Making all students understood as a whole is really a tough task for the teacher. Often, teachers while teaching pause and check if the students are actually getting what is being taught. Simple, because it is important. This is called formative assessment which is actually a method to examine students’ learning and understanding of the concept, while you are teaching them.
8 tricks and ways to check for understanding
- Hand gestures: Stop a while, take a look at students and ask them about their understanding of a topic, by simply giving hand gestures. For example: in case they have understood a thing, or agree on something then they can thumbs up for that. If the case is the opposite, they would be doing a thumbs down for it. You can randomly select any students in order to break any set pattern in their minds. This will help them to stay attentive. The more attentive they are, the more they will understand. For the online classes, the same method can be used except they would respond with designated emojis. You can also create various physical movements for the children (fun, refreshing, entertaining) that they can use to respond in accord to various purposes. This is a great way to make them less lazy in class and get a lot of their engagement in the class
- Asking questions: The teacher is needed to ask questions to students in between teaching a lesson or topic or even a paragraph, suggesting to please avoid yes or no questions as this will cause no help they would simply say no or yes or even guess for it. Go for asking open-ended questions where an explanation is required. At the last few minutes of class, make it a rule asking students to summarize what they have learned in that class.
- Responding with board: Some students hesitate in even telling they are not understanding anything, some are just shy in standing, raising hand or even telling in front of a whole class, some don’t care. Here is a solution: provide each of them with a whiteboard, on which they will write down their response in one word or two which students will be seeing and can judge about his teaching methods and student’s learning. They can also use them while having short answer type Q&A sessions, and get multiple responses at one time rather than just one.
- Write what you learn: There can be a time interval when the students will write up what they learn and yes! quick write-up session but don’t pressurize to speed up. Give students that much time so that they can reflect better by writing in their own words what they have just heard and learned about. You can collect the responses for checking next or in your free time.
- Pair and teach: Encourage the students to get paired or form groups, after your teaching, supply them with one question, let them answer and evaluate, checking each other’s responses.
Or you can tell students to teach a topic they learned to the group by giving more examples, alternatives, etc. This reveals the thinking ability of children, and the teacher can design the plans accordingly.
- Exit note: The exit notes are a great way to get an idea of the variety of questions hitting their mind related to the topic. These are actually tickets that students are donating after writing on it prompts confusion, or “ relevant question of the day”. Similarly, tickets to enter can be constructed.
- Use tech tools: Many tech tools are now available to enhance the learning of students on the internet platform. Students are so tech-oriented in today’s scenario, they would understand even better by using tech tools. That is all a teacher can do for the phone addicts, what’s better if they learn something or are subjective by the internet. Kahoot, Quizlet, are the go-to tech tools for students learning.
- Conceptual errors: While teaching intentionally provides them conceptual errors which can be related to the procedure, truth, etc. The misconception will be corrected by the students if attentive, also students have secret desires, a keen interest in correcting teachers if any mistake happens. What’s wrong if they correct you in the chapter, question, or anything. Even this will encourage them to be more attentive and not let them sleep in the class, will understand better the whole learning.
You are now familiar with the ways to check students’ learning and understanding. Use them, because after incorporating these in your teaching method, you will see a lot of good changes and desired results. While teaching, a teacher mustn’t get deep inside teaching that forgets to check on students’ understanding of concepts.