**Assess you students' understanding before and after you present a lesson**. Provide a formative assessment before you teach a unit to measure what students know about the topic. As you move through the unit, continually inspect student work to see which areas they are comfortable with and which are more difficult. Conclude the unit with a summative assessment to measure what students have learned. By assessing their learning in different ways and throughout the lesson, you can identify and deal with areas of difficulty before they become major issues.

**Provide hands-on practice opportunities**. Many students retain knowledge better if they learn while doing, rather than just through lecture. When possible, allow students to put their learning to work by providing them with hands-on practice activities. For example, instead of simply describing a math concept, give students a project that allows them to apply that concept in a real-world situation.

**Capture student interest by activating prior knowledge**. If students aren't interested in a lesson, keeping their attention will be a challenge. Increase their attention span by piquing their interest and activating their prior knowledge before you begin teaching. Start each unit with an anticipation guide in which you ask students to reflect upon the contents of the unit.