Having students reflect on their learning is not a new concept. Lots of teachers have discovered ways to have students think about how they feel on their learning. Thumbs up and down, turning in papers or exit tickets in color coded bins, and drawing faces on their papers are a few widely used. However, all of those methods show a student's feelings at the end of the lesson (or beginning). What about throughout the entire lesson? How do you know how your students are feeling in the beginning, middle, and end - and all the times in between? The answer - unifix cubes!!
This is not my original idea. A wonderful non blogging teacher at my school came up with it and I just think its too good not to share! (Thanks Stephanie C.!) Here's how it works:
Each student gets his/her own set of the 3 unifix cubes. The colors all have specific meanings: Green is "I'm good", yellow is "I need a little help" and red is "Lots of help needed". (I bet you could have figured that part out ;) ) The students keep them on the corner of their desk. At the beginning of a lesson I prompt them to change the cubes to show how they feel about the concept. If its an introductory concept we talk about how they shouldn't really be on green... If its review then they get to freely choose. Then as we teach, learn, and practice the students get to change the cubes as they need. I can prompt throughout the lesson but after a few days of using them, the kids got used to doing it and didn't need much prompting.
I love using this because it helps guide my teaching more than anything. I'm able to ask questions to students based on colors they are showing me. I'm able to approach students during group work or independent practice to assist and clear up any confusion. It has proven to be very beneficial. :)
But don't just take it from me - listen to these two lovely ladies!
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