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  • Becky Korinek

The Power of the Post-It

Updated: Mar 21

I’d like to give a shout out to 3M chemist Dr. Spencer Silver, who in 1968 unwittingly invented the post-it note. While trying for a super-sticky adhesive, he ended up with an exceptionally weak one. This invention changed the world and is currently changing my classroom.

It started the first week of school when I used the 1.5 x 2″ size to welcome my kids.


Since students had seen me handing them out, and the post-it precedent had been set, I was then free to use these notes on a whim. Students knew that was my means of communication, that getting a post-it note (PIN) was to be expected. What they DIDN’T know was the content of each note – the flexibility of the PIN is impressive. Here are a couple of samples of my recent PIN communication:


‘You’re doing so well today! Thank you!’


‘Don’t forget, your mentor is coming today!’


‘I moved you because you were talking. You’re still talking. Zip it. (smiley face)’


‘Band at 12:15 Mon/Thurs’


‘How was lunch?’ (This became a PIN conversation that went back and forth three times.)


So why the big post-it endorsement?

  • easy communication with student

  • no need to stop teaching

  • non-confrontational means of praising/encouraging/suggesting

  • does not invite a conversation or argument

I’ll certainly continue to use these handy notes with my students. Good thing I bought the economy multicolor stack at Target last week!

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