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6 Checks for Understanding

As teachers, it is important that we continuously check students' understanding of the material in order to ensure that they have a solid grasp of the content. While sometimes checks for understanding might be done through formal assessments, it is necessary to also use informal assessments periodically throughout the week.

Below are 6 quick activities that you can incorporate into your lessons in order to monitor students' understanding.

1 Question 1 Answer - Each student writes down a question on a piece of paper. All of the students then stand up, and find another student in the room to ask their question to. The students will have 2-3 minutes to ask one another their questions and write their answer. After they answer each other's questions, students will have another 1-2 minutes to write a new question before completing the process again.

3-2-1 - At the end of a lesson, the students identify 3 things they learned, 2 questions they still have and 1 thing they would like to know more about.

Journal Entry - The teacher provides a prompt to the class based on the day's lesson or unit of study. The students will then write their response to the prompt in a notebook for the teacher to collect. This is a great activity for students to complete at the end of each week or a unit to summarize what they learned.

5 to 1 - The teacher asks a question to the class. Students will rank their understanding of the content on a scale of 1-5 (1 - still unsure, 5 - I can teach this to my peers). This is a great way for teachers to get a quick gauge on the students' understanding without taking up too much class time.

Ticket out the Door - The teacher asks the students one question that can be answered in 2-3 sentences based on the day's lesson. The students will write their responses on a sticky note or index card, and then hand it to the teacher before they can exit the classroom.

Stop Light - Each student has three pieces of paper red, yellow and green. When the teacher asks the class a question or checks for understanding, the students hold up one of the colors based on their understanding. Red - Not there yet; Yellow - Nearly there; Green - Good to go. This is a great activity to implement across the board in all classes by giving each student laminated colored paper, or by having a class set for each room.

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