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Category Archives: Instructional Strategies

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Reader's Theatre

Adria Klein is an acclaimed author and a professor in the Department of Educational Research and Policy at California State University, San Bernardino. She has recently launched a reader’s theater website called eReader’s Theater. She has collected reader theater plays that range from Kindergarten to fifth grade and beyond and put them on one easy-to-navigate website. Using reader’s theater in your ... Read More »



What is it? Cubing is a versatile strategy, similar to a contract, which allows you to plan different activities for different students or groups of students based on student readiness, learning style, and/or interests. You will create a cube-usually different colored cubes for different groups of students. On each of its six faces, you will describe a different task related ... Read More »

I Have the Question. Who Has the Answer?


The teacher makes two sets of cards. One set contains questions related to the unit of study. The second set contains the answers to the questions. Distribute the answer cards to the students and either you or a student will read the question cards to the class. All students check their answer cards to see if they have the correct ... Read More »


Student on laptop

In two minutes, students recall and list in rank order the most important ideas from a previous day’s class. In two more minutes, they summarize those points in a single sentence. Then, they write one major question they want answered. Finally, they identify a thread or theme to connect this material to the course’s major goal. Read More »

The Muddiest Point

sticky notes

This is a variation on the one-minute paper, though you may wish to give students a slightly longer time period to answer the question. Here you ask (at the end of a class period, or at a natural break in the presentation), “What was the “muddiest point” in today’s lecture?” or, perhaps, you might be more specific, asking, for example: ... Read More »

The 3-Minute Pause


The Three-Minute Pause provides a chance for students to stop, reflect on the concepts and ideas that have just been introduced, make connections to prior knowledge or experience, and seek clarification. After reading or discussing a particular concept, provide students with one or more of these sentence starters, and give them time to process their reactions through writing. I changed ... Read More »

NCCS AIG Students Blast Off!

Students with Rockets

The Newton-Conover Academically/Intellectually Gifted students at South Newton, North Newton, and Shuford Elementary Schools had a “blast” as they successfully launched their model rockets during the week of May 4th, culminating their 2014 – 15 AIG enrichment!  The six week rocket science study began with a field trip to UNC – Charlotte on March 19th for an exciting introduction to ... Read More »

Makerspaces: Not Just for Kids

Makey Makey

Think for a moment: In what part of your school building are children most engaged and actively initiating their own learning? What is it about this space that cultivates curiosity and is trademarked by innovation? What if there was a space designed to allow for students to make, invent, reinvent, hack, design, create, manufacture, develop, collaborate, produce, construct, and tinker? ... Read More »

Three Stars and a Wish – Providing Feedback to Students

Star wish jif

Students write/highlight or tick three parts of their partner’s work that meets the success criteria (the stars). They then highlight or circle in a different color the area for improvement and write a wish (For example: “I wish you would explain the process more thoroughly in this section.” Students do need training and modeling to learn to provide good feedback. ... Read More »

Knowledge Rating – A Pre-Assessment Strategy to Support Differentiation

Knowledge Rating Template

This strategy is wonderful to assess what your students know prior to beginning a study of new vocabulary words. Present students with a chart of selected words. Then, students rate themselves on their current knowledge of the word: I know it and can teach someone about it. I have heard this word but am unsure of exactly what it means. ... Read More »