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Choral Responding

Heather St. Pierre #11

February 22, 2016

What is Choral Responding?

Choral responding is when a teacher gives the entire class or small group the opportunity to respond
in unison to a question that has one possible answer. The response may be verbal or created with
gestures or response cards. Ideally, students responding verbally will only have to use one or two
words to respond correctly. Heres how it works:
Step 1. Teacher introduces and explicitly provides instructional information.
Step 2. Teacher explains and demonstrates procedures for choral responding.
(For example: When I point to myself, Im asking the question. When I point to
you, its your turn to respond.)
Step 3. Teacher asks the question, using wait time between asking and probing for a
(For example: [teacher points to self] The Declaration of Independence was
signed in [teacher waits three seconds then points to students])
Step 4. Teacher listens for the correct response from all students in unison. If only a few
students respond or the answer was not correct, the teacher knows to revisit that
topic in the lesson.

Who can benefit from Choral Responding?

Choral responding is beneficial for all students in a general education classroom. However, students
with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Autism, and General Learning Disabilities may find this

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strategy particularly helpful because it reinforces concepts, promotes confidence, and provides
immediate feedback from the teacher. Students with the following disabilities may also benefit, though
researchers suggest future research be conducted to fully understand the merits:

Speech and Communication disorders (Choral responding eliminates the pressure of speaking

ADHD (Choral responding provides an interactive educational environment at a fast pace)

Specific Learning Disabilities (Choral responding does not require writing or reading)

Why use Choral Responding?

This activity provides students who are not confident answering questions individually with an
opportunity to hear themselves answer fast-paced questions correctly. If they do not know the answer,
they will hear it immediately from their peers and gain feedback from the teacher. Educators gain
immediate feedback from students about how well they understood the information. All students
receive an equal opportunity to respond during Choral Responding, and they learn the rules of Choral
Responding just as they would the rules of a game. It is a fast-paced, interactive, and stress-free
strategy to formatively assess student learning.

Blackwell, A. J., & McLaughlin, T. F. (2005). Using guided notes, choral responding, and response cards to increase
student performance. International Journal of Special Education, 20(2), 1-5.
HAYDON, T., MACSUGA-GAGE, A., SIMONSEN, B., & HAWKINS, R. (2012). Opportunities to respond: A key component
of effective instruction. Beyond Behavior, 22(1), 1-12.
Haydon, T., Marsicano, R., & Scott, T. M. (2013). A comparison of choral and individual responding: A review of the
literature. Preventing School Failure, 57(4), 181-188.