Try It, Talk It, Color It, Check It

Try It, Talk It, Color It, Check It

“Try It, Talk It, Color It, Check It” is a powerful strategy that ties in a variety of instructional strategies. It provides the opportunity for students to solve and process problems independently. Then, students move into collaborative partnerships where solutions are discussed and analyzed. These partnerships evaluate their level of understanding and communicate it with the teacher before moving into a classroom discussion and debrief. 

Oftentimes we may ask students to work in groups or collaborate with one another before giving them the opportunity to process their own thoughts and solutions. Students will be more apt to work collaboratively with a partner if time has been provided for them to organize their own thoughts. This is an important step in this strategy and should not be skipped. 

Students may still need some support when engaging in academic conversations. Providing accountable talk move frames could be a beneficial scaffold for your students. You can find these talk moves all over the internet, but we have curated some of these talk moves at the bottom of our Accountable Talk Moves strategy sheet. 

As students discuss and analyze solutions to the provided problem, they are asked to evaluate their level of understanding. Students will need to have a clear understanding of what each level means, even though they may have simplistic names such as: “Help!” “Uncertain,” and “Got it!” Students can communicate with the teacher through different colored sticky notes, different colored plastic cups, or by showing a number on their hands. This will help the teacher to understand how to proceed forward.

Finally, the class debriefs and shares the discussion between partnerships. At this time, students share their work, ask additional questions, and make any corrections.

Jamboard could pair nicely with this instructional strategy. It has digital stickies built-in and could also be a place where students document their thinking or key ideas from the classroom discussion. A digital tool records these thoughts and keeps them nicely organized to be revisited at another time. Check out this Jamboard template to get you started.

As with any new strategy, before implementing this strategy take some time to consider what skills your students will need prior to engaging in “Try It, Talk It, Color It, Check It.” What modeling will you need to provide? What scaffolds will need to be in place for students to find success? Remember that it may not go smoothly the first time you use it with your students. Ask for feedback from your students. Find out what worked and what didn’t and provide support from there.

This strategy originates from Taplin, A. (2019, December 20). A Strategy for Boosting Student Engagement in Math — Edutopia.

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