The teacher in this video discusses and demonstrates how she reinforces students' efforts to solve challenging problems, including practices such as inviting them to justify their thinking and encouraging them to try different approaches. She models strategies and language that help her young students tackle challenges, expect difficulties, develop problem-solving skills, discuss their thinking, and build habits and mindsets that will serve them throughout their school careers.
This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators also demonstrate the importance of building relationships, promoting active engagement, and supporting students in taking ownership of their learning.
This video includes a helpful overview of higher order questions, why they are important, and how to use them effectively in a variety of contexts. It describes a variety of teaching strategies that focus on using higher-order questions to help students deepen their thinking, develop their understanding, and make their thinking visible so that teachers and students can clear up confusion and strengthen explanations when necessary. Links to sample tools and materials are also available.
The teacher featured in this video illustrates how he sparks and maintains interest and cultivates curiosity and inquiry through designing a project that engages students actively, creatively, and collaboratively in learning. He clarifies key concepts by highlighting their relevance and their connections to students' experiences. He invites students to deepen their understanding through teaching others and provides clear expectations and constructive feedback to help them produce quality work.
In this video, a teacher illustrates how she prepares students for participation in small-group discussions, helping them to document their ideas and supporting evidence in advance. She asks questions that highlight the relevance of important concepts, encourages students to ask and investigate their own questions, and requires them to explain their thinking. She engages students in clarifying expectations for small group discussions and in assessing how well they meet those expectations.
This article and video explain how to use designated group roles in order to promote interaction through student-led peer group discussion about a text. Reciprocal teaching is a technique that engages students in reading comprehension strategies including questioning, clarifying, summarizing, and predicting. Accompanying resources support classroom implementation in a variety of teaching contexts to help students explain their thinking and deepen their understanding.
These maps offer many illustrative examples of learning tasks that address 21st century skills along with other curriculum standards, providing a variety of ideas for using technology to engage students in learning. The maps suggest a multitude of ways to incorporate digital tools and resources into instruction that help to build student ownership, cultivate inquiry, promote discussion and collaboration, connect ideas, deepen understanding, and engage students in producing high quality work.
In this video, a teacher explains and demonstrates how she scaffolds instruction in order to break down complex tasks and provide instructional support for reading comprehension skills by thinking aloud and using a graphic organizer to illustrate her thought process. She models success by demonstrating the task first, asks students to practice together, further clarifies after checking for understanding, and then invites students to apply the strategy independently.
This teaching strategy, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, sparks interest in learning by creating interactive learning experiences for students. The article suggests various ways of challenging students to silently engage with ideas, student work, and other materials around the classroom in order to cultivate curiosity, promote inquiry, and deepen thinking.
This article offers concrete strategies to support students' pursuit of high quality work by clarifying criteria for success, analyzing models, focusing instruction, and providing opportunities for feedback on work in progress. These strategies help to ensure that students have the needed instructional support for developing new skills and concepts throughout the process of crafting products or otherwise demonstrating their understanding.
This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, promotes discussion by inviting students to engage deeply with a topic through silently writing responses to a stimulus and then reading and responding to their peers' comments. At the end of the routine, students are invited to openly debrief in small groups to discuss their thoughts.
This classroom strategy involves establishing roles within groups in order to focus discussion, manage time effectively, and efficiently guide student learning. Creating roles and routines for group work enables student learning by systematizing classroom procedures, distributing responsibilities for group work products, and creating structures that hold all students accountable for their contributions.
In this article, the author makes a strong case for the value of student-driven discussions and offers helpful guidance about how to cultivate a classroom climate where students feel safe and motivated to participate. She argues for investing time in laying the groundwork for classroom discussion as a prerequisite for inviting students to share thoughts and opinions as part of the learning process and offers practical strategies for doing so.
This simple, accessible classroom routine engages students in learning by inviting silent inquiry and reflection about a text, video, or other instructional materials prior to active participation in discussion. The protocol, which can be adapted for use in a variety of teaching contexts, supports students in contributing their ideas and opinions as well as listening openly to the thoughts and views of others.
This article articulates several instructional uses for a versatile discussion strategy that facilitates interaction and promotes thinking by providing structured opportunities for students both to speak and to listen to each other as they engage with ideas and materials. It outlines steps for setting up a fishbowl, including establishing clear expectations for participation and reviewing discussion norms to ensure all ideas and views are treated with respect.
This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom diversity along a variety of dimensions when designing instruction.
This article with embedded videos offers guidance in facilitating student discussions that promote learning. The article explains the value of norms and protocols in ensuring that academic discussions are respectful and productive. The videos illustrate a variety of examples of teaching strategies that help students effectively engage in academic discussions to deepen understanding, such as establishing norms, coaching students in using talk moves, and employing a fishbowl protocol.
This classroom activity, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, engages students in broadening and deepening their perspectives by inviting them to literally and figuratively take a stand on a debatable issue, explain their positions, and consider other viewpoints. The routine describes several steps to ensure smooth implementation, including establishing a student contract to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment.
This article explains the benefits of facilitating classroom discussion and offers a variety of strategies for ensuring that student conversation promotes learning, that everyone participates, and that student perspectives are respected. The authors discuss the importance of classroom talk for English language learners, and they provide practical tips for managing small group discussions so that expectations are clear, time is used productively, and distractions are minimized.
This article explains the value of cooperative learning and articulates techniques for making it work successfully. The author outlines helpful suggestions for designing lessons that set students up to work together effectively, and he provides practical strategies for ensuring that cooperative learning time is productive and that collaboration promotes learning among all participants.
This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, promotes student discussion and helps to establish a climate of safety and respect. Students journal to clarify their own views about a controversial topic, then discuss their individual views in small groups, listening carefully to each other in order to understand the perspectives of their peers, and then share ideas with the larger group.
This teacher blog post describes eight common reasons why students may not share their thoughts or explain their ideas in class discussions and offers tips for addressing them. These strategies can help teachers encourage students to contribute their unique voices to class discussions and promote dialogue that supports learning.
In this video and accompanying article, educators discuss the importance of speaking in students' lives and demonstrate how they provide regular opportunities for students to talk about their ideas as part of the learning process in a variety of contexts. They share helpful strategies for engaging students in communication that promotes learning, including discussion roles and guidelines, grouping configurations, and instructional supports.
This article describes how to use the writing process to help students engage in meaningful writing tasks, deepen their thinking, persist in their efforts, and produce quality work. It explains the value of clarifying expectations and structuring opportunities for students to check their own work, engage in peer review, confer with teachers, and revise their work based on feedback. These strategies apply to writing tasks or creative projects across the curriculum at any level.
This article describes strategies for scaffolding instruction to clarify understanding, such as modeling, providing students time to talk, and using graphic organizers or other visual aids. This concise list of effective scaffolding strategies offers practical ideas for teaching new content in ways that facilitate learning and help all students make sense of what is being taught.
This video offers a beautiful example of using models to define criteria and guide student work, engaging students in closely examining each other's work, and coaching them in providing constructive feedback on progress. It illustrates the power of this strategy to help students raise their standards for high-quality work and achieve more than they thought possible.
This article provides several strategies to guide students in providing feedback on each other's work, including use of rubrics and exemplars. Simple feedback protocols offer a variety of ways to support students in framing comments on each other's work, highlighting both strengths and suggestions for improvement.
This thinking routine invites students to confer with each other about an open-ended, higher-order question to clarify and consolidate their ideas. The teacher poses a question and asks students to think about their responses individually, then explain their thinking to their partners, and finally share with the whole class. This classic protocol, which can be used in any teaching context, ensures that every student has the opportunity to reflect on and respond to a question.
This simple, accessible thinking routine consists of two simple questions that challenge students to think deeply and explain their understanding during any part of a learning experience. It can help to develop a regular practice among students of justifying their ideas, theories, or interpretations with evidence. Whether used in small or large group discussions or with individual students, this routine can help teachers and students monitor depth of understanding.
In this article, a teacher describes how she worked with students to implement, monitor, and adjust procedures to support focused student collaboration in her classroom. She tells the real story of a her efforts over time to help students become more productive in small group work, including bumps in the road and course corrections.
This protocol invites students to silently share their thoughts and ideas about an open-ended prompt with each other through public writing. This powerful classroom routine engages students in sharing their thoughts, making connections, building on each others ideas, and deepening and extending their thinking, all without a sound.
This cooperative learning strategy actively engages students in conferring with each other in small groups with distributed expertise so that each student's contribution is essential to consolidating the group's understanding of a multi-faceted topic. While it requires some prior organization of students and materials, this teaching technique is great for building interdependence and fostering substantive learning interactions among students.
This article explains how to respond to students' questions in ways that foster higher order thinking, and offers a variety of teaching strategies that can help to develop thinking skills. It describes techniques for explaining clearly, promoting discussion, connecting ideas, and otherwise deepen and expand students' thinking.
This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) explains why it's important to help students learn to sustain attention and effort in the face of learning challenges and offers a variety of practical strategies, examples, and resources. For instance, reinforcing goals, differentiating instruction, fostering collaboration, and providing informative feedback focused on effort and improvement can help students address learning challenges successfully.
This article articulates methods for cultivating productive classroom conversation and establishing a climate that encourages participation. It offers helpful guidance on establishing and maintaining conversation norms, as well as a variety of practical strategies for managing participation, including what to model and practice for each.
The teacher featured in this video demonstrates how she differentiates instruction based on individual students' learning needs so that everyone can engage in the lesson with confidence, feel supported and challenged, and achieve success. She models and explains how she personalizes instruction during a close reading lesson in ways that are respectful of students' varied learning needs and readiness levels.
This video features a kindergarten learning expedition about birds that captivates students' interest, sparks their curiosity, links their inquiries directly to the world outside of school, and actively engages them in producing quality work that they share with the community. Students act as citizen scientists, researchers, and artists, and they are guided by clear expectations for success as they draft, revise, and ultimately present their work.
This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, supports students in exploring and discussing different viewpoints on a given topic. It invites students to take on different personas and engages them in thinking deeply to understand different perspectives and their implications.
This summary of linked strategies can help teachers build a classroom learning culture in which useful feedback based on clear criteria is viewed by all as a critical part of the learning process. A brief chart outlines a useful process and rationale for clarifying learning targets, establishing success criteria, and teaching students to reflect and share feedback on progress toward those targets in light of the success criteria.