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.
These resources provide helpful support for cultivating a growth mindset among students. Tools such as the "Growth Mindset Framing Tool" and "Growth Mindset Feedback Tool" offer examples of the types of messages that convey a belief in students' capabilities and encourage them to persist and persevere in the face of challenge. A rubric and explanatory article can be shared with students to help them understand how sustained effort at challenging learning tasks leads to growth.
The teachers and students in this video explain the importance of failure as a necessary part of developing a growth mindset and striving for high-quality work. The video and accompanying article include recommendations for how to foster a culture of continuous improvement by embracing mistakes as learning opportunities, encouraging perseverance, and teaching students how to provide and appreciate timely, specific, and actionable feedback.
This article offers insightful and practical approaches to providing students with feedback on their work that is meaningful and actionable. The writer explains that the only worthwhile feedback is that which improves performance. He describes how to design tasks that illuminate student thinking to inform teaching and employ strategies that challenge students to assess their own work and to revise their work based on feedback.
This brief article offers guidance to teachers interested in planning worthwhile student projects that culminate in high-quality work products and result in deep understanding. Specifically, it describes considerations for designing projects that engage students in producing work that shows complexity, craftsmanship, and authenticity.
This book chapter describes an approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments in which teachers plan backwards from what they want students to understand and be able to do and engage students actively in meaningful learning experiences involving inquiry and application of skills and knowledge in authentic contexts. This overview highlights the value of student input, regular checks for understanding, and performance assessments guided by clear criteria for quality work.
This teacher's blog post offers a variety of examples of how he and his colleagues have incorporated student choice into the curriculum. They describe a range of projects, including parameters set by each teacher as well as opportunities for students to have a voice in what they learn and how they demonstrate their learning. Each one illustrates the power of choice to engage students actively in learning important skills and concepts and producing quality work.
This video and accompanying article describe and demonstrate how teachers design and facilitate learning experiences that capture students' interest and engage them in thinking deeply through projects and investigations that address complex, real-world problems. They offer tips for incorporating problem-based learning into teaching, such as inviting students to contribute their questions, ideas, and input and identifying community problems that provide authentic contexts for learning.
This teacher blog post articulates strategies for personalizing learning, building student ownership, and engaging students in meaningful work. The author argues that students produce higher quality work when they are able to make choices and incorporate their interests, and he offers several examples from his own classroom.
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.
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.
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 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.
In this video, several teachers describe and demonstrate how they personalize learning and facilitate active engagement in their classrooms. The video and accompanying article offer useful strategies for designing engaging projects that cultivate curiosity and inquiry, promote interaction, provide choice as well as helpful structure and guidance, and offer opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
The teacher featured in this video describes how reflection on her own learning process prompted her to create formative assessments that break down specific skills, which she assesses on a continuum for each student. She regularly assesses students' work and checks for understanding to inform her teaching. She groups students and differentiates instruction based on their specific learning needs, providing appropriate levels of challenge and support for each student.
This blog post explains how one teacher responds to students who say, "I can't." He shares insights about why students may be resistant to making effort on learning tasks as well as strategies for engaging them, helping them believe in their own capacity, and pressing them to persist in the face of challenge to meet high expectations.
This article articulates techniques for designing learning tasks that provide varying levels of challenge. It offers helpful guidance about characteristics of tasks that require different levels of cognitive demand and suggestions for how to transform low-challenge questions into probing questions that require students to think deeply.
This online tool helps teachers create customized rubrics to clarify expectations, guide teaching and learning, support peer review and self-assessment, and focus constructive feedback to help students produce high quality work. The tool allows teachers to create, save, and modify rubrics using starter templates, and it offers a variety of examples of rubrics created by teachers. Other online teacher tools by 4Teachers can also be accessed through this site.
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 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.
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 shares strategies for personalizing instruction during a close reading lesson in ways that are respectful of students' varied learning needs and readiness levels.
This article discusses strategies used by game designers for engaging learners that can be effectively applied in the design of classroom instruction. It distills what makes game-based learning fun and how to transfer those design principles to a variety of classroom learning experiences. For example, building in opportunities for choice, feedback, and creativity can help to engage students and challenge them to persist in their learning.
This article provides examples of projects that engage students with their communities in meaningful ways.The students featured drive their own learning and are invested in creating quality products. The projects described demonstrate the benefits of designing student learning experiences that result in applications of skills and concepts to solve relevant, real-world problems and create products with value beyond school walls.
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 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 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.
This well-written article clearly articulates core principles to guide teachers in providing helpful feedback on student work that builds student ownership of performance goals and results in noticeable improvements. It explains the importance of clarity about expectations and offers illustrative examples of the kind of feedback that promotes learning and helps students progress toward meeting those expectations.
This introductory book chapter explains what rubrics are and when, why, and how to use them to guide learning and provide feedback on student work based on established criteria. It provides a helpful overview of different types of rubrics and how they can be used to clarify learning goals and expectations and frame feedback on student work products and performances.