Create a classroom set of laminated green, yellow and red cards. The set could be as small as traditional playing cards or as large as you want. (Personally, I would probably make them monster size just for fun!)

How to use them?

  • Hand them out to students before a large group discussion and periodically call for a vote on an issue by asking for a simultaneous show of cards. Red = disagree, green = agree, yellow = not sure or need more information. Use this information to create groups for debates and research.
  • You could use them during group activities to help monitor progress – green means “we’re finished and ready to move on,” yellow means “we need one more minute” and red would mean “we need some more time.”
  • Try using the cards as a simple form of the much more expensive clicker system. Develop a short list of questions – these could be true/false, yes/no, three answer multiple choice – and have kids respond with their cards.
  • I’ve talked about Exit Cards as a great feedback strategy. Use the green/yellow/red cards as quick check of a wide variety of things at the end of class. Homework done? Understand the lesson? Ready for the test tomorrow?
  • Monitor understanding with the cards as you progress through a lecture, lab or demonstration.
  • Train your kids (especially your special ed kids) to use the cards to indicate that they are having trouble with independent practice activities during class. A red card could be used to quietly ask for help and a green card might indicate that the student is ready to help others.

Play with the strategy for a bit and I’m sure you’ll come up with some of your own great ideas for the cards. Have fun!