Your post-it nightmare had me laughing! I totally thought the same thing when I started using post-its with my second graders years ago. It’s obvious that you’ve found a great way to organize their notes. Having students refer back to their post-its during conferences not only helps them to be responsible for their work, but shows that you care about what they have to say! Without a doubt, this makes your students put some effort in keeping the post-its in their books, rather than on their partner’s back!
The mentor post-it is a perfect next step. We always assume that our modeling of the strategy is enough. However, having students hold up their work against their peers is really powerful.
If you’re working on connections, you will have a wide range of responses from your students. Creating a T-Chart with two categories, such as: “I Made a Connection” and “I Made a DEEP Connection With Evidence” can get kids started with pushing themselves to think more critically. A few students can read out their post-its at the end of the lesson and work together to place their post-its in the appropriate category. A jot like, “The character lives in a big city and I live in a big city,” would go under the first category. “When the character moved to a new apartment he felt terrible. I understand how he felt because I moved to a new school and I was so scared to make new friends,” belongs in the second category. This type of reflection on their thinking will encourage them to make deeper connections the next time around.
Enjoy the bookmarks! I hope they help!
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