A Looks Like/ Sounds Like Anchor Chart is a tool used by teachers to teach, practice and reinforce the behaviors necessary for cooperative learning. A teacher starts by introducing behaviors one at a time. He or she writes the behavior down at the top of the anchor chart, then creates a T-Chart with Looks Like and Sounds Like columns. The teacher works with students to define what a particular behavior might look and sound like. As students popcorn out ideas, the teacher writes the ideas down on the chart. After creating the chart, the teacher should model the behavior and have students practice with a partner and group. The chart should then be posted in the classroom and referred to as necessary.
Tips & Tricks
- Cooperative Behaviors: According to research, these are the most effective cooperative behaviors to focus on: Practice Active Listening, Help & Encourage Others, Everyone Participates, Explain Your Ideas & Tell Why, and Complete Tasks (Slavin & Madden). Use these behaviors (one at a time) as a focus for the Looks Like / Sounds Like Chart.
- Discourse: Before facilitating the whole class creation of the chart, make sure the students have time to think and discuss with their partners or team. It is best practice for students get time for discussion before whole group conversations as it is essential for language acquisition.
- Reinforce & Reward: Reinforce the behaviors on the Looks Like/Sounds Like Chart with direct, explicit praise linked to the chart. Statements like, “Stephanie just earned her team a cooperative point because I saw that her eyes were on Dai while Dai was speaking; Stephanie had her ‘eyes on speaker.’ Good job Stephanie!” are most effective.
- Feels Like: Some versions of a Looks Like/Sounds Like Chart include a third column for “Feels Like.” This column would be used to describe what it feels like to be doing the specific behavior for the students.
Tools & Templates
- The Office of Professional Learning’s Strategy Series on Cooperative Learning
- Looks Like Sounds Like Template