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Presto – Chango!


Students magically change a multiple-choice question into another question type to deepen thinking and correct learning mistakes.


  • Multiple-choice question
  • Note cards or notebook paper


  1. Select a troublesome multiple-choice assessment question from a previous assignment, assessment, or the released/sample tests.
  2. Students Presto – Chango! revise the multiple-choice question into a nontraditional item type.
    • Short-Constructed Response – Remove the multiple choice responses and write a few sentences to answer the question stem, justifying your response.
    • Multipart – Select a response from the multiple-choice options then write an additional sentence justifying why the answer you selected is correct.
    • Multiselect – Revise the question in a way that includes more than 1 correct response, generate a list of potential responses, and justify the 2 answers that are correct.
    • Hot Spot – Revise the question so that the answers are represented by “hot spots” located within a visual or graphic. Justify which is the correct hot spot.
    • Inline Choice – Revise the multiple-choice responses so they are represented as inline choice options. Select the correct response and justify why it is the best answer.
      NOTE: Students can Presto – Chango! math multiple-choice questions into other question types: equation editor, number line, graphing tool, or fraction model.
  3. After students “morph” the question and write their response, use Musical Mix-Freeze-Group so students get a new partner to share how they changed the question, how they answered the question, and if they need to revise their response in any way.
  4. Observe students’ responses, ask for pop-out answers, facilitate discussion, and clarify/verify as necessary.

Classroom Management

  • Model several think-alouds showing how to “morph” multiple-choice questions into a nontraditional format.
  • Select a multiple-choice question appropriate for the activity (i.e., the answer choices are not an integral continuation of the question stem).
  • Remind students there will be no harm or humiliation for incorrect answers because correcting mistakes is a sign of intelligence!


  • Promote access by partnering with a supportive peer/adult.
  • Promote access by providing the question already in the nontraditional format where students focus on how the question changed rather than changing it themselves.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate responses to a scribe and/or allowing students to use speech-to-text support or word prediction support if completing the activity digitally.

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:
    • Summarize a mistake or misconception that was corrected during the activity.
    • Analyze if the question became more or less difficult after revising it to the new format.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.