Monitoring Progress: The Interactive Science Classroom

Monitoring student understanding throughout the day

No matter what the age, students are going to sit through a lesson distracted by something else going on. Unless you have a lesson with unending excitement, you are going to lose some kids here and there. How do you know if they are listening, paying attention, and absorbing the wealth of information you are giving them? Every teacher needs a good strategy for monitoring their understanding throughout a lesson. Exit slips are a great way to have them quickly hot down a thought after the lesson, but that’s just a quick minute at the end. What about checking throughout their time with you? What if you had something that made them more interested in keeping focus? I have thought of an easy way to make learning more interactive and to give you a way to monitor their understanding! I call it The Science Wall. Here is the concept:

✏️ Create a bulletin board on your wall with three main categories: word(s) of the day, essential question, and diagram(s).

✏️ Each day give the students one word to define, one question to answer, and one blank diagram to fill in the blanks. They will be looking throughout the lesson to complete their Science Wall Form!

✏️ On the form, give them a space to answer or complete each category. The form I created also has a place for reflection at the bottom.

✏️ At the end of each class, they will turn in their Science Wall Form as they walk out the door. You now have exit slips that make the whole class time interactive and reflective!

→What word(s) do you pick? I choose something that is important enough to go on my word wall, but new enough that they will need to listen for a good definition.

→How do you write an essential question? It is a question form of your “I can” statement for the lesson. Use the standard you are teaching in that lesson to help you.

→What diagrams should I use? Anything! If you don’t have a good moon phases or life cycle diagram in the lesson, make it a graphic organizer or anchor chart that would help them learn and retain the information.


Need more ideas for your classroom this year?

Look here for a collection of fall freebies!

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