Skip main navigation

Classroom example: pose, pause, pounce, bounce

Watch this classroom questioning technique.
ANDREA: The teacher poses a scenario or a question for students to think about.
TEACHER: Now, just before we go into a little bit more detail here and talk about something called efficiency, just want to show you a quick video clip just to test out some ideas about conservation of energy. And when you watch it really carefully because I’m going to be asking you a couple of questions afterwards about it.
ADAM: So this is conservation of energy demonstration. What we’re going to do, we’re going to get this ball and lift it up to your face where it should get potential energy. When you let go, will it hit you in the face or not?
So if you just want to move your nose right up close and when you’re ready, just let go of the ball.
ANDREA: The teacher pauses and allow students time to think– think-pair-share could work well here. The teacher then pounces on any of the students, and bounces the different ideas around the room, building, challenging and gathering ideas without providing any answers themselves.
TEACHER: Quick question, before we watch what is going to happen. Harrison, what’s going to happen when he lets this ball go.
STUDENT: It’s going to move and then it going to come back and hit him.
TEACHER: Going to move, come back, and hit him. That’s what you’re saying. Dan, what you reckon?
STUDENT: I think it’s going to come back, but it’s going to be at the same place where he released it.
TEACHER: Why do you think that?
STUDENT: Because it will probably go the same way and it comes straight back down and up.
TEACHER: It’s going the same way, come straight back down– thinking energy, thinking energy. Kyle. Do you agree with Dan that it’s going to come back right to the point where he’s going to drop it from or do you agree with– who was it that said it’s going to hit him– Harrison?
STUDENT: I agree with Dan.
STUDENT: Energy can’t be created, so–
TEACHER: So you’re saying no– new energy can’t be created.
What do you think?
STUDENT: It won’t go back to the exact point because there will be waste energy within that, meaning it will be less and less each time until, eventually, it just stops.
TEACHER: OK. So we’ve got different opinions. Let’s see.
ADAM: And when you’re ready, just let go of the ball.
Pose, pause, bounce and pounce, is a no-hands up questioning strategy and it might take some time to get students used to not raising their hands.
  • First, pose a pre-planned scenario or a question for students to think about.
  • Pause – allow students time to think before answering. The trick is not to let the silence bother you, and to wait long enough for students to consider their answer.
  • Pounce – choose one student at random to answer (reminding students of no hands-up if needed). There are several methods you could use to choose the student, such as picking names out of a hat, names on lolly sticks or random name generators.
  • Bounce – When the student has given an answer, resist the temptation to comment yourself! Instead, bounce the idea straight to another student to comment on or add to. If you want, you can keep bouncing the response around the class allowing more students to add their response.


A learning environment
Earlier in the course we introduced the idea of a formative classroom environment that enables students to share wrong answers and welcomes discussion of answers, rather than judgement.
Consider the two methods ‘think, pair, share’ and ‘pose, pause, pounce and bounce’. In your view, does the effective use of these approaches develop a formative classroom environment, or is dependent upon a formative classroom environment being in place?
Note: Tom originally used this YouTube video in his lesson, but due to copyright reasons we substituted the clip for an equivalent demonstration in the video above.
This article is from the free online

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education