Hi everyone!

My name is Heather Pietryka and I live in Lake George, NY. I graduated from Elmira College in 2013 and have my certification for Social Studies grades 5-12. I don't have my own classroom yet, but I look forward to the day I do so I can use all I have learned here at Albany to engage my students. I am hoping to teach the middle school ages because I find them find and quirky. This is my sixth and final term in the CDIT program!

I currently work at the local YMCA coaching gymnastics. I was a completive gymnast for twelve years so it has been interesting seeing the sport from the other side. In my spare time I enjoy going on hikes with my boyfriend and my dog. I also enjoy doing arts and craft projects. I do most of my school work sitting at my kitchen with my oversized Golden Retriever lying next to the table helping me with the work. [[

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My Topic/Purpose

Checking For Understanding in the Social Studies classroom.

Teachers will learn how to create activities that will check students understanding. This course will also be looking at the data that goes along with checks fro understanding how to interpret it.

Needs Assessment

Checking For Understanding- A Teacher Survey.

A survey regarding checking for understanding during class time was sent out to eight high school teachers teaching different subject and grade levels. The survey consisted of five questions and was created using Survey Monkey. Of the eight teachers five responded. When asked how often they check for understanding during class time three said they check for understand three to four times per class period. Two said they check for understand five or more times per class period. To check for understanding group work and discussion questions were the most popular methods with all the participants stating they used these methods. Bell Ringers and think pair shares tied in the next most popular method for checking for understanding. Other answers were, journals, exit tickets, mini quizzes, and just walking around the room to check student progress. To record student understanding two of the teachers used electronic methods to track students’ understanding. Two other teachers just made brief mental notes of the understanding happening in their class. One teacher carries around a class list in which they can write a check next to a student’s name when they see they are understanding a topic. When asked how checking for understanding affects the next day’s lesson four of the teachers stated that it will change their lesson plan in some way. The last teacher state that it would depend on the number of students struggling. When asked whether they write their check for understanding into their lessons plans two teachers said yes. Two others said they will write some in but they will also see what happens naturally during the lesson. The last one lets the checks happen naturally throughout their lesson.

Analysis of the Learner and Context

By the end of this course participants should feel comfortable teaching history lessons and using informal assessments to check for students’ understanding. Through different methods teachers can easily check for understanding.

Performance Objectives

Teachers will learn new tools to conduct informal checks for understanding

Teachers will learn how to record the data presented by their checks for understanding

Teachers will learn how to interpret their data

Teachers will learn how to pose meaningful checks for understanding

Task Analysis


Participants should have a background in history education

Participants should have a background with Google Applications

Curriculum Map

References and Resources