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Checking for Understanding

Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom

Checking for Understanding by Douglas Fisher
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What teacher hasn't sometimes believed that the entire class understands a lesson, even though only a few students are nodding their heads and answering questions? Later, the teacher is dismayed when many students fail a related test. Why aren't students getting it? And, just as important, why didn't the teacher recognize the problem?

In Checking for Understanding, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey show how to increase students’ understanding with the help of creative formative assessments. When used regularly, these types of assessments enable every teacher to determine what students know, what they need to know, and what type of instructional interventions are effective. Fisher and Frey explore a variety of engaging activities that can build understanding, including: interactive writing, portfolios, multimedia presentations, audience response systems, interactive hand signals, public performances, and much more.

Checking for Understanding further explores how teachers can effectively use traditional tests and collaborative assessments to improve instruction and increase students’ comprehension. Rubrics and charts help teachers check their own understanding as they work with students.

Whether you are preparing students to read a Shakespearian sonnet or create their next science project, Checking for Understanding will help you refocus your teaching and enable all students to get the most out of their classroom experience.

ASCD; September 2007
171 pages; ISBN 9781416606734
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Title: Checking for Understanding
Author: Douglas Fisher; Nancy Frey