Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Teach Like a Champion
Technique #18
Checks For Understanding
“We” Technique

“The technique could more accurately be described as Check for Understanding and Doing Something About it Right Away. . . 2 aspects of Check for Understanding: gathering and responding to data”

KEY IDEA:  Used to determine when and whether students are ready for more responsibility and when they need material presented again. 

Gathering Data
Questioning is data gathering.  Checks for Understanding requires you to think of the answers to your questions as data.
  • Data sets.  Think about the percentage correct.
  • Statistical sampling.  Ask questions across the spectrum.  Low, middle and high achieving students.
  • Reliability.  Stop questioning when your students get it right several times in a row, not once.  Have students stretch out their answers to make sure it wasn’t a lucky guess.
  • Validity.  Make sure the answer to the question is at the same rigor as what the test will be.
Types of Questions.  Don’t use just yes or no questions and rely less on self report-thumbs up if you agree.

Observation.   Instead of circulating to see how close to finished students are or whether they are working, you would specifically look for the number and type of errors they are making. Standardize a format where information is in the same place for students.  It will be quicker to identify class mastery. 

Responding to Data. 
All the data you collect won’t help if it does not result in action and done quickly.
  • Reteach using a different approach.
  • Reteach by identifying and reteaching the problem step.
  • Reteach by identifying and explaining difficult terms.
  • Reteach at a slower pace.
  • Reteach using a different order.
  • Reteach identifying students of concern.  Teacher works with a small group at a table or at recess or ….
  • Reteach using more repetitions.
From Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemove (Jossey Bass, 2010)

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