Lesson plans are taking longer than it used to to complete. “Why?,” you ask. Well, my plans are more complete and I’ve been more purposeful in all of my planning. My charter school expects to see Checking for Understanding (CFU). We can do that by asking for a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, a 1, 2, 3, or 4 (with 1= I don’t understand at all, 2= I understand a little, 3= I understand it, 4= I understand it and can teach it to someone else). So, I’ve built that into my lesson plan. I sometimes use an Edmodo poll, a Google Form, or a simple 1-4 thumb check. It works really well.
My planning is also taking a little longer because I assess the student’s learning during the whole lesson, which is something I didn’t use to do. This extra planning can take the form of Google Forms and/or sheets. After every concept that I introduce, I have a mini-assessment. I’ve taken to naming them 5 Quick Questions.
It’s working like a charm. It’s very helpful because the students know what to expect.
*Update- My students thought that 5 Quick Questions twice a week was too much. So, now I give them the same 5 Quick Questions three times per week and take the best of three.*
While these extra bits of assessment and consistent CFU may be common for someone else, it wasn’t common for me. I now consistently teach rigorous, purposeful lessons and I’ve been able to see a difference in my student’s grades & responses to my lessons. I’m also going to start using Google Classroom next week.
I’ll write more later as I have a little bit more work to complete. By for now!