We have a visual learner in the family, who’s also got an ADD diagnosis, and like most visual learners struggles with writing essays. So, this weekend I showed him the sticky note trick and what normally takes him hours to complete was done in 30 minutes!
Here’s what we did:
First, he explained the assignment. We had a brief chat about it so I could be sure he understood and was ready to write. With a stack of sticky notes in hand, I had him tell me what he wanted to say. As he talked, I wrote one brief sentence (or part of sentence) on a sticky. We continued until he said all he wanted to say. I was careful to limit what was on the sticky to simple words that conveyed his idea, but they were his words.
Next, he read through the sticky notes and grouped them by subject. Each group represented a different paragraph. Then he put each group of stickies in order. He was very thoughtful as he considered them carefully.
Now it was time for grandma to step aside as he started writing, turning what was on the stickies into full sentences. I was quite impressed at the way he charged into it, very confidently writing sentence after sentence.
When he finished, we did a quick review, checking spelling and punctuation. He made the needed corrections. And ta da – writing assignment complete!
Visual kids are always so busy thinking and have so many ideas, when it comes time to write they’re overwhelmed by possibilities. When teachers or parents see their blank paper, it can seem like they have nothing to say. But it’s quite the opposite. Using sticky notes helps capture their thoughts and gives them control over organizing them so they can write.
I used this technique with my visual son all through school. It started with me writing on the stickies and him ordering them. As he got older, he did the writing himself. He even used the technique in college to write his papers, using bigger sticky notes and lots more of them. For us visual people, it’s a technique with limitless potential and it works every time.
Here’s a quick video showing another variation of writing with stickies.