My good friend Brian designed a wonderful pre-breif and debriefing tool some years back called the Stop-N-Go. This handy portable processing tools is available at the Training Wheels website. A Green, Yellow, and Red marble travel safely in a perforated PVC key chain style tube always at the ready to use with groups. I have one and use it all the time. Which brings me to a slight variation on Brian's idea.
The other day I was walking around one of my favorite activity idea spaces - Lowe's. I've always been attracted to the paint sample cards but have never been inspired to use them due to their size (a bit too small). However, now available are 4 inch by 6 inch paint sample cards for allen + roth's valsper paints. I immediately thought of how to use them.
With Brian's idea of the traffic light colors I can now write down the goals participants have for each color when I'm in an environment to do so. "What do we want to GO for during the program?" I write this on the green card. "What do we want to be CAUTIOUS of?" on the yellow card. And, "What do we want to make sure we STOP doing while we are together? on the red card. I'm sure you see the idea here and the many instances you could interject this line of thinking throughout your programs.
When I'm using the colored marbles I start out asking for one thing related to each color - making it easy to remember and evaluate. Then, as the program progresses we can check in with the marbles from time-to-time to see how we are doing. If it's appropriate we add a consideration to each color. We could even determine that what was decided earlier is no longer relevant so we replace the initial consideration with another one that seems more relevant to what's going on. I see this process happening with the colorful cards as well. Starting with one item and then adding to (writing on) the cards as we progress. We can even cross out things that no longer apply. I like the visual aspect of the cards and seeing the considerations in print. There is still a limit to the amount that will fit on a card, but often times less is more.
Also, just getting my hands on these colorful cards made me realize I could also pick up some green, yellow, and red card stock paper and cut out my own cards. Then there is a front and back side to write on. And, I cold give these cards away to the group at the end of their program to remind them of what they worked on. (I find it interesting what opens a door to an obvious resource.)
What else can we use paint sample cards for? Share your ideas in the comment area below.
All the best,
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.