A teacher presents a lesson, and at the end asks students if they
understand the material. The students nod and say they get it. Later, the
teacher is dismayed when many of the students fail a test on the material. Why
aren’t students getting it? And, just as important, why didn’t the teacher
recognise the problem?
Checking for understanding is an important step in the teaching
and learning process. The background knowledge that students bring into the
classroom influences how they understand the material you share and the lessons
or learning opportunities you provide. Unless you check for understanding, it
is difficult to know exactly what students are getting out of the lesson.
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, formative assessments enable every teacher to determine what
students know and what they still need to learn. Fisher and Frey explore a
variety of engaging activities that check for and increase understanding,
including interactive writing, portfolios, multimedia presentations, audience
response systems and much more.
This new 2nd edition of Checking for Understanding has been updated to reflect the latest
thinking in formative assessment and to show how the concepts apply in the
context of Fisher and Frey’s work on gradual release of responsibility, guided
instruction, formative assessment systems, data analysis and quality