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Classroom Systems School-wide PBIS Opportunities to Respond. Chris Borgmeier, PhD Portland State University Opportunities to Respond - OTR.

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classroom systems school wide pbis opportunities to respond

Classroom SystemsSchool-wide PBISOpportunities to Respond

Chris Borgmeier, PhD

Portland State University

opportunities to respond otr
Opportunities to Respond - OTR
  • An instructional question, statement or gesture made by the teacher seeking an academic response from students. Can be provided individually or to whole class.
                  • Sprick, Knight, Reinke & McKale2006
      • The number of times the teacher provides academic requests that require students to actively respond.
      • Teacher behavior that prompts or solicits a student response (verbal, written, gesture).
      • Includes strategies for presenting materials, asking questions, and correcting students’ answers to increase the likelihood of an active response.
active participation why
Active Participation - Why?

Opportunities to respond related to:

  • Increased academic achievement
  • Increased on-task behavior
  • Decreased behavioral challenges


  • Only successful responding brings these results

Initial Instruction - 80% accuracy

Practice/Review - 90% or higher accuracy

Anita Archer

otr guidelines
OTR Guidelines
  • Teacher talk should be no more than 40-50% of instructional time.
  • New material: a minimum of 4-6 responses per minute with 80% accuracy.
  • Review of previously learned material: 9-12 responses per minute with 90% accuracy.
              • (CEC, 1987; Gunter, Hummel & Venn, 1998)
multiple opportunities for student responses
Multiple opportunities for student responses

One Way








See you tomorrow

Better Way









Feedback works 2 ways:

Not Only from the teacher to the student, but

From the student to the teacher


By giving a chance for multiple responses, students are retrieving, rehearsing and practicing what has been taught.

activity personal reflection
Activity: Personal Reflection
  • Think about the amount of opportunities to respond you gave your students during the most recent day you taught.
  • How would you compare to these response guideline?
    • New material–a minimum of 4-6 responses per minute with 80% accuracy.
    • Review of previously learned material–8-12 responses per minute with 90% accuracy
opportunities to respond critical features
Opportunities to RespondCritical Features
  • Strive for all students to participate: reduce reliance on student volunteer responses & increase random selection of responders to keep students actively engaged
  • Choose strategies that best fit your style and instructional content, structure and activities
  • Use wait time of 3-5 seconds before students respond to increase participation
  • Use clear, consistent prompts to elicit responses effectively
verbal responses individual turns
Verbal Responses - Individual Turns
  • Less desirable practices

#1. Calling on volunteers


      • Call on volunteers only when answer relates to personal experience
      • Don’t call on volunteers when answer is product of instruction or reading
    • Randomly call on students

#2. Calling on inattentive students


      • Don’t call on inattentive students
      • Wait to call on student when he/she is attentive
      • To regain attention of students:
        • Use physical proximity
        • Give directive to entire class
        • Ask students to complete quick, physical behavior

Anita Archer

procedural steps for using otr
Procedural Steps for using OTR
  • Identify context, subject for increasing engagement & on-task behavior
  • Choose the strategy(ies) that best fit your for need for increasing OTR;
    • chorale responding, partner responding, and non-verbal responding
  • Teach and rehearse the Response Strategy
    • Prompt  Wait time  Response Cue  Response
  • Reinforce correct response with behavior specific praise or provide corrective feedback for incorrect response.
increasing active participation
Increasing Active Participation

Opportunities to Respond

Verbal Responses

Written Responses

Action Responses

All Students Respond. When possible use

response procedures that engage all students.

Anita Archer

verbal responses individual turns1
Verbal Responses- Individual Turns
  • Individual Questioning– calling on students unpredictably heightens student attention
  • Procedures for Random Selection of students Procedure #1 - Call on students in different parts of roomProcedure #2 - Write names on cards or sticks

Procedure #3 - Use ipad or iphone app (e.g., Teacher’s Pick, Stick Pick, or Pick Me!)

Procedure #4 - Use two decks of playing cards. Tape cards from one deck to desks. Pull a card from other deck and call on student.

    • Use above random strategy, and call on a student to repeat or summarize what the student just said.

Anita Archer

general recommended response format verbal responses individual turns
General Recommended Response FormatVerbal Responses - Individual Turns
  • Ask a question
  • Raise your hands to indicate silence
  • Give thinking time
  • Cue Response
    • Individual Student response, Chorale response, Response card, whiteboard, thumbs up, etc.

Anita Archer

verbal responses individual turns2
Verbal Responses- Individual Turns

Option - Whip Around or Pass

  • Use when many possible answers
  • Ask a question
  • Give students thinking time
  • Start at any location in the room - Have students quickly give answers

- Go up and down rows, limiting comments- Allow student to pass


“Tell me the months of the year in Spanish – think (pause 5 sec.) – we’ll with the front row”

“Tell me the universities in the Pac-12 – think (pause 3 sec.) – we’ll start in the back and work across”

Anita Archer

verbal responses
Verbal Responses
  • Choral Responding – all students in class respond in unison to a teacher question.
    • Suitable for review, to teach new skills, as a drill, or as a lesson summary.
verbal responses choral responses use when answers are short the same
Verbal Responses - Choral Responses(Use when answers are short & the same.)
  • Students are looking at teacher
    • Ask question
    • Put up your hands to indicate silence
    • Give thinking time
    • Lower your hands as you say, “Everyone”

Anita Archer

1 ask questions
1. Ask Questions
  • Develop questions with only one right answer that can be answered with short, 1-3 word answers.
  • Examples:
    • What is the capital of California? (pause 4 sec.) Everyone (drop hands)
    • What are the 3 branches of government, in alphabetical order (pause 5 sec.) – First…. Second…. Third
    • What does DNA stand for? (pause 5 sec.) Everyone (drop hands)
2 put up your hands to indicate silence
2. Put up your hands to indicate silence
  • Students are looking at a common stimulus
    • Point to stimulus
    • Ask question
    • Give thinking time
    • Tap for response
  • Students are looking at their own book/paper
    • Ask question
    • Use auditory signal (“Everyone”)

Anita Archer

3 give thinking time
3. Give thinking time
  • Think Time –pause for 5 seconds after question before calling on a student or cueing a group response.
      • Can have students put up thumbs, or look at you, to indicate enough thinking time
    • Engages students in thinking.
    • Increases participation.
    • Increases quality of responses.
    • Results in fewer redirects of students and fewer discipline problems. Rowe, 1987
4 lower your hands as you say everyone
4. Lower your hands as you say, “Everyone”
  • Use a clear signal or predictable phrase to cue students to respond in unison.
  • Provide immediate feedback on the group response.
  • If students don’t respond or blurt out an answer, repeat (Gentle Redo)
  • Keep a brisk, lively pace.
choral responding examples
Choral Responding: Examples
  • What is the capital of California? (pause 4 sec.) Everyone (drop hands)
    • Sacramento
  • What are the 3 branches of government, in alphabetical order (pause 5 sec.) – First…. Second…. Third
    • Executive Judicial Legislative
  • What does DNA stand for? (pause 5 sec.) Everyone (drop hands)
    • DeoxyriboNucleic Acid
  • Name the 4 main bases in DNA – remember A,C,G,T (pause 5 sec.) Everyone (drop hands)
  • Adenine Cytosine Guanine Thymine

Ms. Finch’s first graders have just finished reading a story about a young boy named Howard.

Ms. Finch puts her storybook on her lap and holds up her hand and says, “Class, get ready to tell me the main character in today’s story.” She says, “Think big,” drops her hand as a signal, and the students chime in, “Howard!” “Howard is right,” exclaims Ms. Finch. “Way to go!” She asks ten more quick questions–some about the setting and main idea. “Last one. Here we go. The problem Howard faced today was finding his lost dog. Is that true or false? Think about it.” She signals and the student eagerly respond, “False!” The students laugh and so does Ms. Finch. “I couldn’t trick you, could I?” she asks. “Tell me why that’s false.” She calls on James who is frantically waving his hand to answer.

Wood and Heward, 2004


Teaching Active Participation Routines

    • Choral Responding
    • Think/Pair/Share
    • Click on link to :
      • Active Participation Instruction, 7thGrade
        • Specifically watch 3:00 – 5:35 & 6:40 – 8:05
verbal responses individual turns3
Verbal Responses - Individual Turns

Option #1 - Partner First

1. Ask a question

2. Give students thinking time

3. Have students share answers with partners using sentence starter

4. Call on student to give answer

5. Engage students in discussion

Anita Archer

verbal responses partners use when answers are long or different
Verbal Responses - PartnersUse when answers are long or different


  • Assign partners
    • Pair lower performing students with middle performing students
    • Utilize triads when appropriate
  • Sit partners next to each other
  • Give partners a number (#1 or #2)
  • Teach students how to work togetherLOOK, LEAN, AND WHISPER
verbal responses partners use when answers are long or different1
Verbal Responses - PartnersUse when answers are long or different
  • Think
    • Have students think and record responses.
    • As students are writing, move around the classroom and write down students’ ideas and their names.
  • Pair
    • Have students share their ideas with their partners.
    • Have them record their partners’ best ideas.
    • As students are sharing, continue to circulate around the room, recording ideas and names.
  • Share
    • Display the ideas and names on the screen. Use this as the vehicle for sharing.

Anita Archer


Shortly after science class started, the teacher announced, “We have a small block of ice and the same sized block of butter. Tell your neighbor which one would melt first.” A few seconds later the teacher said, “Please write down in one sentence an explanation for your answer.”

A few minutes later, the teacher told students to share with their neighbor what they had written. Shortly thereafter, the teach called on one student to tell the class her answer. The teacher then asked to the class to raise their hand if they agreed with the answer. Then the teacher asked students to give a thumb down if anyone disagreed.

Colvin, 2009


Watch this video and note the different response strategies being implemented

non verbal responding1
Non-Verbal Responding
  • Every student actively answering or responding to each question or problem posed by the teacher.
  • Most common approaches:
    • Response Cards/Response Systems
      • white boards
      • written response cards
    • Movement Activities or Signaling
      • Thumbs Up/Down, Sit/Stand, 4 Corners
    • Guided Notes
non verbal strategies
Non-Verbal Strategies
  • White Boards/Response Slates – students have personal white board to write answers to teacher’s questions with an erasable pen.
    • Letters, words, numbers, draw symbols, or solve problems.
    • When cued, hold up board to display answers.
    • Students use an eraser, sponge, or cloth to erase their answer and await next question.
written responses
Written Responses
  • Response Slates (white boards)
    • Prepare questions to match your response option
      • Make response fairly short
    • Give directive
    • Have students write answers on individual whiteboards
    • When adequate response time has been given, have students display slates
    • Give feedback to students
      • Provide the correct answer and a brief explanation if a significant number of students did not respond accurately, then re-present the question.

Anita Archer

using a slate
Using a Slate
  • Video examples
    • Open – “Vocabulary Review – 8th grade Geometry”
    • Examples of:
      • Using response slates
        • 2:30 – 2:50; 3:30 – 4:00
      • Partner Pair & Share
        • 1:00 – 2:00; 2:50 – 3:30; 4:00-4:50
      • Choral Responding
        • 0 – 1:00 & 5:00 – 5:50
non verbal strategies response cards
Non-Verbal StrategiesResponse Cards
  • Response Cards – pre-printed cards that have choice words on each side.
    • Yes/No, True/False, Odd/Even
    • Set of few choices (e.g., noun, pronoun, verb, adverb)
action responses
Action Responses

Response cards

  • Have students write possible responses on cards or paper or provide prepared cards


Simple responses: Yes, No; Agree, Disagree; a.b.c.d., I.2.3.4

Punctuation Marks: . ? ! ,

Math Operations: + - X

Types of Rocks: Igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary

Branches of Government: Legislative, Executive, Judicial

Vocabulary Terms: perimeter, area

  • Ask a question
  • Have students select best response and hold it under their chin
  • Ask students to hold up response card
  • Monitor responses and provide feedback

Anita Archer


13+28 =

  • 15
  • 31
  • 41
  • 311
non verbal strategies continued
Non-Verbal Strategies–Continued
  • Signaling or Movement Activities
    • Thumbs up/thumbs down, stand up/sit down, move to four corners, etc.
action responses1
Action Responses
  • Gestures
    • Students indicate answers with gestures
  • Facial expressions
    • Students indicate answer with facial expression
    • Example: “Show me glum.” “Show me not glum.”
  • Hand signals
    • Students indicate answer by holding up fingers to match numbered answer

Anita Archer

action responses2
Action Responses

Hand signals

  • Thumbs up/thumbs down to indicate yes/no or agree/disagree
  • Level of understanding
    • Students place hand to indicate level of understanding (high-forehead, OK-neck, low-abdomen)
    • Students display one (no understanding) to five (clear understanding) fingers

Anita Archer

action responses3
Action Responses

Hand signals

  • Display numbered items on the screen

Example: 1 concentrate 2 absurd 3 enemy 4 disgusting

  • Carefully introduce and model hand signals
  • Ask a question
  • Have students form answer (e.g., 3 fingers to indicate item #3) on their desk
  • When adequate thinking time has been given, students hold up hand

Anita Archer

your turn
Your Turn
  • Complete Steps 4-5 on your Worksheet



active recurring prompts supports to use your use of otr strategies
Active, Recurring Prompts & Supports to use your use of OTR strategies
  • ID a variety ways to support use of your identified strategy
    • Plan ways to actively support teachers to use the targeted practice -- Prompting, monitoring & rewarding
      • Not just tomorrow, but the next day & the next day & next week & the following week… until the habit is built
    • Provide Multiple Levels of Support for Classroom Improvement Efforts
      • Personal plan
      • Peer Support
      • Team
      • School-wide
personal peer supports
Personal & Peer Supports
  • Personal Supports
        • Phone alarm
        • Bright Note on clipboard
        • Note in textbook as prompt at appropriate time
        • Daily self-check at end of day
        • Set weekly goal with self based on daily implementation
        • Ask a student to remind me or monitor implementation
        • Prompt written on board into daily classroom schedule
        • Poster in classroom on location
  • Peer Supports
        • Check-in or prompt w/ buddy before school/ at lunch/ end of day
        • Buddy sends me an email or text reminder or follow-up to check implementation w/ daily rating
        • Set weekly goal with buddy w/ reward contingent on meeting reward
        • Assistant in room gives a reminder just before time
simple daily ratings
Simple Daily Ratings

Rate your level of implementation of your PreCorrection Strategy (today or this week)

Low Medium High

1 2 3

Rate the effectiveness of your implementation on student behavior (today or this week)

Low Medium High

1 2 3

your turn step 6 recurring supports for building habits
Your TurnStep 6: Recurring Supports for Building Habits
  • Take a few minutes to Complete Step 6of the Worksheet
  • Make sure to Identify meaningful& feasible supports
    • Identify Personal Strategies for supporting implementation
    • Develop Peer Strategies for support – you can discuss with a peer
  • 6) Monitor your Plan: Implementation & Impact
team school wide supports
Team & School-wide Supports
  • Team Supports (e.g. Dept., Grade Level, PLC)
    • Make Classroom improvement a regular part of meetings and activities
    • Begin meeting w/ 2 minute check:
      • Check-in, share ideas & give feedback to:
      • Encourage implementation
      • Check-in, problem solve, enhance implementation
  • School-wide Supports
    • Reminder on Morning announcements
    • Regular review/check-in at staff meeting
      • Rewards for implementers
        • Recognize your Buddy
        • Recognize someone you observed engage in the practice
    • Daily or weekly implementation checks
      • via email link
      • Put sticker on staff board to rate implementation
group discussion
Group Discussion
  • What school-wide strategies would be helpful for you in supporting your implementation?
    • Regular reminders over announcements?
    • Staff meeting review & sharing?
    • Collect implementation data?
      • Daily email, survey monkey?
  • Barbetta, P. M., & Heward, W. L. (1993). Effects of active student response during error correction on the acquisition and maintenance of geography facts by elementary students with learning disabilities. Journal of Behavioral Education, 3, 217-233.
  • Carnine, D. W. (1976). Effects of two teacher-presentation rates on off-task behavior, answering correctly, and participation.Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 199-206.
  • Heward, W. L. (1994). Three low-tech strategies for increasing the frequency of active student response during group instruction. In R. Garner, III, D. M. Sainato, J. O., Cooper, T. E., Heron W. L., Heward, J., Eshleman, & T.A. Grossi (Eds.), Behavior analysis in education: Focus on measurably superior instruction. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  • MacSuga, A. S., & Simonsen, B. (2011). Increasing teachers’ use of evidence-based classroom management strategies through consultation: Overview and case studies. Beyond Behavior, 20(11), 4-12.
  • Miller, S.P. (2009). Validated practices for teaching students with diverse needs and abilities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  • Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. (2007). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (2nd Ed., pp. 94-131). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  • Rowe, M. (1987) Wait time: Slowing down may be a way of speeding up. American Educator, 11, 38-43.
  • Scott, T. M. Anderson, C. M., & Alter, P. (2012). Managing classroom behavior using positive behavior supports. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
  • Simonsen, B., Myers, D., & DeLuca, C. (2010). Providing teachers with training and performance feedback to increase use of three classroom management skills: Prompts, opportunities to respond, and reinforcement. Teacher Education in Special Education, 33, 300-318.
  • Skinner, C.H., Belfior, P.J., Mace, H.W., Williams-Wilson, S., & Johns, G.A. (1997). Altering response topography to increase response efficiency and learning rates. School Psychology Quarterly, 12, 54-64.
  • Skinner, C. H., Smith, E. S., & McLean, J. E. (1994). The effects on intertribal interval duration on sight-word learning rates of children with behavioral disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 19, 98-107.
  • Sprick, R., Knight, J., Reinke, W. & McKale, T. (2006). Coaching classroom management: Strategies and tools for administrators and coaches. Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing.
  • Sutherland, K. S., Adler, N., & Gunter P. L. (2003). The effect of varying rates of opportunities to respond on academic request on the classroom behavior of students with EBD. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (11), 239-248.
  • Sutherland, K. S., & Wehby, J. H. (2001). Exploring the relationship between increased opportunities to respond to academic requests and the academic and behavioral outcomes of student with EBD: A review. Remedial and Special Education, (22), 113-121.
  • West, R. P., & Sloane, H. N. (1986). Teacher presentation rate and point delivery rate: Effect on classroom disruption, performance, accuracy, and response rate. Behavior Modification, 10, 267-286.