Students work collaboratively in groups to answer the extended questions. If the students require support they may pop a balloon off the board. Inside each ballon is a hint or part of the markscheme to assist the students answer the question. The balloons are differentiated, the green contain minor glues whereas the red contain more detailed support.
The price of popping the balloons and being rewarded with assistance also comes with a deduction in the marks available for the question. This is to encourage the students to use other resources such as their exercise book, revision guide and each other before seeking teacher support. The different coloured balloons relate to different marks deducted, green -0.5, orange -1, and red -2. The students have to think strategically and decide whether to pop one or more of each colour, or any, in order to maximise their overall score. There is a limited number of balloons available and the hints inside cannot be shared between groups. This is another consideration for the students whether to pop a balloon early or take the risk of not having any balloons left.