Ten Minutes Tops!

ten minutes tops

By Andrea Hillbrick and Kristin Humphreys

One of the many advantages of my profession is the people I meet! Ten Minutes Tops is a collaboration with my dear friend Kristin who lives in Perth. The thinking and planning of this resource began over a coffee and a hot chocolate in a café at Floreat, WA.

 It grew into a highly practical resource exploring twenty reflection tools!

For this edition I am exploring the reflection tool, ‘Rainbow Beads’ created by Kristin. I am sharing how I have reshaped the tool to be utilised across the curriculum.

Watch the video to find out about Rainbow Beads!

Typically, a string is used for a class collaboration and a pipe cleaner for individual students.

As mathematicians we can:

  • Record effective strategies on each tag. Then each mathematician that utilised the strategy can add a bead to the string. At a glance we can see the effective strategies that were used most!
  • Create a personal tool using a pipe cleaner. After playing a game, record the score on a tag and thread on a colour coded bead. E.g. green bead < 50, orange bead = 50, and a yellow bead > 50. Keep adding after each game. What is the pattern?
  • Record the numbers explored during a lesson on tags. Represent the numbers by colour coded beads. What is the total of all the tags?
    • Green – hundreds
    • Yellow – tens
    • Orange – ones

As readers we can:

  • Record key events from a story and use the colour beads to represent how we feel about the events.
  • Vote as a class on our favourite characters. The characters from familiar books can be drawn on the tags. Each student has three beads to nominate their ‘top three’ characters. This looks awesome on display!
  • Build onto the rainbow beads after we listen to each chapter of the book. Write a short summary onto a tag. Ask students to share their insights from the chapter and thread a bead.

As writers we can:

  • Borrow rich vocabulary from our favourite authors. Record the words on tags and use the colour coded beads to represent if the words are nouns, verbs, or adjectives.
  • Explore mentor texts to borrow settings.

  • Continually add to a pipe cleaner by recording the settings for future writing. This would be a tool that would be referred to overtime. Select the colour bead that represents the setting.

As historians we can:

  • Research significant events in history. Record the events on the tags and order the tags by the year. Beads can be selected to represent the events.
  • Represent our facts and opinions by recording our ideas onto tags and using coloured coded beads.
    • Purple for facts
    • Orange for opinions

As scientists we can:

  • Record the steps of an experiment and rate each step. The number of beads would display the level of difficulty of each step.
  • List scientific terminology on individual tags to display on a rainbow bead string. Revisit and define the terms regularly.

Enjoy and take care,


Andrea Hillbrick