Check for Understanding Without Giving Quizzes or Tests

I want to share some strategies that can be used to check for understanding without giving quizzes or tests. I’ve just listed here a few things that can be done. For those quick assessments that you will do throughout the day, a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down is a quick way to assess student understanding. Another method is having students turn to a partner to talk and share answers. One thing that I always loved to do was have kids write their responses on dry-erase boards for quick feedback.

Another way to check for understanding is to have students respond to text in a writing journal. During my Reader’s / Writer’s Workshops, I’d always have my students writing in their student response journals. After which, one could follow up with students during individual conferences to discuss the content, or their thoughts about a topic. Another super cool thing is giving students the opportunity to role-play, or give oral presentations to see what they have learned.

Lastly, checking students for understanding can be assessed through the use of “Thinking Maps” and/or Exit tickets which I personally have used extensively. Hope this information is helpful.



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Steve Hiles

I am a retired military and elementary school teacher living in Tennessee. I am an avid reader and love to write. I am very passionate about helping teachers. I hope you find my educational tips and strategies useful and enjoy hearing about my personal journey. Thanks for visiting!

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