Check for Understanding

Routine Name



Checking for Understanding

Thumbs up/Thumbs down
Fingers in the air (1=a, 2=b, 3=c, 4=d)
Exit tickets
Check out the Assessment Resources on the Dare To Differentiate Wiki (Don't miss the formative assessment section!)

Low-Tech Response System

Until I get the high-tech version, I use die-cut circles for students to vote for their answers on a multiple-choice or true-false review/activity. If I've got 3 answer choices, I use 3 different colors--Green, Blue, and Red. I make plenty so each student has one of each color and I write on both sides of the circles:
  • Green = A on one side, True (or Yes) on the other
  • Blue = B, Maybe
  • Red = C, False (or No)
Students vote by holding up one circle. They put them in stacks by color as they exit. My 4th and 5th graders interact a lot when we use this method. (Regina Hartley)
3" Die-cut circles, or any shape you choose,
Marker, Laminate for longer use
external image 294815_sk_lg5.jpg

Ticket Out the Door

The "Ticket Out the Door" is a quick way to check for understanding, get feedback from students, or to have them self reflect/evaluate their work - they must hand you the "ticket" (a brief written response to a question) before they leave the library.
One thing I learned today was...
I can use this strategy again when I...
One thing I am not sure of is ....
Some more information about the strategy and examples of questions (although more geared for a classroom teacher) and be found here. (Nancy Alibrandi)

Entry Cards & Exit Cards

Same thing as "Ticket Out the Door." I love this! Give the kids an index card and have them respond to whatever prompt you need to do in order to assess for understanding, determine background knowledge, etc. I learned more than a decade ago to stand at the door and give out Entry Cards as you greet students or stand at the door as they are leaving to collect Exit Cards and say something to each student. This gets kids on task right away or uses those last few minutes very effectively. You, the teacher/librarian, get to learn a lot about what the kids are thinking, learning, connecting to, processing, etc. (Catherine Trinkle)
Index cards are one of my favorite assessment tools!! index_cards.jpg

Gold Medal for Good Thinking

I have a few gold medals ($1 a pkg of ten) that I keep near my teaching station. When someone asks a particularly insightful question or helps to explain something during large group or points out something I hadn't thought of, I hand them a "gold medal for good thinking" They can wear it until the end of class or the end of the day. I write out a certificate with a small bit of detail - when they turn in the medal, we "trade" and they get to take home the certificate. I reuse the medals. This can be particularly helpful to inspire listening/participating with others. A bit tricky to use with Kinders, but great grades 1-5! (Marcia Dressel)