Checking for student understanding doesn’t have to make you want to pull your hair out. In this post, I round up my favorite tools to help check for understanding that will save you time and sanity! I grouped them for you as super techy and semi-techy.
BEFORE YOU READ THIS POST READ THIS:
Do NOT try to use all of these tools at once. I repeat; DO NOT TRY ALL OF THESE AT ONCE.
Choose one tool that catches your eye, try it for 2-3 weeks. If it works, great! If not, try another.
Let’s not get any more overwhelmed than we already are! Onto the post…
Super Techy Tools for Student Understanding
These tools require tech for your students to use.
Google Forms is one of my favorite tech tools to use to check for student understanding. I just want to clarify though – they do not need to be elaborate with tons of questions. One to two questions to check for understanding is all you need. If you wanna know more about how I use Google Forms in my classroom, check out this post.
If you’re looking for ready-to-use bundles of progress monitoring Google Forms for your students, look no further! I have compiled for you 3-5 grade Google Forms for you to use to check for student understanding in alignment with the CCLS.
PollEv is a live polling website where students can select an answer or type a word or two in and it will be sent to your account. You can choose to display the poll or keep it private. What’s cool about this app is that students can use their own devices if they have one.
This check for student understanding tool is similar to PollEv in that students can select an option or type based on the type of question. You can choose to display the answers on the board or keep them secret.
Semi-Techy Super Techy Tools for Student Understanding
These tools do not require students to be one-to-one with technology, but the teacher needs the tech.
Plickers is an AWESOME tool if you have the tech, but students don’t. It also gives students a view into QR codes and how they work! Each student gets a QR code that you set up beforehand and as students change the orientation of the QR code, the answer changes. The downside of this is that you are limited to multiple-choice questions.
Nearpod is an interactive slide where you can display information to students and have them respond right there on the app or website. My students LOVE the Time to Climb game that they have. You can have students share devices here, so you don’t have to be one-to-one to use Nearpod, but it definitely helps!
If you’re looking for an easy way to grade longer, more summative assessments, then GradeCam is what you want! With this tool, I create a quick 5 question mid-unit checkpoint to see how students are doing so far, which helps me to gauge what I should continue to work on with them. This has been a gamechanger to help me check for student understanding in the long term.
These six tools will help you check for understanding quickly & efficiently!
- Google Forms: Check out this Google Forms Progress Monitoring Bundle!
- PollEv: Ask a quick question, and then display the results, or not, your choice!
- MentiMeter: Another quick tool to get students engaged with their devices.
- Plickers: You have tech, but the kids don’t? This is what you want!
- Nearpod: Students can share devices or work independently answering questions you post through this interactive presentation website/app.
- Gradient by GradeCam: For the longer checks for understanding that allow you to quickly scan students’ scantrons (that are easy to make – literally just print them!)m and then viola! Data for you!
I hope that you find these tools as useful as I do in my classroom. It has made formative assessments and quick surveys a breeze! I do want to mention though, again, please do not try all of these at once. One more time for the people in the back: DO NOT USE ALL OF THESE AT ONCE! Seriously, you’ll overwhelm yourself and your students. Choose one, try it for 2-3 weeks. If it works, wonderful! If not, choose another and repeat the process.
Send me a DM on Instagram if you’ve tried one of these & how it worked for you!