What did they learn? How do you know?

Post-it notes

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I’ve got a formal observation with my Headteacher this week. It’s the first time he has observed me and I know he always asks three questions in the feedback session: What did you want them to learn? What did they learn? How do you know?

I’m a teacher that likes to ‘get stuck in’, regularly circling the room checking my pupils are learning by looking at their work whilst they’re doing it. I find that this gives me a very good feeling of what they learned and is a reasonable strategy to answer the ‘how do you know?’ question.

I’ve been thinking hard to come up with another strategy to answer the ‘how do you know?’ question to back up my circulation and observation strategy. Like all good ideas this one woke me up at 3am from the inner depths of my subconscious. It’s an idea that I’m sure many teachers use but one that I thought I’d share with you in case you’d never heard of it.

During the plenary give each pupil a post-it note and ask them to write on it “one thing to remember from today’s lesson”. They then stick the post-its on your whiteboard. You can select ones to read out from the board which acts as a ‘whole class memory bank’ to share with everyone. It also serves as a fantastic Assessment for Learning strategy for you as a teacher and hopefully provides supporting evidence to answer the ‘what did they learn?’ and ‘how do you know?’ questions!

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3 Responses

  1. John Rinker says:

    William, Very cool idea! I really like the ‘memory bank’ aspect. Perhaps another approach to consider that integrates technology is to use something like Socrative (socrative.com) and create ‘exit tickets’. This is really just like digital stickie notes. Thanks for sharing this thoughtful idea. Cheers.

  2. Jim Pardun says:

    Have the students write one good question from today’s lesson on the Post It note and stick that to the board. The next day as students are walking in to the room have them scan the board for a question (from their peers) thay they can answer. Sit back and listen to their responses and you’ll will be surprised at how much they retained from yesterday’s lesson.

  1. 08/02/2011

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