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:

Considering Big Ideas

Successful students are able to understand, process, and remember a wide variety of information. Much of the information is factual details, but these details always fit into a larger context of big ideas. Students often need guidance in identifying, understanding, and connecting these big ideas, and by providing such...

Experience A Text

Many students struggle to engage with texts, and even if they understand the content, they do not care about what they are reading and do not become immersed in it. For these students, reading is a chore to be avoided if possible, and deep enjoyment and appreciation of text is impossible. The skill of experiencing a...

Generating Questions

Questioning is a critical element of learning that promotes curiosity, focused inquiry, and self-regulation. Deliberate questioning is often the first step towards self-directed, metacognitive learning. Although questioning is natural, many students require explicit instruction in order to be able to apply questioning...

Inner Voice

Effective readers do not just passively decode words on a page, instead they engage actively with a text, thinking and wondering about the form and content of what they are reading.  This ongoing thought process can be considered a learner’s “inner voice,” and students benefit from helping their inner voice to become...

Listening Comprehension

Students are expected to learn effectively not only through reading, but also through listening to spoken language. Just as students benefit from explicit instruction in reading comprehension, they also benefit from explicit instruction in listening comprehension. Without such instruction, many students struggle to...

Main Idea vs Details

Students are confronted with an enormous quantity of information both in texts and in class, and they cannot possibly remember every fact. But many students are unsure which information they need to remember. Students need to be able to determine which ideas are central, which are details supporting central ideas, and...