Response Cards

Quick Check

UDL 4.1

Response Cards are pre-created answer cards (e.g., different colored index cards/pieces of construction paper, or white index cards with clearly labeled responses) that students display when responding to a teacher’s question. Different sets of Response Cards are used based on the questions presented (e.g., four cards for multiple choice responses, two cards for yes/no responses). First, the teacher distributes cards and reminds students to only hold up one card to represent their answer (e.g., blue card for fact/yellow card for opinion). The teacher then poses a question (e.g., “Is this a fact or opinion: Bees are the only insect that make food for humans.”). After being provided think time, students hold up the card that corresponds to their own, personal response to the question. Through observations, the teacher uses this quick, low-risk response system to conduct a formative assessment of student understanding of concepts taught and to gauge student perceptions.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Response Cards

Large Print Response Cards: Yes and No

A set of large print "Yes" and "No" response cards that can be used for quick formative assessments as well as when working with students with limited verbal vocabulary. The set includes plain and symbolic representations and can be modified and individualized.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Speaking, Behavior & SEL · 2 pages

Response Cards

Small Print Response Cards: Yes and No

A set of small print "Yes" and "No" response cards that can be used for quick formative assessments as well as when working with students with limited verbal vocabulary. The set includes plain and symbolic representations and can be modified and individualized.

Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Speaking, Behavior & SEL · 2 pages

Implementation Tips

Designing Response Cards
Design Response Cards so students can easily differentiate responses. Represent each response on different colored cards or front/back on a single card. Responses Cards can include a label, or colors/symbols can be used to represent answers (e.g., using red/green or thumbs up/thumbs down icons for agree/disagree).
Designing Multiple Choice Response Cards
Maximize the space on a single card by positioning multiple answer choices on each of the four edges, so students can turn their card to display a response by holding their answer choice upright. Check out this option for a [[ | Multiple Choice Response Card ]] where answers are listed at the top, bottom, left, and right.
Modeling Response Cards
Model the strategy with a small group of student volunteers. Review each Response Card so the class understands the answer choices. Have students practice holding up cards after asking simple questions (e.g., “Do you like snakes?”), providing a cue (i.e., “Cards up!”) to ensure students reveal simultaneously.
Supporting Visually Oriented Learners
Ensure that Response Cards are distinct and can be easily seen from afar by labeling cards with big, bold lettering. Colored cards should be vastly different in color. Also, display questions/response representations (e.g., purple/agree, orange/disagree) on the board to provide additional visual support.
Formative Assessments
Use observations of student responses while using this strategy to determine what students comprehend. Keep track of student names that found it challenging to respond, or continually responded incorrectly. Use this information to organize small group work instruction to clarify student confusions.
Provide answer choices on popsicle sticks instead of on a card to offer students a more stable option when revealing their responses. Answer choices should still be represented used colors, symbols or letters to signify responses. Click [[ | here ]] to see an example using thumbs up/thumbs down icons.
Building Routines
Use Response Cards before a lesson to gauge students’ prior knowledge. Also, use this strategy while delivering a lesson to quickly monitor for understanding after providing students with key information. If the majority of the class indicates an incorrect response, adjust instruction and reteach content.
Keeping It Organized
Keep Response Cards organized by giving each student an envelope or folder to store and accumulate their cards so that they may be reused and accessed easily. Click [[ | here ]]to see how Response Cards can also be connected onto a ring, or check out this [[ | spinner option ]] to support safe keeping of multiple cards.
Integrating Technology
Use online tools and mobile devices to integrate technology into the Response Cards strategy. [[|Plickers]] is a free online program that provides a class set of pre-made printable response cards using unique [[|QR codes]]. With Plickers, a teacher can upload and project questions that students can respond to using their cards. The teacher can quickly scan the response cards using the camera of a single mobile device, with the data automatically uploading into the program.


Engaging Student Cognitive Thinking
To actively engage all students during class community building, a teacher implements the Response Card strategy. First, the teacher describes a social scenario (e.g., a student being bullied) and then asks students to consider what they would do it they saw this happening without revealing their answers. Next, the teacher explains how each card represents an answer (e.g., green/get help, yellow/speak up, red/walk away, orange/unsure). After 10-15 seconds of think time, students are cued to reveal responses (i.e., “Cards up!”). Afterward, the teacher observes student responses and then conducts a discussion exploring why students chose their responses.
Deepening Understanding of Math Operations
While reviewing problem-solving strategies, a teacher modifies how students analyze equations by presenting equations with the answers already solved, but with missing operations. Each student is provided with four different colored cards with boldly labeled operations (i.e., -, +, x, ÷). Students are reminded not to reveal their chosen responses until a cue has been provided (e.g., “Operations up!”). The teacher then displays one incomplete equation after another on the whiteboard and students determine which operation is missing. As students are cued each round to reveal their answers, the teacher uses observations to monitor who might need additional small group support.

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