Pose - Pause - Pounce - Bounce

I've been thinking a lot about concrete ways in which we can improve at releasing the work to the kids, especially when we're asking them to dig deep and think in sophisticated ways. I ran across this strategy - Pose-Pause-Pounce-Bounce - from the British educator Dylan Wiliam recently, and it seems to fit the bill: simple, doable, and effective at moving the cognitive lift to your students.

Typically, when we pose questions to kids, it follows a predictable pattern of Initiation-Response-Evaluation (IRE). So, I may ask, "What central idea do we see the author developing in this section of the text," (initiation), a student may say, "Jackie Robinson had characteristics that made him well-suited to serve as an agent for change," (response), and then I might say, "Yes! We see that in his calm demeanor, his clear mission, and his ability to communicate well," (evaluation). If you notice, I asked the question, the student responded, and then I evaluated the response and went on to fully answer the question myself. One student (maybe) and I did the thinking and learning here.

Instead of this, Wiliam calls for the Pose-Pause-Pounce-Bounce (PPPB) questioning sequence that's better at eliciting deep thinking. In it, the teacher:

  • Poses a question
  • Pauses to give suitable think time
  • Pounces on one student for an answer
  • Bounces that answer to another student who builds on the response
If I rework my above example with PPPB, I might ask the same question (pose), give the kids some quiet think time (pause), then call on one student to answer (pounce). That student may say, "Jackie had characteristics that made him well-suited to serve as an agent for change." I'd then say, "Thanks for that start! Jordan, can you build on what Emily said?" (bounce) and after Emily added on say, "Lola, would you like to add on or react to Jordan's thoughts?" (bounce again)

If IRE is the ping-pong of questioning, then PPPB is the team-centric, basketball version that can help deepen student discourse and thinking.

If you try this in your classroom, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Use an open-ended question that requires some thinking and discussion from your kids.
  • Be sure to give that silent thinking time
  • Use Bounce as a form of check for understanding to informally assess progress. If you're not getting a lot from bouncing the response around the room, you know you need to back up a bit and reteach. If several are really digging in and they know their stuff, you may be good to move on.
  • Try preparing the Pounce and Bounce ahead of time, anticipating the responses you think you'll get and how you could push another student to take the idea farther.
  • Implement a No Hands Up or Cold Call policy to make sure you're hearing from as many students as possible
Want to learn more? Check out what Dylan Wiliam has to say about the strategy in a video here.

Here's to simply teaching well,

No comments

Post a Comment