Technique 23: Call and Response

Key Idea: Use Group Choral response--you ask; they answer in unison--to build a culture of energetic, positive engagement.
  • Call and response: When the teacher asks a question and the whole class calls out the answer in unison.
  • Three goals of call and response: 
1. to review and reinforce
2. High energy and fun
3.  Behavior reinforcement

5 types of call and response from least to greatest:
  • Repeat: students repeat what the teacher says or complete a familiar phrase. This can be both for behavioral or academic info.
ex:1,2 (eyes on you)
  • Report: Once a problem has been completed on their own students will report their answers back.
ex: on three tell me your answer to problem 5. 1.2.3...
  • Reinforce: the teacher reinforces the answer by asking the class to repeat an answer. 
ex: Can someone tell me if scary is a verb or an adjective?  Yes, Sonia it is an adjective. Class is scary an adjective or a verb?
  • Review: This asks students to review the information from earlier in the lesson. 
ex: Who are the main characters of the story that we discussed earlier today?
  • Solve: The teacher asks students a question and then has them call out the answer together. 
ex: what is 5+4? Class all together 9.
  • Make sure all your students participate. Have a specific signal so that students know when to respond. students need to know who the question is addressing:
  • Rhetorical, directed to a single child, a volunteer, full class call and response.
in-cue examples:
  • count based ex: one, two...
  • Group prompt ex: class!
  • Non verbal gesture ex: looping motion with the finger.
  • Shift in tone or volume ex: increasing the volume on the last few words to imply a question.
  • specialized ex: teacher: Why are we here? students: To learn! To achieve!
Risks of using Call and Response:
  • It can allow freeloading
  • Hard to provide effective checking for understanding
  • It reinforces behavior culture in your classroom only if it's crisp
What are your thoughts:
Now that you have had a chance to review the section on Call and Response its time to post a reflection. Can you recall a time when a teacher used Call and Response with your class? Was it helpful?  Please write about your experience.