The CIA Review

Office of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

Edition 9 January 22, 2016

Spotlight on Strategies

XO Let's Go

XO Let's Go is a paired, verbal fluency instructional strategy that activates thinking. It allows the opportunity for students to share orally with a partner what they've learned from a lesson of any format type, such as a video, reading passage, presentation, discussion, and even a song. As students have their turns at speaking, their partners will be actively listening so they don't repeat anything their partners says. This strategy can also act as an assessment for learning process, during which the teacher can check for students' strengths and weakness in their understanding of given topics.

Watch the video below to see the strategy in action or download the how-to document.
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Learners are Drivers

The image above was created by Alberta Education as a powerful visual for what learning can look like in schools. The ideas are not necessarily separated from one another, and are all intertwined in some way, which is what learning really looks like. The “3 E’s” (Ethical Citizen, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Engaged Thinker) are the bigger goals, but they also show what is important to get to those bigger ideas.

You will notice the learner is in the center of the circle. This is really crucial and it actually intertwines the importance of both innovation and best practice. Sometimes what we know and have adopted as “best practice” works for many of our students, but sometimes it doesn’t. If the learner is truly in the center of learning, we will have to sometimes go with what we know, or else create something different for that student. There has been no time in history where any one thing has worked for all of our students. If it did, we would all be doing it.

You should also notice this graphic focuses on the “basics” of literacy and numeracy as core skills, but goes beyond them as well. This constant struggle between the basics and innovation is not realistic, and this graphic sums that up nicely. Learners need both.

Some things to talk about in your PLCs:
  1. How are we focusing on the learner at the center of our decisions?
  2. How are we going “beyond” the basics while still ensuring that we are meeting the expectations that we are required to do in our work?
  3. What would we change? What would we add? What would we subtract? Why?

Source: Couros, George. (2015, December 10). Learners are the drivers [Web blog]. Retrieved from

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Our Schools Should Teach Kids to Fail | Keith Peters | TEDxWestBrowardHigh


Learn2Earn is an online Read-A-Thon fundraising organization that encourages higher level reading and writing, promotes critical thinking and comprehension, and facilitates family interaction.

However, teachers do not have to use the fundraising side of the site. They can choose to use the site as an interactive reading log, where students record the books they have read by answering prompts based on Common Core standards. Teachers can track their students' progress through the data tool. Teachers can sign up for free accounts. If schools want to use the program as a reading fundraiser, there is a fee.

Watch the video below for a brief overview or check out the website.

Reading-Rasier Teacher Walk-Though


Nearpod allows teachers to engage students with fun and interactive content, collect and share student responses instantly and track student comprehension in real time.

Turn your old PowerPoint presentations into an interactive Nearpod presentation! You have the choice to either create your own Nearpod presentation or download ready-to-use CCSS aligned lessons through the Nearpod Market.

Below is a quick overview or visit the Nearpod site.

Nearpod: a discussion setting where kids are interacting