Monitoring Student Learning in the Classroom

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  • 0:03 Probing for Student Learning
  • 0:51 Monitoring Students
  • 1:43 Components of Careful Progress
  • 3:29 Probing Techniques
  • 5:18 Formal Progress Monitoring
  • 5:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
Effective teachers keep a close eye on student progress and use several strategies for adjusting instructional activities when needed. This lesson reviews methods of monitoring student learning in the classroom and shows them in action.

Probing for Student Learning

At one time, teachers didn't monitor student learning or make adjustments during teaching. There was little differentiation and students either succeeded or didn't. Teachers taught the material and gave a test at the end of the unit to determine student understanding. This is called masterly measurement.

We now know that in order to help students succeed, teachers should keep a close eye on students throughout the teaching process. Teachers need to develop methods of probing for student understanding. They continually use probes of different kinds, like conversations, questions, and quizzes designed to see what students understand and what they may need more help with. Let's zoom in on this method of progress monitoring.

Monitoring Students in the Classroom

Mary is a new teacher who wants to meet the needs of all her students. With 24 first graders, this started out as something she felt confident she could do. She knows that each student is unique and in order to meet all needs, she should adjust what is taught and how it is taught, or differentiate her instruction. She thought differentiation was a simple process and underestimated one thing - how will she know who needs what?

Luckily, her mentor teacher, Helen, is a seasoned pro. Helen teaches Mary that in order to identify student needs, teachers need to monitor, or closely watch and note, student learning. Monitoring students as they make progress requires careful planning and an awareness of the overall picture. Take a look.

Components of Careful Progress

Helen has been working with students for so long that she seems to monitor her students' progress without even thinking about it. She naturally listens to her students during class, notices and notes strengths and struggles, and effortlessly adjusts learning, either on the spot or later on. This is something Helen has perfected over the years and involves the following series of steps that can be used to monitor students' progress:

  1. Determine current level of performance
  2. Plan instruction
  3. Monitor student learning
  4. Respond to student needs

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