Response Cards – An Active Learning Strategy

A teacher asks a question, calls on a student, and gets an answer. Students who aren’t called on are disappointed, and students who didn’t raise their hands are relieved.

Response cards are an easy, inexpensive way for all students to answer every question in a low-risk way! Response cards are a piece of paper, or index card with responses written on it. Students hold them in front of them with their fingers on the answer. You can quickly scan the class to check their understanding.

They can be student or teacher made, the one criteria is that answers must be written on the front and back of the card. That way the student is looking at the answer they are showing you.

Types of Response Cards

  • Multiple-Choice Response Cards – A B C D – I use these with Brainpop quizes and as test review. I made them using wordart and laminated them as I use these fairly frequently)
  • This or That cards – good for comparisons – I’ll use these for groups of people or names (Axis Powers/Allies, Patricians/Plebeians, names) these are usually lesson specific and I’ll have the children make them.
  • 🙂 😐 😦  – Happy face – Neutral Face – Sad Face – Good for inferencing/mood in fiction.
  • Yes/No or True/False cards

Response cards are only limited by your imagination. Individual whiteboards also make great response systems without the limitations of “set” answers. A high tech version of response cards are student response systems that connect to an interactive whiteboard. The important thing is to get as many students involved as much of the time as possible!


2 comments so far

  1. Janey Nolan on

    I would love to publish this post on my Isolated to Connected site. Great idea.

  2. mrsgannon on

    Please feel free! I’m glad it is something you could use.

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