Listening to Students Forum

Other ways to listen to students to inform activities

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Other ways to listen to students to inform activities
by Susan Scholl - Monday, 23 September 2013, 8:52 AM
  • There are many other ways that a teacher can "listen" to students to inform their classroom activities besides their facial expressions, their performance on formative and summative assessments and through their written and verbal comments.  One big way I know is by watching their body language.  This is tied into facial expressions, but when they start to slouch, or put their head down, I know I have lost them.  I ask them to give me thumbs-up and down signals during class to let me know if I need to change tactics.  To show another way to solve the problem.  And lastly I use brainstorming as a way to determine what I need to do to make sure the concept being taught is grasped.
  • The methods of communication between myself and the students that are of most value include written, verbal and non-verbal feedback.  Using exit slips is a fabulous way to discern which students understand what was taught and allows me to adjust my lesson for the next day.  Checking in with each student verbally and visually seeing their work is another method of communication.  But as stated in the previous paragraph, non-verbal body language is a great indicator of letting me know that things are not going well for that specific learner. 
  • To capture the essence of student learning needs and gas when the time between administration and scoring of the assessment does not support timely remediation or differentiation is an issue we teachers deal with every year.  One way that we have tried to overcome that problem is to talk to the students immediately following the test.  We ask them if they felt like they were prepared to take the test and what us teachers could do to help them be prepared should they need to retake the test.  We ask what topics we should review, what topics they felt good about and what they did not know at all, while it is fresh in their minds.  We ask them to not give us any specific questions, just general topics.  We then use this to help reteach the material if those students will take the test again in the same school year, and if not we use it to guide instruction in the next school year.
Re: Other ways to listen to students to inform activities
by Dave Henrich - Tuesday, 24 September 2013, 1:49 PM

Having the conversation about how the assessment while it is fresh in everyone's mind is a great way to gauge the test prep strategies.  Timeliness is important, as is timing.  It can be interesting to see how each student felt and compare that with the student's performance on the assessment, and start to work on ways to close any gaps between perception and performance.