It feels a bit strange to be taking a “snow day” while the sun is shining brightly, and there’s nary a snowflake in sight. But that’s what The Reflective Educator is doing today! Our high school soccer team is playing for the state championship waaaayyy on the other side of the state later today. My district is taking a “snow day” and has canceled school so we can travel to the big game. I plan to take advantage of this unexpected day off and use technology to watch a live video link from the warmth and comfort of my home…as well as get a few posts written for my blog! 🙂
Response Rate Techniques
Today’s post is the third part of a short series on using questioning to increase response rates with students. So far, we’ve looked at calling on students randomly and using wait time during a questioning sequence. Let’s continue with today’s topic of using paired responses…
Paired response is a simple technique that’s been around for ages, but that’s because it’s both flexible, easy, and incredibly effective. Incorporating this strategy in your classroom should be a requirement for every first-year teacher – it’s just that useful. Here are the basics:
- Students are paired up with each other.
- The teacher asks a question.
- Students are given time to think about their answer…then they discuss their ideas with their partners.
- The teacher calls on pairs to share their answer with the whole class.
Here’s a quick video that explains the steps in the strategy as well as the many benefits of using it with your students.
Variations on a Theme
That’s it in a nutshell. The variations, however, are endless! I first learned about this technique from Kagan‘s cooperative learning structures as Think-Pair-Share, which was initially created by Dr. Frank Lyman in 1977. Whatever you call it, using a paired response will increase student engagement in the lesson. It also taps into students’ desire to talk with their peers in an organized manner that promotes learning. Hey – if students want to talk in class, I say give ’em something to talk about by using paired response!