Previously (Idea 184) I mentioned the Kagan structure called ‘Quiz-Quiz-Trade’, where children walk around quizzing each other with cards that have a question on one side and the answer on the other.
For an observation I had, I went ahead with an idea that I read in the Kagan book where you colour-code your cards in order to differentiate them. You can then instruct children to only pair up with children who have the same colour cards as them. That allows you to perhaps have simpler questions on green card, and more challenging questions on red card and so ensure all the learners in your class are answering questions that are at an appropriate level.
This did not work well.
My class found this additional step confusing, and it meant that there was a greater likelihood of children waiting round until someone with the same colour-band as them was free. Perhaps worst of all for me, I didn’t like this approach because I felt it put a ceiling on what level of question children could reach.
After my observation, the person who observed me gave me what I thought was a solid-gold idea to try: rather than having three sets of differentiated cards, have ONE set of cards with three questions on each card! That way when your class pair up, they can state what level of question they would like to try from their partner. If a learner feels confident, they have the opportunity to move up to more challenging questions right away. Also since now anyone can pair with anyone, you won’t have children waiting round until someone of the same colour-band is free!
Below is a mock-up I’ve done. You would print out the card then fold it down the middle to make a card with questions on one side and answers on the other.
This was such a simple idea and I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me before!