Checking for Understanding

The successful online educator:

  • Uses formative and summative assessments and learner feedback to evaluate learner progress and areas of needed support.

OTS: 1.1, 1.7, 2.8


Before zoom sessions I prepare content based slides that focus on specific linguistic functions such as position of words in a phrase, orthography and reading skills, meaning and word recognition and changes in verb forms. For my middle school students I use charts and isolated functions taking students through the steps like verb forms, making agreement with the subject of the sentence. (See below).

I also incorporate lists of words directing students to like phonemes such as casa, masa, pasa and practicing reading skills using the /a/ in Spanish. In our sessions I ask for volunteers as we work through the steps. Some ways I check for understanding before putting the target into practice is to ask students how they are doing with their giving me the thumbs up, hands sideways and thumbs down check.

For younger learners they may also use the tacamoji print visuals I prepared for students. I have also seen teachers in the traditional setting use other indicators such as the green, yellow and red visual posted at the front of the room and other visual aids that help students decide where they are in regard to content and understanding.

Other assessments I have seen are exit tickets with the learner completing a task before moving on. Surveys can also be used as well as asking students specific questions in an isolated task (cold calling). Discussion posts are also good for checking to see what the learner knows and understands.

There are a variety of tools that can be used for asking direct questions and self assessment. In checking for understanding there is a strategic plan as well as being able to recognize or anticipate a disconnect some students may have.

When I refer to evidence here I am including both my virtual French middle school class and my virtual Spanish elementary students. When looking at the two groups and the two languages I am aware that the same strategies do not always coincide with the two languages and at the same level. For example, Spanish is a dyslexic friendly language. There are five vowels and the sounds of the vowels never change. There is also little variation with how to pronounce consonants. French, on the other hand, has multiple combinations of vowel, nasal vowels and consonants that change depending on a multitude of rules. So, what I would prepare for a group of French students will take longer in following the steps to understanding whereas Spanish students also need the checking to see if they understand an can produce though their steps may be shorter.

Reflection: Explain what you have done in your professional experience to address these indicators and include reasoning for why you chose this evidence.

Where are you now in reaching mastery of these indicators? Explain your reasoning.

Approaching / Meeting / Exceeding

I am meeting mastery in this indicator. In my classes I am always checking for understanding in a variety of ways though mostly I do this with a thumbs up and also isolated functions within a slide in zoom following steps to a means. Other ways of assessing understanding are by question and answer (cold calling) to see if the student can give me the answer to that isolated function.

Charts I use to ask isolated questions, checking for understanding for reading skills, grammar structures and verb forms

Matemáticas en español and checking to see if students know their numbers instead of memorization and counting in order.