Make input comprehensible:  Communicating with your students

Make input comprehensible: Communicating with your students

July 21, 2019

Have you ever asked if your students have any questions, and they say no...but then they do? <-- EVERY. TEACHER. EVER.

Have you ever walked around and observed, answered questions, checked for accuracy, and found your student hiding their answer from YOU, as if you were going to cheat?!?  So weird.  

One of the ways that we have found that it is helpful to communicate with our kids, or to help them self-assess, is to code their questions.  Next to each question, we ask them to place a question mark, check or star.  

question mark = I don't get it.

check = I think I've got it!

star = Totally got it, Profe!

It takes almost NO time, and provides really great feedback to us as well.  Think about it:  If a bunch of kids have a question mark next to the same question, we go back and rephrase, show pictures, clarify, or even change the question for the next class.  Additionally, we notice if the same student has a question mark next to the same type of question, such as always the voice or purpose questions, always the opinion questions, etc.  Your students can even go back and analyze that at the end of a unit!

We find this especially effective for our kids who are shy or don't want to advertise to the rest of the class that they don't understand something. When we know that "that type" of kid has a question, we can speak to the large group, and not single them out.  

Communication is key!  How do you have your students communicate what they need to you? Let us know in the comments!

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