What does any of this have to do with learning? Well, thanks to my thoughts of these lovely colored cards I was left with one of my greatest and most useful creations of the school year...the Help Me card. When my kids are engaged in independent work, I forego positioning myself behind my desk
Why do I love this system? Many reasons but I'll just list a few. First, it makes the children take ownership of their learning. They have to assess their own needs to determine if they need help or not. Second, it cuts down on the long lines at the teacher desk waiting to be seen. Also, it is a discreet and quiet way to ask for help. If I notice that several children have the same question I can easily regroup and readdress the problem with a small group or the whole class if needed. I also find that it makes the kids feel more secure. Instead of the kids feeling like I am looking over their shoulders waiting for them to mess up they know that I am looking for red cards not breathing down their necks (even though I always spot check the green cards to make sure they don't just think they know what they are doing).
It takes no time at all quickly create a set of these cute little cards. All you need is some construction paper and a marker (yes you can be extra cute and print little cards or you could use a red/green sticker or label). On one side of the construction paper draw or paste a red stop sign or frown face and write "Please Help" (or whatever cute phrase you come up with). On the other side draw or paste a green smiley face and write "I'm Good" (or whatever cute phrase you decide on). Run them through the laminator, cut them out, and voila...you have a set of Help Me cards.