The goal of every Master Educator is to check for students understanding before we move onto the next skill set. Typically, we get into the rut of only asking “yes” or “no” questions to determine students understanding. I don’t know about you, but too often when I ask those questions I get a bunch of blank looks from students. Those blank looks are telling me something, they are telling me the students are not engaged or connected to me or the material.
When this happens, I like to mix things up! My go-to is having students answer those assessment questions using silent responses. By moving away from the traditional verbal “yes” or “no” response, I’m able to get my students energized, and have a deeper understanding of the materials. In other words, I make certain we are all on the same page, before moving forward. Unfortunately, those blank looks don’t provide a clear picture of their comprehension.
Integrating “silent” response activities into your classroom is a win-win. They keep students engaged while you perform a quick and easy check of understanding.
Instruct students that for the next series of questions, they are to answer your questions with…
Hand Gestures – Get students to put down their pens and get their fingers and hands moving. Students can use a simple handle gestures such as; thumbs up if the answer is “yes” or a thumb down if the answer is “no.’
Response Cards – Create a set for each student. Cards can be created on index cards or different colored pieces of paper. You can label with answers choices, such as A, B, C, D, or color-coded, such as green for yes and red for no.
Digital Assessment Apps – Thanks to technology there is no shortage of apps that can easily be downloaded onto your student’s mobile devices. These apps create a game like assessment for students. There are several great classroom assessment apps such as; Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Socrative.
These silent assessment tools are a fun way to quickly check for students understanding and can easily be integrated at any point in your lessons.