Thursday, November 7, 2013

Increase Student Engagement

Recently, my administration set a goal for teachers to increase student engagement and to be more responsive in the classroom.  As the ELA Leader of our school, I held a small-group meeting to discuss what comes to mind when thinking of these two terms.  Every teacher in the group agreed that we could easily increase student engagement by using "every pupil response."  In addition, we would have quicker "responsiveness" to students if we used strategies to get students talking and participating more frequently.  By using every pupil response or EPR, teachers have a quick and easy method for collecting data and making changes to a lesson on the spot.

My Favorite Ways to Use EPR

1. White Boards- We store them in our table bins in a drawer along with a dry-erase marker in a clean sock.  I have students respond, hide, and then show their responses.  Meanwhile, I am collecting the data on a clipboard.
2. Thumbs Up, Thumbs Sideways, Thumbs Down- When I need to know quickly where students are with the lesson, I use this method of EPR.  If there are more thumbs down or sideways than up, I know it is time to change the direction of my lesson.
3. Pinch Cards- I keep pinch cards laminated and in desktop bins at my table groups.  When I need a response, students pick these up and pinch the correct answer.  These are great for multiple choice questions!  Instead of copying worksheets, ask the questions and have students use the pinch cards. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
4. Consensogram- Use colored dots on a consensogram to determine where students are with their understanding.  I do not use this simply at the beginning and end of a lesson but throughout the entire time we are learning!  It helps me to see which strategies are working and which need to be adjusted.
5. Connecting Cubes- Students have red, yellow, and green connecting cubes at their tables to use to demonstrate understanding.  A red cube on their desk means they need help.  A yellow one means they are confused.  A green cube means they are good to go!  This helps me assess who needs my help immediately and who is comfortable working independently.
There are so many more ways to use EPR, but these are just a few of my faves!  If you are like me, you don't have a ton of time on your hands to make things so I thought I would give you a few pinch cards to get you started!  I hope you enjoy!  How do you use EPR in your classroom?  I'd love to hear some tips!
Click on the pic below to get your pinch cards!


  1. OH MY GOODNESS! I love those pinch cards! Thank you for that freebie!

    I changed my blog design & Name (formally Lil Bit Country in the Classroom.
    I'd love your feedback!
    Whole Hearted Country

    1. Hi there! Pinch cards are fun to use, aren't they? I know the students enjoy them! You are very welcome for the freebie! I'm stopping over to check out your blog so I can follow you. :)

  2. This post will be used in my next Interactive Read-Aloud! Thank you for helping me become a better teacher!

    1. That's great! You are so welcome! I just love to share ideas for teaching! :) Thanks so much for checking out this post. I'll be posting again in two weeks so look for another freebie to come your way!

  3. For some reason it would not let me open the pinch cards.. Can you email it to me?


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