Concept Checking Questions (CCQs)

“Right?” “Does that make sense?” “Cool?” “OK?”  These are all variations of the question "do you understand?" and these types of questions are ineffective at checking your student's understanding. Instead, it is better to ask concept check questions (CCQs).

What is a CCQ? What can it check for?

A concept checking question is designed to highlight the core the meaning of the lesson's target, whether that's a concept, language, communicative functions, or really, for anytime you want to ask, “Do you understand?” The objective of concept checking is through critical thinking learners will enhance their learning of a target by adding to what they already know.

By using CCQs:
You can draw out what your learners knowLearners get to participate in the learning process of discovering and understanding the new targetLearners articulate their knowledgeYou can clarify and add to their knowledge  Golden rules for using CCQs:
Plan CCQs in advanceAsk questions that are simpleDi…

Instruction Checking Questions (ICQs)

Concise, logical instructions are crucial to the success of any activity in the language classroom. We have all experienced the results that poor instructions can have: failure from s’s to do/complete tasks, repetition or reprimands,students who “zone out” or aren’t paying attention when instructions are given, frustration from both teachers and students etc.  Through analysis of contextualized examples of instructions, this blog post will look at what to consider when giving instructions and how to follow up with Instruction Checking Questions.

There are many factors that can help or or hinder whether instructions given will be understood. I know, unfortunately though experience, that the instructions we give can make or break an activity.  Without clear instructions, students may become confused, may lose confidence, and may not get the most out of the learning experience you are trying to create.

Let’s take a look at what this essential teaching skill really looks like in the class…

Exit Slips

Recently, I was one of the facilitators of a professional development workshop for college instructors. I attended the workshops of my colleagues and left feeling excited that even after all these years I have been a teacher and instructional designer, I am able to learn new things. This old dog can learn new tricks.

The topic of the workshop was on andragogy, which was pretty heavy for attendees, but it set the stage well for what followed: lesson planning and lesson planning frameworks, which I have posted about here.

At the end of the workshop, the facilitator used the term "exit slip", which is a much catchier way of saying formative assessment, and gave us a quick task to close the lesson.

It was called "Aha!, Huh?, Argh"
We were asked to jot down  our lightbulb moment (Aha!), something that we are still confused about that we learned (Huh?) and a moment of frustration based on what we learned (Argh.).

I thought this was a great way to provide a reflective clos…

BOPPPS Workshop

Here is a workshop on a lesson planning framework that works great for college instructors. The instructions for each section of the workshop, including all materials needed, are here in this post. 
The workshop is in the form of a BOPPPS, so as you teach it, participants are experiencing a BOPPPS. If you're looking to help your instructors create more dynamic lessons, or if you are training your staff on how to deliver a lesson, this post is sure to help.

LESSON PLANNING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP 120-145 Minutes Materials: ·Post-its ·Skittles x 12 packages ·Handouts oComponents of a BOPPPS Plan, oBOPPPS Framework, oSample Lesson, oObjectives Note Page, oIdentifying and Rewriting Objectives, oBlank BOPPPS Template, o Evaluation Page, and o1 Minute Paper ·Cut outs oSequencing a BOPPPS, and oObjectives Cards o  2 copies of each course book o  2 copies of each course outline
Bridge-In            5-10 minutes REASONS TO PLAN Discuss with in a small group, using Sweets to Speak for face-to…