The Online PD

Teachers working smarter

E-3: Checking for Understanding

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E-3: Check for academic understanding by frequently questioning and listening and provide feedback (that affirms right answers and corrects wrong answers), in order to ensure student learning.

Teachers who are advanced proficient at checking for understanding:

  • Direct questions to a representative subset of students and can identify individual responses.
  • Craft questions that reliably discern the extent of student understanding (e.g. scaffolded questioning)
  • Ask questions about the most important ideas throughout the lesson.
  • Uphold high expectations for successful responses and tell students why they have or have not met the standard.

Checking for understanding is essential in determining who understands (and misunderstands) what throughout a lesson. It empowers you to make instructional choices during a particular part of a lesson, from class period to class period, and from day to day that maximize student learning. You can teach your heart out, but if your students aren’t getting it you really aren’t getting any place. At the same time, if you don’t know what your students are getting and aren’t getting then you can’t make smart decisions.

* How do I craft better questions that discern what my students do and don’t understand?

* Who should I call on? How can I keep track of it?

* When should I check for understanding in a lesson?

* What are different ways I can check for understanding?

Additional Resources:

Using Questioning to Assess and Foster Student Thinking

This is an exert from the National Science Teachers Association’s book Everyday Assessment in the Science Classroom.

Instructional Planning and Delivery, Chapter Six (Teach For America Institute Curriculum)

Pgs 8-17 talk about using questioning and discussions in the classroom as an instructional strategy.

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Written by theonlinepd

February 16, 2008 at 8:57 pm

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