Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
September 8, 2010

Ready Responses for Class Discussions

By Ruth Manna
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    A teacher recently asked how to include all students in class discussions.

    One thing teachers can do to eliminate the deer caught in headlights phenomenon is offer students three ready responses. Responding verbally is preparation for the adult world in which it's not okay to sit and stare when asked to contribute. Instead, they can say:

    • Come back to me.
    • I'€™m thinking.
    • €œI need more time.


    These three simple sentences are ready responses for students. Sentences are printed on laminated 3" x 5" cards and taped to the corner of students’ desks as visual reminders. When a teacher calls on students who don’t know, they give one of these responses.

    If a student says, "Come back to me,"€ the teacher answers, "€œI'll come back in a minute or two."€ The student listens to other responses, and then his teacher asks him to repeat the correct answer. This is similar to Doug Lemov's technique, "No Opt Out,"€ which he explains in his book Teach Like a Champion.

    If a student says, "€œI'€™m thinking,"€ or "€œI need more time,"€ the teacher increases the think time and then calls on that student again. This way, slow processors have more time to consider a question without feeling pressured to blurt out a response. Again, it'€™s the teacher'€™s job to come back to that student.

    I hope you'll share your strategies for inclusive class discussions.

    A teacher recently asked how to include all students in class discussions.

    One thing teachers can do to eliminate the deer caught in headlights phenomenon is offer students three ready responses. Responding verbally is preparation for the adult world in which it's not okay to sit and stare when asked to contribute. Instead, they can say:

    • Come back to me.
    • I'€™m thinking.
    • €œI need more time.


    These three simple sentences are ready responses for students. Sentences are printed on laminated 3" x 5" cards and taped to the corner of students’ desks as visual reminders. When a teacher calls on students who don’t know, they give one of these responses.

    If a student says, "Come back to me,"€ the teacher answers, "€œI'll come back in a minute or two."€ The student listens to other responses, and then his teacher asks him to repeat the correct answer. This is similar to Doug Lemov's technique, "No Opt Out,"€ which he explains in his book Teach Like a Champion.

    If a student says, "€œI'€™m thinking,"€ or "€œI need more time,"€ the teacher increases the think time and then calls on that student again. This way, slow processors have more time to consider a question without feeling pressured to blurt out a response. Again, it'€™s the teacher'€™s job to come back to that student.

    I hope you'll share your strategies for inclusive class discussions.

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Ruth's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
A December Celebration — Las Posadas
Celebrate Las Posadas with food, fun, and learning! Top Teaching blogger Ruth Manna explains how to adapt elements of this Mexican tradition for a school setting.
By Ruth Manna
November 20, 2015
Blog Post
For Moms Who Are Teachers

Scholastic teacher advisor Ruth Manna discusses teacher-moms and conscientious parents in this blog post for Mother's Day.

By Ruth Manna
July 14, 2015
Blog Post
Getting Ready for Testing Season

Test-prep tips for grades K-2 and 3-6, as well as ideas for keeping students of any age focused and comfortable on test day.

By Ruth Manna
June 23, 2015
Blog Post
Meet Ruth Manna

Meet Ruth Manna, one of Scholastic's teacher advisors for the 2010-2011 school year, in her first post of the year.

By Ruth Manna
June 23, 2015
Blog Post
Digging Into the Common Core
Read on to learn about activities our district teachers are planning to help us with the Common Core math standards.
By Ruth Manna
November 9, 2012
Blog Post
Stop Bullying Before It Starts

 

Teaching pro-social values and carefully monitoring students now will prevent bullying behavior later. The strategies in this blog post will ensure a bully-free school and help students learn social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

By Ruth Manna
November 9, 2012

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us