Teacher Learning Community

Fall 2016 TLC: Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills - Activity 1 Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS III: Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
    • Element D: Teachers establish and communicate high expectations and use processes to support the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Creating Classroom Culture

In this activity, we will explore what a classroom culture of high expectations looks like. We will review resources, engage in action research, and collaboratively share on the discussion board to think about the role of a growth mindset, mistakes, and persistence in a classroom with a culture of high expectations.


This short video gives an example of how to create a classroom culture that supports learning.  

This blog post by the authors of The Straight-A Conspiracy: Your Secret Guide to Ending the Stress of School highlights the role of mistakes in the classroom and gives ideas about how you might foster a classroom environment where students learn from mistakes.

This article gives some practical strategies for helping students to take charge of their own academic success.

In this TED talk, Teacher Diana Laufenberg discusses her experiences with experiential learning.  

Watch 8th grade students work in small groups to analyze student work samples.

In this report, the idea of Academic Tenacity is defined with aspects that include growth mindset, goals, belonging, and self-control. Factors that can improve these aspects are explored as are three specific ways that teachers and schools can more effectively foster academic tenacity.

In this kindergarten classroom, students embark on a year-long journey to become experts on a specific topic. This video demonstrates how they develop expertise, embrace revision, and engage in the arts with high expectations.

"The Mindset Kit is a free set of online lessons and practices designed to help you teach and foster adaptive beliefs about learning."


This brief article provides examples of how teachers can take mistakes and turn them into positive learning opportunities.

Watch second-grade teacher Maricela Montoy-Wilson as she demonstrates how she has built a classroom culture that encourages and embraces productive struggle.  

Growth mindset is revealed to be much more than a catchphrase in this short article.


Short article with included links, discussing the power of yet verses the use of can't. Whitman discusses what the world, or our classrooms, could be like if we only talked in powers of yet? Suzy can't add two digit numbers...yet. The football team won't win this year's championship...yet. Think of all the things we or our students could do with the mindset of yet.