Stacking Cups for the Middle School Classroom
I like to give my students ample opportunities to work independently in science class. Each lab group is given a set of green, yellow and red cups. The students use the cups to signal their needs just like a stop light. As I walk around the room, I can quickly see who is working smoothly, who has a quick question who needs my immediate attention.
My goal is to foster growth in independent management and learning at the middle school level. Releasing students to work in small collaborative groups helps them begin to think about their learning. Students are developing metacognitively by monitoring their own progress and evaluating their need for assistance. They need to think about what level of assistance they really need. If they have a problem or a question, does it really mean that they have to stop in their tracks or can they continue while waiting for assistance.
Green on top tells me that the student group is doing just fine. They are making progress and do not need assistance.
Yellow on top tells me that the student group has a question or a minor problem. They can continue with the activity but would like me to stop by for a quick conference when it is convenient.
Red on top tells me that the student group have an immediate problem. They cannot go on until I stop by and help.