and place them on the board.
Teacher will ask each student to choose one sticky note, explain it to the class, and
place the sticky note on the board relative to the central idea.
Students will be asked to identify categories and subcategories to organize the sticky
Teacher and students will work together to correct and organize the Semantic Map.
Teacher will discuss the completed Semantic Map.

Picture-Drawing Strategy
What is it?
Teaching strategy where the student will draw pictures to represent main ideas of
the text.
Population this strategy works best for?
- Learning Disabilities

Teacher will discuss the strategy and why it is being used.

Teacher will model how to perform the strategy.
Teacher will read the text aloud, paragraph by paragraph.
Students will read along or listen as the teacher reads.
Students will draw pictures of the main ideas on their sticky notes.
At the end of the reading, the teacher will ask the students to paraphrase
main ideas.

Sticky Notes for ELL?

Sticky notes are tools to help students mark places in the reading that they would
like to refer back to later. Students will write key words on sticky notes and place
it by each section of the reading.
Students may use sticky notes to write a summary of the reading to help with
reading comprehension.
1. Teacher will read one chapter and stop.
2. Teacher instructs students to write 3-5 words that would explain what was
most important about that section.
3. Teacher will discuss the key words that the students come up with.
4. Teacher will go over their choices and the reasons for choosing them.
5. Teacher will asked the students to write a short summary of the reading on
the sticky notes.
6. Teacher will discuss the summaries and provide feedback.

Sticky notes for students with ADHD

Sticky notes are used in order to help the child with:
- Attention problems
- Impulsivity
- Decreasing the amount of talking and moving around in the classroom
Attention Problems
Selective attention problems:
Strategies include:

Teaching student to use sticky

notes to mark where they stop
during the assignment or when
they take a break.
Teacher will use sticky notes
to address a certain error in the
students work.
Ex: Place a sticky note with a
prompt that says, Dont forget
to ________.
Students can write down
specific steps and processes
that they struggle to remember.

Sustained attention problems:

Strategies include:

Students can place sticky notes on

their desk to remind them of what
they need to complete during the

Students can use sticky notes to

summarize reading material,
determine main ideas, and details.

Students can write down questions

and comments they may have
about what they are reading.

Excessive talking and moving around in the classroom

Strategies include:

Impulsivity Problems
Strategies include:

Teacher can write down alternative projects the child can do if they finish
the assignment early or become stuck. Teacher can write down the list on
a sticky note and have student choose their choices.
Ex: Practice spelling word or work on math homework etc

Teacher can create a parking lot in the classroom where any off task
comments will be written on a sticky note and placed in the parking lot.
Ex: During a science activity a student states, Grandma is coming to
town this weekend.
Teacher will redirect student to write down the inappropriate comment
they made on a sticky note and place it in the parking lot. Teacher will
discuss this with the student later.


Ellis, E. S. (1997). Watering up the curriculum for adolescents with learning..

Remedial & Special Education, 18(6), 326
Fagan, B. (2003). Scaffolds to help ELL readers. Voices from the Middle, 11(1),
38 42. Retrieved from
Rich, R. Z., & Blake, S. (1994). Using pictures to assist in comprehension and
recall. Intervention In School & Clinic, 29(5), 271.
M. A. (2008). 20 ways to...increase academic success for children with
Teacher can write down reminders of appropriate ways to get energy out in
using sticky notes and highlighters. Intervention In School & Clinic,
the classroom. Teacher will place sticky note reminders on the students desk.
Ex: Teacher will write on a sticky note, Ask teacher for a bathroom break.
Teacher can provide the student with a certain number of free movement
passes during the day. Each sticky note will represent a free pass.
Ex: One pass would state, Go get a drink of water.
-Student will choose a free pass and bring it to the teacher if they need to
leave the classroom.

For strategies involving reading comprehension and recall:
-Have students take a reading comprehension test before implementing sticky notes and a test after. This will help determine whether sticky notes are effective.
For strategies involving negative behaviors associated with ADHD:
-Document students baseline behaviors on a data sheet. After implementing sticky notes, document current behaviors to determine if negative behaviors decrease.