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How to use coloured bricks to learn to evaluate

In this activity, learners will practice expressing an evaluation and share their reasons with their peers.
In this activity, learners will practice expressing an evaluation and share their reasons with their peers. This improves the ability to listen to others’ experiences in order to improve collaboration.

What you need

A set of red, amber and green objects. You can use six bricks, or something else such as coloured cups, or bits of paper.
As this is a reflective task, please complete a task beforehand and use this activity afterwards to reflect on that task.

Key questions/reflections

Ask the learners to be in their collaborative group.
Each learner thinks about the task and chooses one of the colour objects to represent how they found the task.
  • A red brick indicates it was very challenging.
  • A yellow brick indicates parts of the task were difficult but manageable
  • A green brick indicates the task was too easy.
This now sets up a good reflective conversation.  Before probing individuals, the teacher can ask all those who chose red, yellow and green respectively to stand in different corners and then share why they chose that colour.
  • What might have made it easier, what might have made it harder?
  • How did they feel when things were too easy or too hard?
  • How did working in a team make things easier or harder for them?
Once the team has heard everyone, think about the following question and share ideas:
  • How might you do the collaborative task differently given the feedback from all the team?

Scale up/down

Talking about abstract ideas such as performance and self-reflection is tricky for some learners.
Extending this traffic light reflection to include more colours (such as all the colours of the six bricks) will help learners identify markers of success. For example, they can think about using different colours to represent different attributes of a task – choose a blue brick if you want to work better with others, choose the orange brick if you felt you did not contribute.
To extend this activity, it can be used frequently during other tasks in class and increasingly be used as a way for teams and the teacher to understand how collaborative work is going. The learners will become faster and more adept at using the process to help them collaborate.
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