For this project, I brought out our Stoplight Cards:
|There are 3 pictured here- each open to the different colors|
What is their purpose? To help the teacher (me) know who needs help, who has a question, who may be stuck, or who is smooth sailing.
Here's how it works:
If a kiddo comes to something they have a question about, they flip their card to yellow and continue to work on something else. I am wandering about the classroom and as soon as I see a yellow card, I check in to see how I can help. When their question has been answered, they flip back to green and I move on to the next.
A student can flip their card to red only if they are completely stuck and cannot do anything else related to our project. In that case, instead of leaving it on the desk, they hold it in the air so I can see it better and come over as soon as possible.
Green cards up tell me that they are doing well and no questions or concerns are arising. I still check in with them and ask questions and check their understanding- all that good teacher stuff- but it is not in response to an immediate concern.
Here are a few green card students at work (I couldn't get pics of the yellow cards because I always forgot!):
|Kids can work someplace comfortable in the room, and these are small enough for easy transport!|
- I am finding all of the facts I need (green)
- I found a cool interesting fact I can't wait to share (green)
- I don't know what a word means and I've tried my strategies (yellow)
- I am having trouble finding information about their habitat (yellow)
- Are these enough facts? (yellow)
- I am completely stuck, can't find any information, don't know where to look, and am starting to feel very frustrated (red)
I also appreciate how these cards challenge kids to leave a problem and go to another topic while they wait for me to come and answer their question. This helps to build their independence and oftentimes, they will be able to answer their own question when I come to check in because they have been away from it for a bit- good life lesson!
I keep all of these Stoplight Cards in a bin and collect them when we are done so they stay safe.
Do you do any specific management techniques during group work time? How do you avoid the "conductor" role when kids have questions?