What 21st Century Teaching and Learning Mean To Us:
A PhotoStory by Neshannock Teachers


National Education Technology Standards for Teachers
National Education Technology Standards for Students
Bloom's Revised Planning (Bloom's Taxonomy)
CFF Lesson/Unit Rubric

4 Lenses of Learning
Every lesson plan, every day, should provide students with rich learning opportunities that reflect the following 4 lenses that brain research tells us impact learning to the greatest extent.

1. Learning is Meaning-Centered: Are the students able to find meaning in the material with which they are engaged? Are they able to connect the topic at hand with their own lives?

2. Learning is Language-Based: Are students reading and writing for various purposes? Are students reading and writing in EVERY class, EVERY day? Are students generating text, that is, not parroting someone else’s answers, but their own when talking and writing?

3. Learning is Social: Whose voices are heard in the classroom? Are students provided the opportunity to share their reactions, ideas, beliefs, opinions? Do they work with peers to share and refine their thinking?

4. Learning is Human: Does each student have an opportunity to respond in a way that is unique to him/her (ie, talk, write, design a project, complete and assignment)? Does the teacher adjust instruction before, during, and after where appropriate and when assessments call for it?


21st Century Lessons and Units do the following:
1. Academic Purpose

  • Big Ideas, Concepts and Competencies
  • Essential Questions
2. Expectations
  • What students are expected to know and be able to do
3. Instructional Design
  • (Backward Design) Understanding by Design
  • Range of Use http://www.metiri.com/Solutions/RangeOfUse.htm
  • Instructional Approach—Didactic to Constructivist
  • Authenticity—Artificial to Authentic
  • Complexity—Basic Skills to Higher Order Skills (Bloom’s 2001)
  • Project or Problem Based, Inquiry-Based, 21st Century Skills
4. Rigor
  • Complex activities vs. More focused on the same skill
5. Differentiation
  • Content
  • Process
  • Product
6. Student
  • Readiness
  • Interests
  • Learning styles

Look For...

1.Clear expectations for student work

  • Task-specific rubric/scoring guide (if applicable)
  • Quality of work
2. Effective teacher communication
  • Clarity of instructions
3. Higher Order Thinking Skills
  • Student Work
  • Questioning
4. 21st Century Skills http://www.metiri.com/features.html
  • Digital Literacy, Inventive Thinking, Effective Communication, High Productivity
5. Instructional strategies used to reach all learners
  • Multiple and varied
6. Connections to Research-based Instructional Strategies*:
  • Identifying Similarities and Differences
  • Summarizing and Note Taking
  • Reinforcing Effort and providing recognition
  • Homework and Practice
  • Non-linguistic Representations
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Setting Goals and Providing Feedback
  • Generating and Testing Hypotheses
  • Questions, Cues, and Advance Organizers

*Examples can be found in:
Hubbell, E.R, Kuhn, M., Malenoski, K., & Pitler, H. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Additional connections can be found on:

7. Instructional resources used to support student learning:

  • Rigorous curriculum
  • Effective integration of appropriate technology(ies)

8. Equitable access to the core curriculum provided to all students

Reflect Upon...

1. Did all students meet learning expectations?

  • What is the evidence?
2. What will be done for those who did not meet expectations for learning?
3. How might lesson/unit be improved to create greater learning opportunities for all students?