Who would have thought that something as simple as Solo cups would be a game changer for a class of second graders? This week we decided to get the kids on the computers, and we knew this would be a difficult task for our beginning readers. While there are 2-3 adults willing to assist the kids, we anticipated many questions and frustrated students who couldn't read the text on the database. How could we make this less stressful, fun, and be able to individualize the learning for each student: Solo cups!
At the beginning of GH, we handed each student a blue and a red Solo cup. We explained that blue cup in front of you covering the red cup meant, "Super-duper fine," and no assistance was needed. If a red cup was put on top of the blue it meant, "RED ALERT," I need help!! We had the kids practice flipping the cups with the understanding that red alert meant silence not hand-raising or yelling to one of us. The kids were so excited to try it. We were amazed at the amount of work that this allowed. It gave us, the adults, the freedom to converse intently with each student when s/he needed our undivided attention. Students waited patiently and quietly continuing to work until one of us saw the red alert and was free to respond. Everyone felt supported and successful. Some students were overwhelmed with the fact they could not read but when we explained that drawing a picture of what s/he was seeing (types of ice skates, soccer field layout, etc), marker caps flew off and grins appeared.
I am always amazed at what the students are capable of accomplishing and that the smallest tool or explanation can be a game changer. Cheers to Solo cups that help our motivated kids learn!
The Noisy Librarian