Small group instruction is a more effective way of working with students. You are better able to check for understanding, provide them with additional support when there is confusion, as well as increase their participation.
I have been doing small group math rotations in my first grade classroom, or guided math as many call it, for most of my teaching career. Yes, I have only been teaching for a few years, but I quickly realized that whole group was not very effective. Whenever I was doing whole group, it was just too difficult to see how was grasping concepts and who was having trouble. You could walk around the room and make come anecdotal notes, but I found that some students that "appeared" to understand concepts were actually lost or confused.
Guided Math has been very effective. Working with a small group of students, which the biggest group in my class is 8, allows me to instruct them on a level for them to better understand concepts. For students that easily grasp concepts, it allows me to push them farther so that they are still being challenged.
What if you could get data before you ever taught a lesson in front of your students? How would you like to see which parts of a lesson you need to spend more time? How can you know whether your teaching is being effective?
ExitTicket can help you do all of those things and more. ExitTicket gives you individual student data that is stored in a Scorebook. It will track student's scores on various standards.
Before students come to your teaching station, they can use ExitTicket to take a Pre-Assessment. It can give you real-time data on which parts of lessons they already understand, what might be challenges, and where you can push your students.
When they arrive at your teaching station, you can then quickly glance on the data and click on reteach. You can look through each question to see how your can adjust your lesson with each individual group.
Depending on how comfortable you are with adjusting lessons on the fly, you could always have students take the pre-assessment the day before to make adjustments ahead of time. For example, if you are teaching lesson 5.2 on Tuesday, you could have them take the pre-assessment as a station on Monday.
After you have completed your lesson, you can have students take a quiz or an exit ticket to see how effective the lesson was with the students and what you might need to reteach the following day. If you have RTI time built into your day, ExitTicket will even put students into an intervention list.
Just think about what you just read. You can adjust your instruction to spend more time on concepts that your students might see as a challenge. You can also collect lots of data on each individual student. And the best part is that you never have to spend hours grading these assessments and putting them into a grade book. If you haven’t put a huge smile on your face by now, it might be time to do so.
The best part of ExitTicket is that it is free. Continue to look for updates on this blog, as well as on their website, for more information about how it can change they way you reach your students.