Top Tips!

Our Top Tips! are designed to jog thinking, spark conversation, and encourage deeper learning. These one-doc stops present best practices related to the monthly thematic topic.

Writing expresses who we are as people, fosters our ability to refine and explain ideas, and communicates our learning or thinking. The physical act of writing may be a barrier in and of itself for learners across all disciplines. How can we utilize assistive technology and other classroom resources throughout the school year to provide access to the act of writing?

Meaning making in any discipline is the central purpose for interacting with text, producing text, participating in discussions, giving presentations, and engaging in research. Meaning making is not confined to literal comprehension. Inference making and critical reading require substantial and explicit attention in every discipline. — (California English Language Arts & English Language Development Framework, 2015). What are some qualitative dimensions of complex literary (L) and informational texts (I) that promote meaning making beyond literal comprehension?

Developing literacy across disciplines sets a foundation for learners to access content in a range of subject areas and strengthen literacy skills through application across disciplines. How might we support students to apply literacy skills across content areas?


Learners vary along the continuum of reflection, but educators can support learner self-reflection by exploring the depth of their thinking through levels of questioning based on Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Huang, 2017). How might varying the depth of questions educators and learners use during self-reflection lead to deeper and more meaningful learning experiences?

Expert Learners are purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, strategic and goal-oriented. When designing inclusive learning experiences, how might we intentionally offer support, guidance and practice aimed at growing expert learners?

Options are designed in response to anticipated barriers to learning. They should be carefully considered in lesson design to support access to learning and content. How might providing options support both student and teacher agency?

Barriers are places where learners may get stuck in a lesson. Identifying barriers is essential to designing and facilitating equitable learning environments. When designing inclusive learning experiences, what might we consider to anticipate barriers to learning?

With a clear, explicit learning goal, learners are empowered to choose their best pathway to achieve that goal. How might the intentional design of learning goals reduce barriers to learning and lead to a more inclusive learning environment?

What is mindset?

  • A short-cut for thinking

  • A frame for attention, interpreting, speaking and acting in the world

  • A changeable way of looking at the world

Why is mindset important?

A shift in mindset is essential to designing inclusive and equitable learning environments.

Assessment reveals where learners are and how they learn best. Assessment informs next steps in designing learning experiences to support all learners. Use these tips to ensure that your assessments are flexible, engaging, and aligned to the intended learning goals.