“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.