Green for GO! by @Mroberts90Matt

As the eagle eye of you may have noticed – I have not written a blog post for quite a while, most of the holidays in fact. I decided to take step back from EDUCATION for a few weeks, just so my family knows I still exist – you know, those people who I love the most in the world.

Anyway, this one is a short post sharing a thought I’ve had that is not original but I would like to try out in the classroom, then I’m hoping normal service will be resumed from next week.

Ever since I guest published on Teacher Toolkit just over a year ago about self assessment I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can integrate the principles of self-assessment into my teaching and learning without detracting time from the lesson and, at the same time, making it useful to inform my teaching in my Year 6 class. I’ve tried a few things over my NQT Year and toward the end of my ITT which have had benefits but also downfalls. As we go into a new school year, I have read that if a teacher does not do anything new or differently, they are not progressing. So this is what I’m thinking of doing…

I’m pretty sure most educators would know what I’m thinking about when they see the above picture. What I want to try is to have each child have a green, yellow and red paper cup in front of them and, during the activity in the session, the pupils display whichever ‘colour’ they feel they are at in their learning – green they are confident and may even want a challenge, yellow they are going ok but want to work on it a little more and red they are struggling with the learning going on and want a little support. In my mind, this is a marvellous idea…

Yet, in the back of my mind, I know there must be something that will make this a hindrance. Maybe the cups will be a distraction on the desk? Clearly there would have to be some sort of agreement between myself and the students to ensure that the cups are not misused, lost or damaged (they cost money you know, shall I send the bill to your parents etc). Maybe they could sign their cups at the start of the year, Starbucks-style, so they would have some ownership over the cups?

I’m sure there are probably other downfalls that I might not have noticed – has anyone had experience of using this self-assessment tool? Has it worked incredibly well? Any tips on how to make it work really well? Anyone think that this is a horrible idea that has no hope in working? Would love to hear your thoughts!…

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3 thoughts on “Green for GO! by @Mroberts90Matt

  1. Hiya! As a teacher in a (secondary) school that uses this system in every lesson in every classroom – we actually use prisms with the colours on the three main surfaces – I thought I’d give you some thoughts and advice. If you use them consistently and with purpose I find they’re less likely to be fiddled with as they are a functional aspect of their learning and not just a random item on their desk. Their use as a way of measuring confidence levels is pretty flawed, I’m afraid! The students choice of colour is more affected by their general confidence and how much they like you’re attention, and not so much a genuine reflection of their readiness. I occasionally use the system to indicate ‘I have started’, ‘I have started but I’m not sure it’s right’ and ‘I cannot even start without help’ but only very occasionally. What they are useful though is quick knowledge checks throughout lessons. Either a quiz (8-10/10 is green, 5-7/10 is Amber, up to 4 is red, for example) or a multiple choice question (ie a right answer, a close answer and a wrong answer) and then you know if the class is ready to move on, most are ready but a breakout intervention group or some 1:1s are needed, or you need to teach that bit again! This is what we mainly use our traffic light system for. Hope this is helpful!

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