Hand signals for self-assessment Back to list

As teachers, sometimes it’s difficult to know whether students have understood a teaching point or not, though it does help if we ask. A strategy that requires students to self-assess can provide us with useful and instant feedback.

Getting students to make hand signals at key moments during a lesson to express just how much they think they can do or have understood can be a quick and easy way to provide us with the necessary feedback to decide whether we need to re-explain something in a different way or move on to the next part of the lesson.

Here to download, we’ve produced a set of posters that illustrate some signals students can use according to their level understanding. Displayed on classroom walls, the posters serve as a reminder to teachers and students to put an informal self-assessment system into practice.
You’ll need to explain the signals and practice using them with your students, but after a while you’ll be amazed how quick and easy it is to implement!
For younger students, the strategy can be easily adapted by simplifying the signals.