Anticipation Guides with Numbers

In literacy, an Anticipation Guide is a comprehension tool used before reading to activate learners’ prior knowledge.  It may also be used to link new learning to prior learning.  In other subjects, an Anticipation Guide may fulfill the same purpose – activate prior knowledge before a learning experience and link new learning to prior learning.

Anticipation Guides are intentionally created lists of questions or statements about a specific topic of study.  Students are provided the document in which to read and reflect in the form of a checklist. Typical checklists for Anticipation Guides are True/False and Agree/Disagree.

Numbers, by Apple, is a productivity app that allows you to create spreadsheets with templates, including a checklist.  Numbers supports collaboration (currently in Beta form) through iCloud, allows for integration with PC users, and is compatible with Microsoft Excel.


In 4th Grade Mathematics, students study angles in a new way.  In this grade level, students measure angles with protractors and consider angles in triangles in order to classify the geometric shapes.  The Anticipation Guide example below, created using Numbers, includes this 4th Grade Mathematics content.  Notice the boxes in the Agree/Disagree columns provided for learners to respond to before and after the learning experience.


Downloadable files linked below:

The images below show examples of before (left) and after (right) completion of the Anticipation Guide.  Notice the checklist selections made before the learning experience are not changed or erased as a result of new learning.  This provides the student and educator evidence of learning when comparing the selections with those made after the learning experience.

Example documents linked below:

Anticipation Guides are among Sheltered Instruction Strategies for English Language Learners as they may allow educators to intentionally build background and comprehensible input for students.

Within Article III: Assessment for Learning of the Visioning Document, we read about students’ self-monitoring of learning.  Anticipation Guides are examples of tools that may be used for such goal setting and reflection.

III.c Assessment should be used primarily for obtaining student feedback and informing the student and the teacher about the level of student conceptual understanding or skill development so that the teacher has accurate information to consider for designing additional or different learning experiences.



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