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Idea Shuffle


Students read for comprehension, write a short constructed response, and analyze peer responses.


  • Question or prompt (short constructed response question, a Think It Up question, or an assessment item with the answer choices removed)
  • Index cards


  1. Present the class with a question or prompt.
  2. Students anonymously respond to the question on an index card.
  3. Students participate in an Idea Shuffle:
    • Students stand up and mix around the room, trading cards at least 5 times.
    • Students carefully read the card they have.
    • Students evaluate the response by rating the card on the back:


      answered the question asked AND provided a justified reason AND <5 writing mistakes
      Getting There
      answered the question asked BUT did not provide a solid justification OR 5+ writing mistakes
      No Credit
      did not answer the question that was asked
  4. Repeat 3 rounds of Idea Shuffle so students read and rate 3 cards.
  5. After the third round, ask students to add all 3 ratings to get the total points scored.
  6. Students read 3-4 examples that scored 8-9 points so students see/hear good examples.
  7. Observe students’ responses and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Extension Option

  1. Present a second question or prompt.
  2. Students get a second chance to write a quality response.
  3. Students submit their responses as an exit ticket instead of trading, reading, and rating.

Classroom Management

  • Model or role-play trading cards 5 times.
  • Model or role-play how to read/rate the cards and provide examples that represent each score.


  • Promote access by previewing the question with a supportive peer/adult.
  • Provide response support by offering thinking stems to frame responses or allowing students to write responses with a supportive peer/adult.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate responses to a scribe and/or using a speech-to-text or word prediction support.

Think It Up!

  • Have students think more deeply about the concept by responding to a Think It Up prompt as an exit ticket or journal entry:
    • Apply what you learned by rewriting your original response.
    • Write a new response that would score a 2. Justify how your response answered the question, provided a reason, and had fewer than 5 writing mistakes.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.