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Assessing your students' learning

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2015 10:34 AM

While you're following your curriculum teaching Common Core topics, you'll need to see how your students are doing. While you can gauge skills just by noticing how often they answer questions and participate in class, it's important to have a more accurate way of monitoring their abilities. Here are some tips for assessing student learning:

Provide surveys
Not all teachers turn to surveys as a way of learning their students levels of understanding. However, you can ask questions that are much different than what a typical assignment would involve. Some questions to consider are "How are you doing in class?" and "What areas of class would you like help on?" You may give these surveys halfway through the quarter or semester. This way, you'll have time to adjust your teaching based off of the students' replies. You can even have your class fill out the survey online via a student portal. They can complete the survey anonymously if you want to assess the group results or sign their names so you can help them individually.

Use questions
Some teachers turn to lectures for student learning and instruction. Many students don't respond well to this method because they need more stimulation. Use questions as a way to keep your class engaged and to help you figure out how well everyone is doing. Ask questions of the entire class to see who answers and pose queries to specific students, especially those who wouldn't naturally speak up. 

Offer extra assistance
Sometimes, it's difficult to gauge how students are doing if they aren't big on participating in class. This doesn't mean they aren't smart or don't know what's going on, as it may just be that the students aren't a fan of talking in front of classmates. You can spend time each day devoting your attention to specific students. You wouldn't be ignoring the others, but by focusing a few moments on individuals, you can touch base with each person and assess if students are on par with their Common Core-related learning. If students need extra help, offer after-class tutoring or let your pupils know where they can access extra resources like the library or school tutor. After all, teaching doesn't end after you've assessed your students' learning - now you need to use that knowledge to further their educational growth.