Topic Progress:

As science class started, the teacher announced, “We have a small block of ice and the same sized block of butter. Tell your neighbor which one would melt first.” A few seconds later the teacher said, “Please write down in one sentence an explanation for your answer.”

A few minutes later, the teacher told students to share with their neighbor what they had written. Shortly thereafter, the teacher called on one student to tell the class her answer. The teacher then asked the class to raise their hand if they agreed with the answer. Then the teacher asked students to give a thumb down if anyone disagreed, and so on.

(Colvin, 2009, p. 48)

Most teachers schedule sufficient time for learning, but sometimes fail to actually ensure that their students are actively responding during that instructional time. One assurance for learning is engaged time–that part of instruction where students are actively involved in learning. The above classroom scene demonstrates the practice of providing numerous opportunities to respond and engage all students.

Use of opportunities to respond (OTR) includes strategies for presenting materials, asking questions, and correcting students’ answers as appropriate. It is an instructional question, statement, or gesture made by the teacher seeking an active response from students. It addresses the number of times the teacher provides requests that require students to actively respond (Miller, 2009). Simonsen, Myers, & DeLuca (2010) define OTR as a teacher behavior that prompts or solicits a student response (verbal, written, or gesture).

Teacher pointing to student, many students have hands raised