Want to know if students are learning?

Ask Them These 4 Questions

I just read this article written by Steven Anderson. I have met Steven at several conferences, in Miami for instance, and I appreciate his writing. Here are the 4 questions he suggests you ask your students every lesson you have. It makes sense to take time to do this. In our school we have block scheduling, one subject a day (sometimes two, no more), so we have ample time to do this. I suggest using a Padlet to set it up. Look below for how I would do this. I like the last question here the most. How would I communicate what I have learned to others? That is what we are doing in my class when we write our blogs. They share their learning and communicate with others, hopefully discussing and learning more.

Extracts from the article here:

What am I learning? Before the lesson even starts students need to know what they are learning, but more importantly, how what they learn connects to something they’ve already learned.
How will I know I’ve been successful? Often it is a mystery to students to know how they will be successful in their current learning endeavor.  It isn’t just students knowing what they will learn and how they know they have learned it. It’s also the processes by which students will get there.

What is my next learning step? As part of the overall lesson, we need to not only focus on the before and during but the after as well. Students should know where on their overall learning path they are and where they are going next.  This is a critical step for them to make the necessary connections to content to make learning visible

How would I communicate what I’ve learned to others? Students need to not only understand but to participate in communicating their learning with others, beyond their desk and the walls of their classroom. That communication can come in a variety of forms like blog posts, websites, podcasts, videos, etc. The medium is dependent on what students are sharing.

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