The Wonderful “Post-It Strategy” from Writing Fix

June 2, 2013


There is a wonderful resource for teaching writing.  It’s the best website out there that I am aware of for great ideas by excellent writing teachers in the state of Nevada.  The site is called Writing Fix.  One of the countless strategies they share is this post-it note strategy.  The post-it notes help students to analyze their writing and rate how well they did in each of the “six traits” of good writing: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions. These post-it notes are found at the website of  Writing Fix    ,which is the site of the Northern Nevada writing project (NNWP).



They have a wealth of writing lessons, prompts, and resources (many of them free) for teaching the six traits of writing, and much, much more.  I love these post-it notes, developed by Writing Fix contributor, Corbett Harrison.   You can find a free template of the Post-It sized notes on . These can either be printed on colored paper and cut out and stapled to students’ drafts, or you can purchase the post-it notes directly through Corbett Harrison.


According to Corbett, when using the post-its (for their own writing, a peer’s writing, or analyzing a published author’s mentor text), students must determine which skill on the post-it is the strongest, the second strongest, the third strongest, etc., and give them different number scores.  When students do so collaboratively, their discussions push them to think very deeply about an author’s use of the five skills on the post it.


Kim Cuevas, Northern Nevada Writing Project Director,  shares in an article she wrote that is posted on Writing Fix:  “The key with the Post-Its and the traits is to focus and keep it small. Focusing on two to three traits in each response session is plenty, so choose the traits you have been working on for a given assignment. Give students a Post-It note for one trait, or several, and have them begin by evaluating themselves in each sub-skill using a score of 1 to 5, with one being weak. Then have students discuss how they scored themselves overall with a partner, and then have them discuss what they would do to revise their two lowest sub-skills.”  This strategy really helps students improve their writing – focusing on specific areas/skills that need development.





Among some of the other excellent resources on Writing Fix are those they provide to enable students to practice for their state writing examinations in authentic ways.  Check out their page:        I will be sharing a lot of writing strategies in my future blogs.  You may also want to check out my blogs on writing difficulties that are common for students with ADHD and Learning Disabilities, and tips for parents of kids who are struggling writers.


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