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.


When reDesign first developed our Framework for Effective Instruction, metacognition (the process of thinking about one's thinking) was rarely discussed by educators. It is our belief that strong metacognitive skills create the gateway to deep, independent learning. These activities will help students learn to analyze the effectiveness of their learning process, their level of understanding, and their capacity to use learning strategies as a tool to tackle unfamiliar material.

Common Core Standards

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Showing 6 of 16 results:

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...


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...