Hands up all those people who really resent having to put their hands up? It's a time honoured tradition in every classroom, or at least every organised, well run and disciplined classroom. But just because time might honour a tradition, there's no need to accept that it works, or is successful, or the best way of doing things.
In fact, there's no need to think that there might not be far better ways of doing things, and a better way has recently been suggested, and is sweeping the UK with more and more classrooms introducing the idea. Okay, so what is this idea, and what on earth does it have to do with parties? Well, we wondered the same thing when all of a sudden we were inundated with requests, orders and enquiries regarding red cups, orange party cups and green paper cups.
At Parteaz.co.uk we're fairly used to getting a few bizarre suggestions and enquiries, but when we started receiving dozens of emails every day from schools and teachers across the country for traffic light cups we started to wonder quite what was going on. As you are probably already aware, there was a television programme broadcast a few days ago called 'The Classroom Experiment', in which the issue of raising hands was, well, raised. It seems that the problem with raising hands is that it's always the same pupils answering the questions, with the majority of pupils sitting quietly letting them get on with it.
This causes two problems. The first problem is that those students not raising their hands tend to surf through the lesson taking very little in, and retaining even less, The second problem is that the teacher may easily get a false impression of how successful the lesson was, assuming that most of the students 'got it', when in truth only a small proportion did. The solution proposed and trialled throughout 'The Classroom Experiment' was simple, and involved the use of coloured paper cups, red, orange and green. Each student was given a red paper cup, an orange paper cup and a green paper cup, (but no water, juice or coke!) At any point in the lesson when the teacher would normally ask for a show of hands, the students were instructed not to put their hands up at all, but to place one of the three cups on the front of their desk. If a student understood the topic, and felt confident with it they would place a green party cup on their desk. If they had a few issues or doubts about it they would put their orange party cup on the desk, and if they really didn't understand it at all and didn't know the answer, they would place the red party cup on the desk. This meant that the teacher could get a much clearer and more accurate impression of how successful they had been at explaining a point, allowing them the opportunity to go back over a topic which was causing most pupils difficulties, or moving on if most people were happy with it.
It also meant that those pupils who might normally just sit at the back and let the others put their hands up would have to pay attention, and become more actively involved.
It's such a simple idea, and gets pupils to be more actively involved in the feedback process. It's also extremely affordable and easy to implement and we are pleased to be able to help the classrooms of Britain, as we have a whole heap of coloured paper cups ready and waiting! We can supply red party cups, orange party cups and green party cups in large quantities, and at very affordable prices. Now, hands up who'd like some coloured paper cups?