Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Levels of Understanding


Happy New Year!


I hope you had a wonderful 2017 and New Year's celebration! Being almost six months pregnant, my NYE consisted of sparkling cider and falling asleep long before the ball dropped. Even though I was out before 9:30, I still made a few resolutions before 2018!


One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to check my students’ level of understanding more frequently! This can sometimes be an abstract concept for students. Although it is a difficult concept, it provides very important information for us as teachers and for our little learners. In order for students to grow in their understanding, it is important for students to think about what they know and do not know.





Levels of Understanding 

In order to make this abstract concept a little more clear, I use a visual along with a short and simple explanation for each level. These levels and explanations are based upon Marzano's Levels of Understanding and are communicated to students in a child friendly way. It is very important to explicitly explain what each level means along with examples. Working with younger students, it can take a while before students grasp each concept. My students often struggled with not being at level 5 so it is important to reinforce that it is OK not to know everything right away! This can make a great lesson to tie into growth mindset. 




I chose to make the cards into a display since I have a low number of students and they don’t have assigned desks. You can also put them on the corners of students desks. You may also choose to put them on loose-leaf rings and have students keep them in their desks or with their things. Students can hold the cards up at the end of a lesson. There are many different ways to use these! Just choose what fits your classroom management, needs and style best! See below on how I set up my display and cards.

After a lesson, students will “check out" by moving their card to where their level of understanding is. Using the different colors allows me quickly assess where the majority of my groups are. For example, if I see most of the cards on green or yellow, I know I have some reteaching to do!



Set Up:


If you are using the black and white version (this is what I used) I would recommend printing each level on a different color. I love using Astrobrights! I like putting each level on a different color because it allows you to quickly check to see where the majority of your class’ understanding is.




As mentioned on the previously,  these can either be put on rings or the adhesive square label pockets from Target, I don't have a link for them but they are typically sold in the Dollar Spot! If you are going to put them on a loose-leaf ring, I recommend laminating them and then hole punching them at the top corner to attach them.




Make a Poster or Display:

You may choose to make this into a display with the adhesive pockets (if you have them.) You should be able to fit about 20-25 of the adhesive pockets on a piece of poster board. In my example I only included 6 because I have a very small number of students. To fill some of the space, I added the posters to the bottom.

Print and cut out the letters, included in Levels of Understanding.


Add the letters to the top of the poster boar and laminate it. 


Teacher tip: fill in the inside of the letters with a Sharpie!

Place all of the cards in the adhesive square pouches.




Stick the pouches to the poster board. You will want to add student names or numbers under the pouches to distinguish each students pouch. I used my label maker for this. You can also attach them with Velcro.




If you'd like to try this out in your classroom, click the image below!



Again, this can take some time for students to fully understand where they are, but it is a great tool! Do you use a self assessment tool in your classroom? Leave me a comment below!




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2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to check for understanding! For me, this would be especially great to use after teaching a whole group math lesson and moving into small group instruction. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on your baby on the way! Is this your first?

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  2. Thank you! Yes this is our first! :)

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