Teachers have many options for how to use this tool in the classroom. Teachers could assign students aspects of a topic or standard and have students do the ranking and visual hierarchy. Or, students can consider a larger topic and choose how to deconstruct it into the parts that they understand and don't yet understand. Using this tool will afford students the opportunity to weigh aspects against each consider and communicate "the extent to which" they understand or don't understand. This kind of metacognition is very useful for teachers and students, but some students will need practice and will need to be assured that their results are private so the results may be honest.
These circles, in a similar sense to the KWL charts (Ogle 1986), can serve as a pre-test before the start of a unit. Once students have created these circles at the start of a study, they may be compared to a later "post-test" For example, the teacher may say, "Now that we have studied the Civil War and you have seen all of the student presentations, re-create your circle to reflect your new understanding." Compare it to your first circle. In what aspect of the Civil War has your understanding grown the most?