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Toss a Question


Students collaboratively practice and analyze assessment items, focusing on stimuli, terms, error patterns, and distractors.


  • 6 different assessment questions
  • Toss a Question handout (projected and printed)
  • Toss a Question template (English/Spanish)


  1. Organize students into 6 different groups.
  2. Give each group a different assessment question (handout).
  3. Student groups collaborate to analyze and write a response addressing 1 part of each question:
    • Round 1: Analyze the stimulus and explain why it is important.
    • Round 2: Identify and describe 3-5 key terms.
    • Round 3: Predict the big idea.
    • Round 4: Justify the best answer.
    • Round 5: Justify the worst answer.
    • Round 6: Predict a careless mistake and how to avoid it.
  4. At the end of each round and at the teacher’s signal, groups crush their questions and toss them to the next group.
  5. Groups analyze, collaborate, and complete the next task with their new question.
  6. At the end of round 6, groups review their original question to determine the best response.
  7. Provide the correct responses, encourage discussion about other possible answers, and clarify misconceptions as appropriate.
  8. Students summarize what they learned in writing and note how to avoid mistakes in the future.

Classroom Management

  • Role-play appropriate crushing/tossing action and clearly designate tossing paths.


  • Promote access by partnering with a supportive peer/adult and using text-to-speech support.
  • Promote access by allowing a peer to read questions aloud, and/or providing the answers for rounds 4 and 5 so students focus on justification.

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:
    • Evaluate which question was the most difficult to analyze and explain why.
    • Infer which round was easiest for you and which round was most difficult; explain why.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.