Video Library

Clarity: Framing the Learning/Mastery Objectives - Middle School

This video introduces the important topic of Framing the Learning for students. Then it focuses on the critical step of crafting a mastery objective in student-friendly language and making sure they actually understand it.

Framing the Learning: Itineraries and Big Ideas

This video extends the Framing the Learning discussion and distinguishes between the itinerary and the objective, and between the objective and the big idea embedded in it.

Framing the Learning: Criteria for Success

This video further extends the Framing the Learning discussion by introducing the criteria for success. Criteria for success are the qualities that must be present for performances and products to meet the standards and be deemed successful. In this video, Katie Nichol and her second grade class develop a list of criteria that describe a successful pictograph.

Making Thinking Visible in Small Groups

Making Thinking Visible is achieved by a constellation of teacher behaviors that lead to better student understanding and simultaneously build strong class climate and student risk-taking. This video shows what these behaviors look and sound like when a teacher interacts with a small group.

Checking For Understanding II "The One-Question Quiz"

This video shows how Mr. DeCraene uses a one-question quiz to gather information about his students' understanding of the relationship of two concepts. He then uses a brief student group sharing and student self-chosen revisions to clarify misunderstandings. These three steps are then followed by total group discussion to highlight key points and unscramble remaining confusions.

Making Thinking Visible and Classroom Climate

Ms. DeAngelo has a total class Q & A about repeating decimals in which she is checking for understanding with many students; but we simultaneously see her demonstrating the behaviors of Making Thinking Visible in the way she handles the discussion and connects students with their thinking and with each other.

Checking for Understanding

From the Skillful Teaching pyramid face - Clarity element. Look for Skill "Getting Inside the Head of a Student: (Cognitive Empathy) / Checking for Understanding".

Modeling Thinking Aloud: Elementary

From the Skillful Teaching pyramid face - Clarity element. Look for Skill "Presenting Information / Explanatory Devices."

Modeling Thinking Aloud: High School Social Studies

From the Skillful Teaching pyramid face - Clarity element. Look for Skill "Presenting Information / Explanatory Devices."


Mr. Wagner spends longer than one might expect making connections between today's activities and the objective. He also connects the activities of yesterday and tomorrow. As a result, students never lose track of their objective or how what they are doing fits into it.

MSTV in First Grade: Ella Fixes Her Error

Ella has written in her number bond that 29 and 30 are the components of 61. Watch how Alyssa Ricken uses the principles of Making Students Thinking Visible to create the space for Ella to fix her own error.

Inquiry-Oriented Lesson "Division by a Fraction"

A carefully designed progression of activities allows students to experience the meaning of division by a fraction in multiple ways. Mr. Scherrer doesn't even use the phrase "division by a fraction" until near the end of the lesson. This video shows the architecture of such a lesson and the kind of interactions a teacher has with students to ensure they interact productively with one another when "Inquiry" is the orientation to learning.