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How to score Participation - E4Effort

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Equalize student PARTICIPATION

Regular use of the PARTICIPATION category will equalize student participation opportunities, improve individual and class focus, and help students to feel more comfortable in sharing.  Continuously selecting students randomly will lead to an atmosphere in which students notice that its OK to share their thinking even if its wrong because their ideas may help the class identify common errors and misconceptions.


  1. Student names are always listed in a random order.
  2. Let the App tell you who to call on next (if you are using the ”Seatings” feature, each student’s group and seat number will appear next to their name in “List” view and below their name in “Cards” view).
  3. Score student attentiveness not whether or not they can answer a question correctly.  For students who do not have the answer or a guess, request that they repeat the question to show they were paying attention – “I don’t know what else is needed for photosynthesis” – is a high score.
  4. To get a high score when reading aloud, the selected student should show they were attentive by quickly taking over for the previous reader.
  5. To start scoring over and generate a new random list of students, select the “New Scoring” button located at the end of the student list.


  • You want students to buy in to the system so do not spend time reprimanding or scolding inattentive students. Give them an inattentive score and call on the next student. Or, after they admit that they weren’t following along, say “OK, I’ll try to give you another turn later”.
  • Another option that you could use from time to time is a technique from the book “Teach Like a Champion” called “No Opt Out”. Student X does not know the answer but knows the question, Student Y answers correctly, return to Student X with the same question – if Student X now answers correctly keep their score high – if not, lower their score.


Suggestion: some students have high anxiety about reading in front of their peers. When explaining this category to your class tell them that all students will be called on to answer questions, give opinions, repeat directions, but if any student does not want to read aloud let you know so that you can pass them over when reading.  I’ve had several students choose this option and later come to me to say not to skip them anymore.

From chapter ten of  Teach Like a Champion –  the goal when reading aloud in class is to have one student as the primary reader and the remaining students as secondary readers.  The primary reader should be changed often and unpredictably.

  • The transition from one primary reader to the next should be done with a minimum of words.  “Thank you, next is Jordan.”
  • Keep durations short – “reading for short segments maximizes the concentration of the primary reader” (and gives more student opportunities, and allows struggling readers short passages to raise their confidence).
  • Even though the App selects the student order for you, you may wish to sometimes pass over to another student if you feel the reading level for a particular section is too demanding for the selected student. Return to the passed-over student later when the reading is less difficult or when asking a content question about the reading.
  • Another strategy to use when reading more challenging text (referred to as “bridging” in TLAC) is for the teacher to read between primary readers “to keep the narrative thread alive and create more opportunities to model.”
  • Effort scoring for reading should be based on a) how quickly the reader begins after being called on, b) if the new reader begins where the previous reader left off, and c) the reader’s delivery keep’s the focus on the content.


  1. In settings you can turn on “More Scoring Options” which has nine scoring choices instead of three.

2. Unless you create a new Subcategory (or select a previously created Subcategory), your Participation scoring will be categorized as “General”. Designating a Subcategory allows you to have more than one “bucket” to choose students from.

Here are some possible extra buckets for the Participation category:

  • Whiteboard – use this bucket to select students to work sample problems on the whiteboard
  • Scorekeeper – use this bucket to select the scorekeeper during class quiz games
  • Teaching Asst. – passes out papers, collects papers, helps with demonstrations, runs errands, etc.
  • HLQ – make sure that eventually, every student has a chance at a special “High Level Question”.