Stoplight Independent Practice

I adapted this strategy from my super awesome teacher buddy, Miss Clee! The only supplies needed are some colored construction paper! This is a great way to gauge student’s progress during independent work. Students use cards to indicate whether they are good to go (green), struggling a bit (yellow) or stuck (red).


While doing a worksheet, for example, each student has a set of cards placed on their desk. They change the cards accordingly as they work through problems.


This allows me to intervene early for students on yellow, and reteach on the spot for students on red. Additionally, if I see a whole lot of red cards at the start of the independent practice, then I can reteach to the whole class.


24 thoughts on “Stoplight Independent Practice

  1. Love the idea, I will use this in my after school program. As a site coordinator for an after school program that serves young minds from ages 5-12 its difficult trying to manage and measure my young scholars needs in real time. This is an excellent tool that could lead to better organized program.

    thanks Khalil

    1. I’m curious to see if this is seen negatively, also? I was wondering if people have found that students follow the trend and if it really evaluates if they understand it…I like the thought of the idea.

      1. I would never use this method as a formal assessment tool. It should not replace direct checks for understanding or formative assessment. But it is nice to allow students the opportunity to become self aware and comfortable sharing their learning needs with me, as well as giving me a chance to intervene early. Most of my students are honest with it, but some will only put up their yellow card (even when they are clearly stuck), which I’ve learned to interpret accordingly. =)

  2. Great idea ,saves a lot of time and is a quick way of keeping track of the student performance . Will try this for my Grade 7 students. Thanks.

  3. Great independent self-assessment to build regulation. I would change the yellow word to the phrase: “I’m not sure” or “I have a question”….something like that. Struggling is a bit hard to admit and could be stigmatizing. (I’m a special educator and hypersensitive to this kinda thing!)

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