This Literacy Routine addresses the following questions:
How can I tell if students really understand?
How do I get reluctant students to answer questions?
How do I know if everyone gets it, not just those I call on?
How to implement Do I Really Get It? in your classroom:
Predict student confusion and plan questions.
As you plan your lesson, anticipate where students may become confused or make procedural mistakes and build in checkpoints. Plan tiered questions aligned to the learning standard, including questions at the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Prepare materials (e.g., exit tickets* and response cards).
Check understanding of instructions.
Have students list or summarize instructions to a peer or repeat after you in a choral response. For multi-step instructions, provide oral scaffolding then call on students at random to teach back*. Make compliance visible; for instance, ask students to point or hold up their papers. (See Turn the Light On for further suggestions for making instructions more comprehensible for students.)
Use response signals.
Response signals* allow you to check the pulse of the group quickly. Signals range from a simple Fist-to-Five to response cards, white boards, and tech checks*. When assessing individual understanding, give a countdown then have students display their answers all at once. To assess the whole group, ask pairs or small groups to confer first then signal in unison.
Monitor students closely and address confusion.
Provide think time and talk time before cold calling.
When orally assessing student understanding in a whole-group discussion, pose and post the question and give think time. After allowing students to discuss with a partner, randomize responses by cold calling* a handful of students to share then ask if anyone has a different idea.
Extend superficial responses.
For whole-class discussion of higher-order questions, implement Right is Right* and Stretch It* techniques to extend limited answers and correct inaccurate concepts or language.