12 Ways to Increase Students’ Writing Using Opportunities to Respond
“It’s not what you say or do that ultimately matters… It IS what you get the students to do as a result of what you said and did that counts.” Anita Archer
We all know that student engagement (on-task, active participation in the lesson) is a positive behavior that has a direct correlation with increased academic achievement for students as well as decreased behavioral challenges within the classroom. Thoughtfully selecting a variety of “Opportunities to Respond” (OTR’s) is a proven Tier 1 method of increasing student engagement for all. Instructional opportunities to respond occur when students are given the chance to answer teacher prompts by way of speaking, writing or doing. In Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching, Archer and Hughes (2011) refer to this as eliciting frequent responses. They note that “if instruction is truly interactive and students are constantly responding, then attention, on-task behavior, and learning increase, and behavior challenges decrease.” (131).
We suggest that you choose one or two OTR’s to introduce, practice and refine, before trying to implement multiple new opportunities to respond. Always keep in mind that explicitly teaching, practicing, and reinforcing the behavior you are expecting is the way you establish and maintain a positive classroom environment.
Ready to try out a few Opportunities to Respond that also provide student writing opportunities? Consider starting with one or two of the following:
- Entry Tickets/Exit Tickets
- Response Cards
- Guided Notes
- Highlighting key words or concepts
- Stop and Jot
- Sentence Stems
- Summarizing 3-2-1
- Summarizing 5-3-1
- Technology Student Response Systems
- Venn diagram video; other examples of Graphic Organizers
- Whiteboard personal responses
Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) of Virginia is a Commonwealth of Virginia initiative to support positive academic and behavioral outcomes for all students. This web site is a collection of resources, tools, training opportunities and similar guides for educators and school administrators.
We work closely with public school teachers and administrators throughout Virginia to help them learn about and implement discipline approaches that reduce disruptive behavior in the classroom.
The program is based on extensive research and utilizes a preventative and proactive approach to discipline that reduces the amount of time spent dealing with office referrals, thereby increasing time spent teaching and learning. PBIS ultimately impacts the very culture of the school to shift attention to positive behavior and successful learning systems for children, teachers and administrators.
For more information, visit Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports of Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Education is committed to providing all students the best possible education, in collaboration with the Training and Technical Assistance Center at Old Dominion University, we have developed a series of modules that relate to 25 strategies of proven effectiveness.
Learn more and register to view the modules by visiting the PBIS of Virginia website.