A while back, I saw a post on Pinterest by Charity at The Organized Classroom. The idea was to use green, yellow and red Solo cups like traffic lights to indicate the "status" of the group work happening in one area of the classroom. When my students begin working, all the cups are green. If noise gets excessive, or if behavior becomes off-task, I switch the cups to yellow (the three colors are stacked together) - this is their warning. Almost all of the time that's the end of it. My kiddos are eager to please and they fix it and get back to work quickly. (Ahhh... I'm smiling!) Occasionally, the silliness and noise continues and the cup is switched to red and consequences are issued.
Take a look at some examples from today...
|See the focus in the body language?|
|... pencils on paper...|
|...discussing! Working together to solve problems! LOVE IT!!|
Did you spot the green cups?
Now, take a look at a pair having a little difficulty staying focused...
|Notice that body language? This group had some trouble making the best use of their time! (Luckily, it didn't take long for them to sort the problem out and get back to work!)|
The beauty of this strategy is, I don't have to stop doing anything... I can keep conferencing, keep circulating to listen to kids talking the math problems out, keep TEACHING!! It takes only a second to switch the cups since they are stacked together, AND it didn't cost a fortune!