I’m getting ready to watch my St. Louis Blues take on the Winnipeg Jets. I love the fast pace of a hockey game—no long timeouts like football or waiting forever for a pitch in baseball. Plus, what other professional sport requires their players to sit in the timeout box for not playing nicely? An elementary teacher must have added that rule to their playbook! 🙂
Response rate strategies are like hockey…they keep the pace of a lesson moving quickly. Response cards are a quick and easy way to increase the response rates in any lesson. First, you need to create a set of cards for each student in your classroom. There are many ways you can create these cards. You could give each student four 3″x5″ index cards and have them label each card with A, B, C or D. Have kids use a marker or dark-colored crayon and write large enough to fill the entire space of the card so you can easily see it from across the room. You can also take a piece of paper (loose-leaf or copy paper – either is fine) and create response cards. Just fold the paper once vertically and again horizontally to make four sections. Label each section a different letter. Another option is to print my Response Card Template and make enough copies for your students, which they can then fold and use.
Using the Strategy
So, how does it work? Using a set of multiple-choice questions, ask each question, and provide students with their four choices. Give some thinking time before asking students to hold up the letter representing their answer. A glance around the room, and you can check for understanding. Every student participates by holding up their response card, and you don’t have to grade another assignment!
Of course, there are variations as with any strategy. In the video below, you can watch a 1st-grade classroom use just two response cards to indicate yes or no. I like how the teacher uses a color-coded set of cards, which could easily be repeated using construction paper.
Task Card Uses
Whenever possible, I like to display my questions and choices for my more visually-oriented students. I’ve found that task cards with multiple-choice options can be used with response cards by simply enlarging the size of the magnification level. You can include other response rate strategies such as response chaining, paired response, and wait time. Consider using response cards to further increase the level of student engagement in your classroom. With just a bit of planning, this strategy can work for you!