One fun way I have found to help give me a better picture of what my students understand takes only about 15-20 minutes, but provides me with some great information on which to plan what I need to teach. It also provides students some time to reflect with their peers on their own understanding.
It's a bit like the game 4 corners, but you can play with as many corners as you like.
- Write down 4 (or more) words or statements about your current topic.
- Post them in different sections of the room.
- First, have students move to the topic they know the most about.
- Give them a few minutes to talk with one another about what they know and have one student record their ideas. If necessary, break them into smaller groups if their are too many students in one area.
- Next, have them go to the topic they know the least about.
- Give students time to talk with one another about the questions they have and again have a student record their questions.
- Finally, come back together as a class and have a quick share out as a whole group.
By watching where the students go in the room you will get a quick snapshot of what they feel they know best, as well as, what they know least. Be sure to wander around and listen to what your students are saying and the questions they are asking. Use this information, along with the students questions to guide your future lessons.
This can be done quickly or if you have time, allow your students to really reflect and inquire with one another. This comprehension check can be used with any subject and really provides some valuable feedback in just a few minutes!
Another tool I use as a comprehension check during our units of study are Student Goal Setting Unit Planners. I have two versions of this product. One is designed for use in any primary classroom and the other is geared specifically for an IB PYP classroom. Both products are designed for students to set goals, document questions, inquire and reflect on their learning. You can find both products in my TPT store and more on my blog.