Q&A #218

Student understanding of geometry

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From: Cindy Mortensen
To: Teacher2Teacher Service
Date: Apr 19, 1998 at 22:46:31
Subject: Checks for understanding

I teach high school geometry, and it seems that I teach to the students who 
generally have all the answers - how do I check to make sure that more students 
understand the steps in the material during the lecture, without using a 
cumbersome method? My supervising instructor would give her students a problem to 
do, and have them set their pencils down when they were done, or put their hands 
flat on the desk - she then would check with  the students who were not giving 
"the signal"; however, this takes forever, and it really stops the "flow" of my 
lecture. (It also seems to work easier in algebra, where separate steps can be
illustrated with separate problems.)

We do a guided practice before each homework assignment, and I try to make sure I 
hear responses from most of the students as we go from problem to problem, but I 
don't check each one individually at that time. Perhaps this is sufficient - I 
really don't know.

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