Opportunities to Respond

The number of opportunities to respond during a reading lesson is something I have been hearing quite a bit about lately.  I recently attended an online conference all around Dyslexia and it came up in more than one presentation. If we want our students to master what we are teaching, they need to practice.  We need to provide students with more opportunities to respond during our lessons so they get the amount of practice they need to master the foundational skills in reading. If you want to learn a sport or musical instrument, you have to practice.  Learning to read is the same.  It takes practice! Dr. Anita Archer gave one of the keynote presentations I watched.  She said, “If you want to intensify an intervention, you need to increase the number of opportunities to respond.”  In other words, students have to be engaged, participating, and practicing in lessons and in independent work in order to learn.

number of opportunities to respond

Do you know the number of opportunities students have to respond during a lesson?  I know in the last few years the district I work in has included this data in walkthroughs in our K-3 classrooms during our foundational skills lessons. The number of opportunities to respond makes a difference. I will be working on increasing that number!
This is a sample of a practice chart for letter sounds. When choral responding, all students have 15 opportunities to respond in a very short amount of time!

Increase the Opportunities to Respond

I work with small groups of 3-6 students.  This means we do mostly choral responses when working on our letters and sound-spellings.  It is the quickest and easiest way to increase the number of opportunities to respond for every student in the group. It isn’t just the practice opportunities though.  Students need corrective feedback!  I do individual turns quickly to check for mastery.  It helps to keep notes on my lesson plan so I am sure to check in with each student. Achievement precedes motivation and engagement.  We need to make sure students are correctly learning those early skills.   We need to do that through high quality, explicit, direct instruction, and increased opportunities to practice and respond. If we can do this, we will have students that enjoy reading and learning.

Share the Joy of the science of reading

Share the joy of teaching and learning to read!  If you like this post, share it with a friend.  Find more beginning reading resources, early literacy resources, and information throughout my blog and website. I am on a mission to help as many students learn to read as I possibly can.  The best way to do this is to help as many parents and educators that teach reading as possible. I only post teaching and learning information that is research-proven.  I fully support and believe in the Science of Reading.

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Hi, I'm Jenelle!

I help K-3 teachers teach with the science of reading so that all of their students learn to read.

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