Classroom Management: Checking for Understanding

Image of a teacher and a student working a problem on a chalk board.


How will you continuously assess what your students' are learning while you are teaching? How formal or informal will that be? How will you provide feedback to the students about that assessment?


The use of individual whiteboards is an efficient way to engage students and provide yourself with an idea of how they are doing without having to look over every shoulder.

  • They can be made very inexpensively using heavyweight page protectors and card stock.
  • You might include graphic organizers that are helpful to your subject area. For example, a 4-quadrant grid or periodic table.

Asking students to self-assess by using their "fist-to-5" where making a fist means "I don't get it" and all 5 fingers means "I have this down". "Thumbs up, down and sideways" is another quick check.

Several of my new teachers use a set of 3x5 cards the students put on their desks while working independently. 1 card is red (I need you NOW), another yellow (I need you to check my work), and green (I'm good).

An exit/entrance slip is a quick way to assess your students' strengths and weaknesses for that particular lesson/standard/unit. You can pre-make the slips or just cut up copier paper into fourths. You can quickly sort their results by correct/incorrect or by multiple choice answers. This is a quick way to assess and reteach