Susan Gross on Comprehension Checks

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2 thoughts on “Susan Gross on Comprehension Checks”

  1. First day of school today. Spanish 1: 5th period. A kid named Blade–awesome name.
    Doing the 10-finger checks he said he didn’t understand anything. I started asking him follow-up questions from the circling with balls plus a stuffed penguin and he could translate everything I said. I asked the class again for a comprehension check he said 3 now. I had to convince him that he understood everything that we were talking about because he had all of the correct answers:
    En inglés por favor:
    El Señor Hiben no besó al pingüino.
    Jeff besó al pingüino.
    El Señor Hiben no juega a béisbol.
    That “What did I just say?” piece is a good way of providing instant feedback (a big buzzword at our site this year). Maybe I have to train them about what the 10-finger comprehension check could mean. Maybe I can change it to a 3- or 4-finger comprehension check. How many of the previous three questions did you understand. That might be better formative “data” for me. It’s like one of those loose rubrics that don’t really quantify what the teacher is looking for.

  2. Wow…kind of like the way I used to think that every kid got cognates…maybe the ten-finger check isn’t as accurate as I thought.
    One of our teachers taught us to ask for thumbs up/down for “whether I’m going slowly enough for you to understand.”
    Susie’s questions are the only crystal clear way to find out.
    Thanks for this startling idea.

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