Check Comprehension & Avoid Discipline Problems by Dorit Sasson
Discipline problems usually occur when students are faced with a complicated task and don’t know what to do. Teachers can offset a majority of discipline related issues by monitoring how well their students “absorb” the information.
- Ask questions and get proof of students’ understanding. Realize that moving on too quickly creates confusion and chaos.
- Review assignments to be sure skills and concepts are reinforced. This increases the students’ ability to succeed.
- Check work regularly. Build on students’ lack of understanding to re-explain and re-teach certain learning concepts.
- Provide a variety of concrete examples to make instruction meaningful. This helps you be as clear as possible while checking students’ understanding before proceeding to the next part of the lesson.
- Break complex content into manageable portions or steps. Keep it simple with small amounts of information and directions presented at a reasonable pace to succeed.
- Include effective transitions that “glue” parts of the lesson together. Transitions can include signal sentences or a short activity.
- Ask students to summarize main points previously taught. Use this to check for understanding.
- Have concrete evidence to be sure students are ready to move on. Do this by asking questions or obtaining work samples.
- Circulate around each student pair during an oral activity. Make notes of any decoding or comprehension problems or issues.
- Watch for slow/apathetic/potentially disruptive students. Have a “reaction” plan at the first sign of inattention. Call on them personally to participate. Make sure they understand. Add a few extra words of explanation, or another repetition, aimed specifically at them. Since they are the ones who need the extra teaching, let them get it.
Checking comprehension is one of the hardest areas for a teacher to master but by breaking down your expectations, you CAN engage your students so they are constantly on-task and still enjoy every lesson with your students.
Teach with confidence! Make your teaching sparkle!
And if you want to get your current semester organized or prepare for the next, I highly recommend If You Do Nothing Else This Semester. With the strategies I present you will get the strategies you need to not only have a successful semester, but a successful year.