Skills Development

As educators, we often identify key skills that our students need to learn, but it can be challenging to find activities that specifically address these skills. This part of the Design Lab is devoted to our evolving "Learning Genome" of essential skills, critical for college and career preparation. At this time, we have identified 45 skills. Accompanying each skill description is a growing catalog of associated activities.

As you explore, you will see that each skill is associated with specific learning strategies. The Search Filters will allow you to search for skills associated with individual Common Core Standards, specific content areas, etc.

Common Core Standards

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Showing 10 of 38 results:

Making Meaning

Real learning requires not just reciting information, but processing the meaning that this information contains. For example, students can repeat arithmetic facts, but we do not know that they understand them unless they can show us with manipulatives. Students can list the elements of the Bill of Rights without even...

Memory Development

In order for learning to be useful, students need to do more than understand the information initially; they need to remember it later on. This concept sounds simple but is more complex than it seems, since memory itself is complex and multifaceted. There are at least two distinct types of memory, semantic (memory for...

Note Taking

Students are often told to “take notes” on a text, film, or lecture, and teachers usually expect them to be able to do so effectively with minimal direction.  However, many students do not know either what to write down, or an effective format in which to write it.  As a result, their notes are not useful for initial...

Point of View

As students become more advanced, they are frequently asked to wrestle with ideas that are subtle and ambiguous. Oftentimes, there are logical and rational arguments to be made on both sides of an issue, and sophisticated students must be able to understand and appreciate multiple views of the same phenomenon. In order...

Previewing Text

Skilled readers almost never read a text “cold.” Instead, they examine the text, noting its genre, form, content, and other features. They identify when the text was written, and by whom, and they make judgments about the degree to which the information in the text should be accepted as factual. They may read a summary...

Reading as a Writer

Description: When students read as writers, they bring an awareness of the craft of writing to their analysis, interpretation, and appreciation of text. They explore the way in which a text is written, consider how the form of the text contributes to its meaning, and they may begin to experiment with ways in which they...

Self-Questioning

The most effective learners are skilled at metacognition: they are aware of their existing understanding of concepts and texts, they recognize when something challenges or supports their view, and they readily adapt their understanding as they acquire new information. An essential piece of such sophisticated learning is...

Sequencing

An essential element of comprehension is understanding cause and effect. Events make sense to people only when they are put in the context of cause and effect.Without such an understanding, they seem arbitrary and ultimately forgettable. Sequencing allows students to identify and recognize relationships of cause and...

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