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Bright Idea: Response Rings to Check for Understanding

It’s that time again! Time for all the little people to come and ruin our endless summer! Just kidding. Hopefully you’re as excited as I am for this new school year because it’s coming whether you want it to or not. Heehee. And here’s a Bright Idea to help you be ready!
Have you ever taught a beautifully, meticulously planned lesson, delivered it to perfection, and then watched in horror as all of your kids proceeded to butcher their assignments? What happened? you thought. Where did I go wrong? 
This happened to me…a lot… especially my first year or two of teaching. And then I realized what I was missing.
One of the most important things about teaching a great lesson is constantly checking for understanding and making sure students are engaged in the thinking of your lesson on an individual basis. To help do this is a quick, easy way, I created these simple and affordable tools! 
Response Rings to check for understanding!
Response Rings are so versatile and easy to make. I take five index cards for each student, in five different colors. 
I label each index card with specific responses that I anticipate I might want students to use during a lesson, and then I laminate them.
This side I labeled with A, B, C, D, True/False, and Yes/No.
This side includes mathematical operations and their corresponding visual representation that I want kids to use in their problem solving.

Then I hole-punch them and put them on a ring.
Each student has a ring during every lesson. I ask them to take out their Response Rings and then I pose a specific question. This could be “What operation are we going to use to solve this problem?” or “Which is the better answer? A, B, C, or D?” or “From the details in the chapter, is it reasonable to predict that the Nick will follow this new rule?”
Then I ask them to “flash” me the answer! They hold their response card out in front of their chest (not waving it in the air- this discourages copying) and I get a quick check of who’s with it, who’s lost and what I need to do next! You can quickly scan the room and, because they’re color-coded, get a visual picture of how the kids are responding! It holds all kids accountable for thinking and deciding on a response to your questions.
Easy Peasy but it makes all the difference!

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