How much is too much?
The answer is you can never check for student understanding too much.
Frequency is key when trying to asses where students are during a lesson. Many teachers struggle to decide how often to check for understanding of the material at hand. According to KIPP:Blog:
Check for understanding at least three times a lesson. Minimum. Teachers should check for understanding at least three times per lesson – after Introduction to New Material (INM), Guided Practice (GP), and at the conclusion of a lesson. Far too often teachers motor through INM right into GP without checking the class’s level of understanding.
Red, Yellow, Green Feedback Strategy
A great strategy to use when checking for student understanding during a lesson is the Red, Yellow, Green feedback strategy. Each student has a red, green, yellow card as part of their daily materials. When teaching a concept, ask students to work on a task involving the concept that they are trying to master. Before providing the answer, ask them to raise one of the cards:
- Green: Got it.
- Yellow: Maybe, but not sure.
- Red: Not happening.
A quick glance at the colors will indicating how students are doing on the learning target. The information helps to know when to move on, re-teach, or pay close attention to the groups of students who are not quite catching on.
The main purpose of this strategy is to provide a pulse check about how students are doing as instruction takes place. An added bonus – students realize when they are raising more red cards than desired. Open the door for those students to seek additional help.
Give all your students a chance to experience success by practicing something that will result in a lot of green cards. This helps your students celebrate their wins and build their confidence.
Featured image source: Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Resource: Who’s Engaged? Book