Strategy 1: Pre-assessment
In order to plan lessons that are developmentally appropriate for their students and suited to what students already know and think about the matter to be taught, teachers find out what their students know and are able to do in relation to the subject matter they are teaching, as well as students’ attitudes toward the subject, topic or activity.
Many assessments could be used as pre-assessments. One beginning teacher found insight when she asked her students to draw pictures of "Indians." What she found was the "Indians" of TV westerns--teepees, buffalo and horses. That was important information for planning the unit.
When you have the information, what do you make of it? And how might you find out about student attitudes?