“Doubt can only be removed by action” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
On Tuesday nights I take golf lessons. The instructor begins his lesson by making us take a swing. Those who are successful move on to what he calls, “round two”, and those who are not begin receiving individual instruction immediately. He accounts for the amount of time you have been golfing and individual improvements. He knows his students pretty well. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could immediately identify which students “got” our lessons and could move on and those who needed individual help?
I was reading on Pinterest, when I saw a teacher describe how she makes her students use a “fist to five” method to see their understanding on a concept immediately. When they learned a new skill or reviewed, she would make them gauge how well they understood the information. She would then say, “fist to five,” and the kids would show their level of understanding by holding up zero to five fingers. I started using this strategy especially during our math time, and it worked really well. However, I began noticing students not telling me their true level. They didn’t want to show their peers that they didn’t “get it”. I knew I had to tweak my strategy, so I began brainstorming. Using the whiteboard app, IPads and the smartboard, I can teach a strategy and immediately see who needs help through a variety of methods.
First, my students can complete a problem and show me their answers all at one time. Sometimes students place their level (fist to five) on their Ipads and place the ipads under their chin, as they face forward NO ONE can see their level except for me. We have discussed why I need to know their level of understanding, and why it is important that no one else sees their level. It is at this point that I can take note of who needs help with what strategy, or I send individuals to the back table for individual instruction.
Another way I can see immediate feedback is by placing a question on the smart board, and when students think they have the answer worked out correctly on their Ipad, they place their IPad “face down”. I then come around and check individual IPads. Students can also meet in small groups voluntarily when they see they struggle with a concept. All of these different strategies help me see who needs individual help prior to a unit test. It is important for teachers to “remove all doubt” and understand exactly what kids are struggling with. Start assessing your student’s road blocks immediately today!
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