Choral Response

Looking into the Classroom!

Let's travel to Romero Elementary and peek in at Ms. Durazo while she teaches during the ELD instructional block. Ms. Durazo will be introducing the concept of Ordinal Numbers with her students and has her students respond orally in unison to her prompt using Choral Response.

What Is Choral Response and Why Does It Work?

Choral Response is a technique where all students verbally respond, in unison, to a teacher's questions. It is an easy-to-use, cost-free method of increasing each student's frequency of active response during group instruction (Heward, 1994). Unlike traditional one-student-at-a-time response modes (e.g., handraising), choral response provides every student with an opportunity to actively respond to every question posed during instruction. Choral Response can be used effectively in the classroom in 3 ways:

Pair Share - The teacher prompts the students to share with a partner their response to a question or comment. With only two students to a group, children are able to practice the language forms and functions individually. They are also more inclined to practice oral language since this intimate pairing allows them to feel less pressure about making a mistake. Watch an example of students engaging in Pair Share from another activity in Ms. Durazo's class:

Small Group Instruction - Students are placed in a small group (usually 4-6 students) according to teacher discretion. Here students share out as a group while the teacher listens to check for understanding and proper word formation. The small group setting allows for the teacher to listen for each student's response, and hear multiple students at one time. The small group atmosphere also allows students to be more open to mistakes and correction.

The following video includes an example of choral response used during small group instruction. Having fewer students allows her to hear individual student responses more clearly.

Whole Group Instruction - Students are responding as a whole class to a prompt or question. This is the easiest for the teacher as students are contained in one area, but the most difficult for assessing individual progress. However, if using oral language practice is the goal, then this beats the pants off individual hand-raising.

 

Good to Know! Research has shown that Choral Response and other methods for increasing active student response have a positive impact on achievement, the amount of content presented during a lesson, and on-task behavior.