In a research conducted on bridging the achievement gap between different types of students on a classroom setup, studies found that almost half of these students indicate that they fully understand their classroom lessons about half the total time and sometimes even less. The question now is how teachers can check their student’s comprehension on their every lesson.
Studies and researches show that teachers can actually actively engage their students in different monitoring strategies requiring them to do some things that may illustrate their understanding. Moreover, teacher’s repertoires should be composed of a broad spectrum of student’s monitoring techniques that actively support their learning styles, background experiences and culture.
This paper attempts to show some of the best monitoring strategies teachers can use to monitor student understanding of lesson material for selected grade level or content area. It will also describe an effective monitoring system that could be used regularly in classroom for students who are more likely to have difficulties with classroom assignments (e.g., special education students; ELL; or students who struggle with organization, responsibility, or paying attention).
Identifying students who are possibly at risk of not understanding the lessons and who may need additional support and help to complete their studies successfully has always been the teachers’ responsibility. To ascertain that the students are monitored and identified early, the policy on the Student Progress states clearly that teachers must give feedback to their students on a certain task by the 5th week of the semester. Monitoring the progress of the student and giving them with the capacity to become successful in their studies is a very important component of a good teaching practice. An effective student monitoring strategy should include:
Compact activities and tasks undertaken early in the course or subject
Early feedback given according to the result of the above activities.
Four Appropriate Strategies Teachers can Use to Monitor Student Understanding of Lesson Material for your Selected Grade Level or Content Area
It is very important for any teacher to monitor their students’ comprehension on the lesson. Thus, some strategies were formulated to help then perform this responsibility successfully. Below are four of the best and most appropriate strategies I find useful to monitor my student’s understanding of lesson material for my selected grade level or content area:
Reflective/Learning Journals – This strategy allows the teacher to encourage students to once in a while reflect on and to write all the indentified aspects of what they have learned. This strategy also provides important information on some skills such as critical thinking and analysis. Initially, the teacher may need to give his students with a focus or structure for the students’ responses. For an instance, the teacher may give specific questions on what the students have learned during a particular session.
The teacher may also provide different examples of journal styles and entries especially that students may find this very hard. Moreover, if the teacher would like his student to continue learning journals, the journals may also be a part of the teacher’s assessment of the students’ comprehension. The teacher must make sure that regular feedback is given to the students.
Quizzes – This strategy allows the students to recall everything learned on a particular session. Feedback must also be provided. Application Cards – This strategy requires the students to practice and apply a principle, theory, procedure or concept covered in a particular session in real life context. It enables the teacher to gain feedbacks on how his students connect and transfer the knowledge and concepts to different applications. With this strategy, the teacher must explain the activities to the students. The theories, principles, and concepts must be clearly defined.
Portfolios and Self-Assessment – This strategy includes the collection of student’s works over time. Students are asked to document their best works as well as other types of information processed by the student such as drafts and scratch for self-assessment and parents’ assessment. It may also be used by the teacher to evaluate the student’s progress and abilities.
Effective Monitoring System to be used in Classroom
I would say that the portfolio and self-assessment is the most effective monitoring system to be used in classroom. It opens channels of communication and fills the gap between teachers and students. With this system, students are given free power to assess their own performances. This scheme has also given the students the chance to discover their strengths as well as their weaknesses. They are also given the chance to appreciate their output thereby challenging them to produce significant and good results.
What is really important with portfolio and self-assessment is the ability of the students to enhance and develop their learning autonomy and independence (Mirador, 1998). It is only after the learners have fully learned to think by and for themselves as well as trust their abilities that success in learning can be totally achieved.