Teacher Learning Community

Fall 2018 TLC: Empowering Student Thinking Course Resources

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Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS I: Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
    • Element C: Teachers demonstrate knowledge of the content, central concepts, inquiry, appropriate evidence-based instructional practices, and specialized characteristics of the disciplines being taught.
  • 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.
    • Element E: Teachers provide students with opportunities to work in teams and develop leadership.

The following set features all resources used in the Fall 2018 TLC: Empowering Student Thinking.


Creating a Culture of Learning in a Social Context

 In order for students to be empowered partners in thinking and learning experiences, a classroom culture that facilitates collaboration and communication, as well as one that places value on reflection, taking academic risks and thinking metacognitively about learning, are important conditions which must exist.  In this activity, you will examine how your developing classroom culture does or does not foster this type of discourse and thinking and examine resources to help you strengthen your practices in this area.

The resources in this set focus on building a culture of collaboration and communication within the classroom.

Many of these resources have been used in previous TLC courses.  If you have taken previous courses, please review as you wish. If you are new to these resources, they are sure to impact your thinking about how to help students understand their thinking and learning!



Creating a Culture of Inquiry

In this activity, you will explore the ways teachers can intentionally plan experiences and design tasks that create an inquiry mindset. The resources will encourage you to consider new ways for students to question and construct meaning about the things they are learning.


Transferring Learning to a Real-World Context

Teaching for transfer means that we design instruction with the intention that we are helping support students to apply their learning in new contexts and new content areas. Within this activity, we will explore what transfer is, how we can teach for transfer, and how students will apply their learning. Ideas around public products and authentic audiences will be explored as well.


View the relevant classroom examples related to transfer of learning.

Students Directing Their Own Learning

How do you balance the ideas of “letting go” and allowing students to be self-directed learners who own their own thinking and learning while holding them to high expectations and mastery of standards and learning targets?  In this activity,  you will build on the idea of creating a culture that facilitates authentic, deeper learning experiences, coupled with empowering students to direct their learning and thinking in meaningful ways.