I was always left wondering if my students actually understood that awesome Math lesson I just delivered. I would ask if they understood and they would nod diligently and then when I would later test them on that concept it would become clear that they weren’t quite honest with me.
After some Summer holiday reading of some other teacher Blogs, I came across the idea of creating a class parking lot. A very simple idea where at the end of a lesson students reflect on how well they understand what they have just learnt and then they rate themselves 1-4, 1 being that they don’t understand and need further help and 4 being that they are very confident and can teach the concept to someone else.
So first Math lesson back I introduced the idea to the class. All I did was laminate a sheet with their names on it with a spot to write their number and stuck it to the wall with the instructions on how to rate yourself next to it. Once again I delivered my lesson and asked if they understood and once again I got the diligent nods, but to my surprise when I asked them to rate themselves on the carpark all of a sudden I had a student rating them self a 1.
got an honest asnwerOnce again I delivered my lesson and asked if they understood and once again I got the diligent nods, but to my surprise when I asked them to rate themselves on the carpark all of a sudden I had a student rating them self a 1. By providing the students with a means of letting me know they needed a little extra help without embarrassing themselves in front of their classmates by admitting they weren’t perfect I was able to finally answer the question, “did they understand?”.
By gathering this information daily I am now able to build into my lessons the next day some small group work with the students who feel they need some extra instruction. But not only that, I am able to take advantage of those students who rated themselves as a 4, meaning they felt confident to teach the concept to do just that and be peer tutors for the students who require some extra help.
Such a simple thing has really allowed me to meet the needs of all my students in a compassionate, unobtrusive manner and take advatnage of the knowledge and skills already present in my room. Now I have this up and running and a part of our routine, I plan on introducing it to all my subjects areas so I never have to wonder again.