I put them all in a box, gave them to my student teacher and asked her to try them out first...before giving them to her BF. When the student needed help they put the red side of the cup facing up and continued to work or wait quietly at their desk. If they didn't need assistance or did not have a question, they put the green side of the cup up. This worked really well in with my gifted students, so the student teacher took them to give to her BF to use. He was teaching a different demographic of students and a different grade level (one grade higher) but he reported back that the cups worked really well for him. When he was finished his teaching block, he made his own cups and kindly returned my box to me. I put them away on a shelf and left them there for several years.
I pulled them out again this past year when I had a student teacher who was having difficulty managing the "student rush" when she was conferencing with students. In the pinch it was nice to have them pre-made, and she started using them right away. This technique worked for her too! She was able to gain some space, some time and her sanity. She was able to go around the room and meet with students while not disrupting the whole class.
I have used them successfully in a testing situation, but I usually just stick to the "silent time hand signals" I taught my class at the beginning of the year (pointer finger I need to talk, 2 fingers I need to leave my seat, 3 fingers I need assistance).
|Click on the image above to read about how Dr.Jean uses cups in her classroom.|
There was just something about using them that did not jive for ME. I like the concept, I like the simplicity, but somehow I wanted something different. I have seen where you can stack a red cup on a green cup and then just switch them out...you don't have to tape them. I am sure this would be more sturdy. You can even put a yellow cup in the middle. I love the idea but... The other day I saw a picture on Pinterest (what else is new?) that I liked so much that I have pinned it more than once! It was a picture of a trifold sign a teacher had made that said "I am working hard" "I need help" and "I am finished". I thought this was a really great idea.