Check for Understanding (CFU)

Un-Targeted Questioning is not helpful. We default to asking vague questions like, “Do you have any questions?” or “Does everyone understand?” because we have not pre-planned any other questions.

Create Objective-Driven Questions

Rather create questions centred around the specific content you have just taught.

Plan for and Expect an Incorrect Answer. 

As teachers, we WANT our students to answer questions correctly. But we know that students are going to have misunderstandings and make mistakes. AND we know through brain research that when students make mistakes and then are able to correct them, their brain grows and they learn more! 

A CFU could be used as a Do Now (to check homework or what was covered in the previous lesson), in mid-lesson, or as an Exit Ticket.

Adapted from: 

Takeaways from TLAC 2.0: Checking for Understanding Part Two. (2015). Retrieved 3 March 2018, from 

Using Tech for CFU

The usual way of doing a CFU is to use a Cold Call. The problem with this is that you are still only getting a CFU from one or a few students. What if you could get a CFU from the WHOLE class?

A few years back, “clickers” were invented. Great idea, but very expensive! Then there were apps which could do the same thing. Great idea, but requiring all students to have smartphones and data.

Now, there is a free tech solution which requires only that each student has a piece of paper. It is called Plickers. (Paper Clicker, I suppose). Find it at It is truly amazing!

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