No Opt Out is a practice to encourage students to answer when they are unable or unwilling to participate. This is one of the most helpful and efficient ways to raise classroom expectations and to create a culture of accountability. “In high-performing classrooms, a verbalized or unspoken ‘I don’t know’ is cause for action” (Lemov, 2010). Teachers must acknowledge the behavior and communicate the expectation that everybody must participate in the learning process. No Opt Out is a sequence that starts with a student who is incapable or reluctant to respond to a question and ends with the same student answering the question as often as possible (Lemov, 2010). This practice builds confidence since the students are supported in their efforts to arrive at the right answer.
- Give adequate wait time after asking a question.
- Support the student who does not know an answer, but clearly expect the student to get to the answer.
- Provide the answer; your student repeats the answer.
- Another student provides the answer; the initial student repeats the answer.
- Provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer.
- Another student provides the cue: the initial student uses it to find the answer.
- Request another correct answer or an explanation of “why”.
- Add several more questions that add rigor in appropriate language for the students.
- Provide wait time when stretching questions.