# 57 Colour Cues

## Definition

Using different colours to signify meaning in a text or lesson to help with organization (e.g. colour by topic/ category), comprehension (e.g., colour by question type), or other activity or skill. Colour cues can be consistently incorporated in teaching materials, student work, and any other contexts that might be useful to the student.

## In action

Teachers should collaborate with students and families to designate specific colours for subjects (e.g., English, math, social studies), themes, vocabulary, concepts, etc. so that the student can use the colour cues consistently across settings.

## Support Strategies

• Colour cue systems should be collaboratively developed with students and families whenever possible to ensure consistency between supports provided at home and school.
• Some students may have preferences for or aversions to particular colours. It is important to take these into consideration when developing the colour cue system.
• Ensure students have access to notebooks, binders, and other organizational tools such as dividers in the appropriate colours.
• Designate highlighter and pen colours for specific themes in text to be used consistently across curricular subjects.
• Use colour cues to represent specific activity centers, library genres, and other resources in the classroom.
• Ensure students have access to visual reminders (e.g., anchor charts) reminding them of what each colour represents (e.g., red for math).

## Case Study

Student: Grade 5 student in a math class.

Content: Students are independently completing a worksheet where they have to solve problems involving the four operations (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

Problem: The student is having difficulty differentiating between the four types of questions on the page and is confusing addition with subtraction and multiplication with division.

Solution: The teacher assigns a corresponding colour for each of the four operations and provides all students with the option to use the colour-coded worksheets. The student is able to use colour cues to distinguish between the different types of questions, and understands that red means addition, blue means subtraction, yellow means multiplication, and green means division.