Your students need a model for improving their work; with timely and specific feedback, it will be easier for them to work to improve in certain areas. Student feedback identifies particular areas of student performance and provides insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, feedback should be a natural component of most assessment methods you provide in your classroom. This article will give you a brief set of steps to help you build timely and targeted student feedback.
Ideas and strategies to check for student understanding are plentiful. You may find that you’ll use several different methods within each classroom and choose methods specific to the task students complete. A large toolbox of strategies to pull from can help ensure you understand exactly what each student knows. When designed correctly, your methods to check for student understanding can also work to support students in self-analyzing their learning to train them to think critically about what they do and do not know. The 3-2-1 Strategy is a simple yet effective method you can introduce to your students to learn what they know and to help them analyze it for themselves.
In your classroom, you likely have identified specific problems impacting student behavior or performance that needs to be solved in a certain way. You might be utilizing a specific instructional method, assessment, classroom management strategy, or something else as part of your classroom routine to help address the issues you see. Or, you may begin utilizing something new in your classroom that can help make positive changes in your students. But, does it work? Is the selected approach the most effective for your students?
The Four Corners Strategy is a simple verbal strategy to help engage your students and improve discussion and discourse. In Four Corners, a question is presented to the class, and students are given time to think about their responses. Students will respond to the question by standing in a designated spot of the room that represents their answer choice. Typically, you allow for each corner of the four corners of your classroom to convey an answer choice. After posing your question, students will reflect on their answer and then move to their designated corner of the room. The Four Corners Strategy is a wonderful way to encourage debate and discourse in the classroom while also visualizing students' differences in ideas. By posing questions that elicit a more open-ended response, you can encourage students to think more critically about the question and their answer and prompt them to justify their choice.
A simple verbal strategy to check for student understanding throughout your lesson is the Student Response System and is the focus of this article. This strategy presents questioning prompts in multiple-choice or true-false format for students to answer in real-time. Students will respond to the prompts using pre-made cards with A, B, C, D, True, False, or other information to indicate their selection of an answer choice displayed on the board. The student response system can be prepared easily by cutting out printed cards, laminating them, and making them available to each student in your classroom. If you have it available at your school, there are also electronic versions of this student response system, commonly known as Clickers. Physical devices may be available for use at your school, or you may have an app or website that you can access to employ an online student response system.
Every teacher struggles from time to time with the art of closing a lesson effectively. We all know the importance of wrapping up the lesson, linking it to prior knowledge, and building anticipation for the next lesson. Ideally, that daily wrap-up should include some quick from of assessment or check for understanding that you can use to inform your instruction for the next day. One quick and effective way to do just that is through the use of an exit ticket.
Many people often think that a formal assessment is a sufficient way to check their students’ understanding. While these assessments are certainly useful to determine your students’ level of content mastery at the end of a unit, checking for understanding is something that should happen regularly throughout a lesson.
It is now independent practice time for your lesson, and to an outside observer it appears that students are silent, working hard, and grappling with task at hand. All looks well, but how do know that students are actually mastering the material they are working on and will be ready for your planned exit ticket or mini assessment?
This is where Active Monitoring comes in. One of the major responsibilities of a teacher during independent work is to actively gather real-time, objective-aligned data that will enable direct action when student misconceptions are identified. A more focused, strategic example of Active Monitoring, Aggressive Monitoring, can be highly effective in catching student misunderstandings and ensuring student mastery prior to the actually assessment. In this article, we will provide a detailed overview of how to use Aggressive Monitoring in your classroom.
Wait, so, what is the RIGHT answer?” “Sarah got a different answer than I did…how can we BOTH be right?” You will most likely hear all kinds of responses like this when you start to incorporate open-ended math activities into your classroom. At first, they’ll probably make your students look at you as if you have two heads. But, these kinds of reactions will begin to subside once your students have been exposed to the idea that there are many ways to solve problems, even math problems! Encouraging this kind of “endless possibility” thinking is an effective way to teach your students to challenge themselves and think outside of the “normal” problem solving thinking.