California Standards for the Teaching Profession: Standard Five
5.1 Establishing and communicating learning goals for all students
5.2 Collecting and using multiple sources of information to assess student learning
5.3 Involving and guiding all students in assessing their own learning
5.4 Using the results of assessment to guide instruction
5.5 Communicating with students, families, and other audiences about student progress

Mini lessons are wonderful place to assess student learning. In my student teaching, I taught many mini lessons in various subjects, learning all the while to gauge students' understanding from their responses. I learned, for example, that some students had a basic knowledge of greater than-less than concepts in math.After a mini lesson to refresh their knowledge and to help them to reassess their own learning, those students chose to lead their own mini lesson on the same topic during the next morning's opening math time.
During the presentation of a mini lesson, such as from this series of mini-lessons on greater than/less than, student responses reveal much about where students are in their level of understanding.

One student imitated a lesson on comparing number values during the next morning's opening, in which a student choses several math problems to present to the class.

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