Susan Riley | January 2016

SmART Ideas: How to find out everything you need to know

What would happen if you could find out everything you ever needed to know? Is it even possible? Ever find yourself wondering what your students ACTUALLY know and where they still might have some gaps?  You don’t want to test them (they’re already tested enough) and you want something quick, but meaningful. Today’s video tip is exactly what you’re looking for.

I’m sharing with you an activity that I use with both students and with teachers when diving into a topic that might be a little overwhelming or challenging.  This activity takes less than 5 minutes and will tell you everything you need to know about your students’ prior knowledge and what your next steps should be.

When using this activity, be sure to give a copy of the page to each student.  You can certainly fill it in as a group if you wish, but I find it’s helpful for students who are a little more reserved to have a copy for themselves.  This way, they can take the time to self-assess without making it public knowledge.  You can then collect those papers for review later.


Want to save yourself some time?  Grab today’s downloadable of the compass I shared in the video.

find out everything you need to know

What ways do you use to find out what your students really know and are able to do?

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan