November 7th Ideas/Strategies

Scroll down to read about task analysis, the five day teacher challenge, musical shares, lego builds, insert learning, and genuine questions.

Task Analysis

Did you know that cognitive task analysis, what we started to dip our toes into on Wednesday, has a 1.29 effect size according to Hattie’s research? That means that it is one of the most consequential things teachers can engage in in order to impact student achievement. Therefore, if you as an individual want to dive into this more or if your PLC as a whole would like to, feel free to contact a coach for support. We can help in that process and/or provide some resources.

Five Day Teacher Challenge

Click here to be taken to Ruston Hurley’s challenge. Hurley also has a site called, and he has a TON of videos on there, many made by students, that may be helpful in your classrooms to explain certain concepts and help with Day 4 of the challenge!

Musical Shares

When: anytime

Why: to provide kids an opportunity to move and share their thinking and hear other perspectives. This is a great time to talk with kids about LISTENING TO UNDERSTAND.


Musical Shares Slide.png

Note: Depending on the purpose of the sharing, giving students certain “listen fors” in advance might be helpful. For example, “Listen for one thing you agree with, one thing that disagree with, and one thing that made you think differently.”

Lego Builds!

When:  You could use this activity as a warm up or the students could come back to the structure at the end of the lesson after engaging in an activity that could deepen their knowledge. They could make changes/additions to the Lego structure and then explain in writing or they could Flipgrid their thinking as an exit slip.

Why: We can use Legos to help students find creative and hands-on ways to construct meaning.

How: There are a variety of ways we can use Legos in our classroom, but here are the steps for how to implement the strategy we used during PD.

  1. Share the rules of Lego building with the class.
    • The LEGO build is the answer.
    • Everybody will build, and everybody shares.
    •  There is no ONE right answer.
    • Think with your hands!
    • Listen with your eyes!
  1. Have students think about a concept you are introducing or a concept you have been working with in class.
  2. Give the students Purposeful Private Reasoning Time to think about that concept and visualize what they might construct to show understanding.
  3. Give the students a time limit to develop their structure.
  4. Then, have students engage in a Structured Talk with students Listening to Understand.  One student talks for a given time, while the other listens. Then, the students switch roles.  You may want to allow for the partners to ask questions of each other at the end of the discussion as this may lead to a deeper understanding.

Insert Learning

If you are interested in using insert learning, this document takes you step-by-step through the process with directions and pictures. Also, this youtube channel has a video that can pretty much teach you anything you want to know. Additionally, this video breaks down how to this work in a lot of detail.

Here are a few important notes before getting started with IL:

  1. The free version of insert learning allows you to have FIVE lessons, so choose carefully.
  2. You can use insert learning with a website or with a google doc.
  3. You can assign an insert learning lesson through google classroom or through sharing a link.

Please contact a coach if you have any questions or would like help implementing insert learning!

Genuine Questions

This was the habit of interaction most people wanted to hear about. An important takeaway from Kim’s talk seemed to be that since it is a habit of interaction, it is something we want our STUDENTS doing. The teacher’s job is to create a culture and situations for students to engage in asking genuine questions. Below I’ve attached two resources that provide some ideas and strategies for increasing and/or improving student questioning.

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

How Helping Students to Ask Better Questions Can Transform Classrooms

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