Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom

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ASCD, 2007 - Education - 158 pages
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If you ever have students who are reluctant to tell you when they don't understand something--or worse, tell you they understand when they really don't--then here's a book that gives you lots of ways to check for understanding. Learn why typical methods to check for understanding are usually ineffective. And explore formative assessment techniques that work in any subject area and grade level: (1) Seven types of oral language (speaking and listening) strategies that close the gap between what students need to know and what they already know; (2) Four ways to use writing to check for understanding in any subject; (3) Student response techniques that increase participation and engagement; (4) Projects and performances that are easily integrated into daily classroom practice; and (5) Test items that help plan further instruction. Extensive classroom examples show you how to use these formative assessments to correct misconceptions, improve learning, and model good study skills for individual students or across multiple classrooms.

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Why Check for Understanding?
Using Oral Language to Check for Understanding
Using Questions to Check for Understanding
Using Writing to Check for Understanding
Using Projects and Performances to Check for Understanding
Using Tests to Check for Understanding
Using Common Assessments and Consensus Scoring to Check for Understanding
Afterward Checking Your Own Understanding
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About the author (2007)

Douglas Fisher's latest book with Heinemann is Background Knowledge, coauthored with Nancy Frey. It continues their exploration of the connection between language and learning. Their previous two Heinemann titles, Word Wise & Content Rich, Grades 7-12 and Learning Words Inside & Out, Grades 1-6, have helped teachers nationwide implement a five-part framework for building students' vocabulary. With word learning so important to comprehension, Background Knowledge takes the next step toward deeper understanding. In fact, Doug and Nancy are long-time collaborators, and they have focused on supporting deep understanding and improved literacy across the content areas in three other books: Checking for Understanding, Better Learning Through Structured Teaching, and Improving Adolescent Literacy. They are both classroom teachers and faculty members at San Diego State University and Health Sciences High & Middle College.

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., a Professor at San Diego State University received the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference. Dr. Frey has published in The Reading Teacher, English Journal, Remedial and Special Education, and Educational Leadership. She has co-authored more than fifty books on English Learners (Language Learners in the English Classroom), assessment (Checking for Understanding), writing (Scaffolded Writing Instruction), literacy (Reading for Information in Elementary School) and vocabulary (Learning Words Inside and Out). Dr. Frey teaches a variety of courses on reading instruction and literacy in content areas, classroom management, and supporting students with diverse learning needs. She also was a third grade classroom teacher.

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