Utilizing Effective Monitoring Strategies in the Classroom

Topics: Education, Teacher, Knowledge Pages: 5 (1551 words) Published: July 14, 2013
Utilizing Effective Monitoring Strategies in the Classroom
The American heritage dictionary describes monitoring as scrutinizing or checking systematically with a view to collecting certain specified categories of data (Cotton, 1988). Another definition for monitoring that is more closely related to the field of education is, “activities pursued by the teacher to keep track of student learning for purposes of making instructional decisions and providing feedback to students on their progress”(Cotton, 1988). Both definitions accurately describe what effective teachers do when they monitor students’ performance and understanding of lesson material. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between effective student monitoring and student achievement(Cotton, 1988). Teachers who regularly implement effective monitoring strategies into their classrooms have more students who succeed academically. Monitoring is an essential component of the learning process and effective teaching; there are various types of monitoring strategies that knowledgeable and productive teachers use in the classroom. Questioning, is a monitoring strategy that is commonly used in the classroom. Teachers can implement questioning strategies into their instructional activities in a variety of ways. During classroom discussions, they can question students to check their understanding of the lesson material that was taught. Also, they can circulate around the classroom and interact with students one on one by helping them with independent practice and giving them substantive feedback. Moreover, teachers can conduct periodic reviews with students to discover whether or not they have a good understanding of learning material. Such questioning strategies help teachers identify any gaps into students’ knowledge and understanding(Cotton, 1988). As can be clearly seen, there are many ways to incorporate questioning strategies into the classroom. However, in order to produce great gains in student achievement teacher’s learning probes must be substantive and effective. Effective learning probe techniques incorporate questions into the lesson presentation that require only brief responses but are tailored to determining students understanding of what is being taught. Questions are posed at an appropriate level of difficulty; such level of difficulty is determined by considering whether or not students can answer such questions with a high percentage of success. Effective teachers pay close attention to which students attempt to answer questions. They are careful to not only pick students who are always eager to answer questions and they make a point of calling upon those students who do not volunteer too. Once teachers have gathered the necessary information needed to assess students understanding, they use it to determine whether or not they need to re-teach material or pick up the instructional pace. “There is a strong correlation between content covered and student achievement(Cotton, 1988).” Monitoring seatwork is another effective strategy that is used in the classroom. Effective teachers commonly circulate around the classroom after an instructional presentation to determine how well or poorly students are progressing through assignments.(Assignments that once evaluated will be a good measurement of whether or not students are able to meet the lesson’s objective.) They stop and provide brief one-on-one assistance to those who are struggling to complete assignments. Productive teachers make sure that their interactions with students are substantive by incorporating systematic procedures for supervising and instructing students during seatwork. One way they do this is by staying task-oriented while consistently working through problems with students, and spending extra time with students who experience a high level of difficulty with seatwork or independent practice. Moreover, effective teachers diligently follow a process of carefully and consistently...
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