10 Ways to Learn How Your Student Learns

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Want to find out more about your student's learning behavior? Get insight into his behavior with these 10 informal assessments.

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1. Hone Your Powers of Observation

Watch children in their natural environments to better understand behaviors. Document child's actions and behaviors, and compare to other children. Observe child with a clear purpose and systematic techniques.

2. Create an Anecdotal Record

Describe child's behavior during a specific time with a short, written record. Include the setting and only facts about what was heard, what was said, and what was done.

3. Write up a Running Record

Write a sequence of records to provide insight into a behavior or event over a period of time. Look for patterns or changes in each documented record.

4. Take Note of Your Student's Behavior During Certain Events

Record a particular behavior over time during a certain event or situation. Look at behavior during lunch, reading time, or transition times.

5. Consider the Length of Time That Your Student Exhibits a Certain Behavior

Observe behaviors and events during specific time intervals, such as five minutes or ten minutes. Identify when a child shows this particular behavior. Think: Is the behavior shown all times or only during certain times?

6. Fill Out a Rating Scale

Mark items that contain descriptions for behaviors and tendencies. You can use rating scales to record data during the observation. Make sure the scale fits what is being observed.

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7. Go Through a Checklist

Identify items on the list that you see in the child's skills and knowledge. This allows teachers to easily observe and check off what they know the child can do.

8. Collect Work Samples

Show student's work over time with a collection of class samples. Make sure that the work samples demonstrate what the student knows and can do. Let the student pick samples that represent his best work.

9. Get Together a Portfolio

Collect a variety of student work - test scores, writing, video footage - to show student achievement in certain areas over time. Select materials with care and thought.

10. Talk to the Student

Ask students questions and discuss to gain an insight into their learning. Lets children explain their behavior, work, or answers.

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