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Student generated work
(e.g. blank paper & foldables) 

LKSD Best Practice #15

When work is generated by the students themselves, we engage them in higher levels of thinking which leads to heightened understanding and retention. 

Is it messy sometimes? Absolutely. But that's what makes it so fun and promotes student ownership over their learning. 

Focus Friday: December 8, 2023

Student generated work

(e.g. blank paper & foldables)

In this science lesson, students created their own labeled drawing of a plant with explanations. This interaction with the content promotes critical thinking and engagement on a deeper level which advances deeper understanding. 

Credit: Teacher Lisa Olick, Tuntutuliak

Students in traditional lectures were 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in courses with active learning

Approaches that promote active learning focus more on developing students' skills than on transmitting information and require that students do something- read, discuss, write- that requires higher order thinking.

Brame, C. (2016). Active learning. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved June 2023 from

It's their classroom - not mine

Benefits of displaying student work

  • Promotes student ownership 

  • Builds confidence

  • Serves as anchor charts for past learning

  • Allows students to show what they know in their own personal way

  • Demonstrates students’ understanding; work is written in “student language”

  • Inspires future efforts 

  • Promotes growth mindset

  • Represents students’ level of comprehension 

  • Shows the learning process- whatever stage they’re in 

  • Communicates the teacher's pride 

Does this mean we should stop using worksheets? 

Sometimes worksheets are an integral component of our instruction. After all, LKSD Best Practice #6 is all about the use of district provided curriculum and supplemental materials. 

Our request is that teachers endeavor to find the balance between curriculum generated and student generated work.  

Teacher Showcase, Deniece Carson

K-2 Nightmute

Recently we were excited to see a pair of ravens building a large nest outside of our classroom window!  As we watched their progress, we became interested in seeing what types of birds made their homes in our area. So, during the next 2 weeks, we incorporated birds into our learning plans.  We started by looking up time lapse videos of different birds building their nests and discussed how amazing it is that the nests are so different and how cool it is that the birds make them with no hands or tools! 

We looked up time lapse videos of children helping to build tree houses and participated in partner reading using the National Geographic leveled readers as part of the Reach for Reading curriculum. The partners then orally recounted the details of the book they read to the rest of the class. 

Our descriptive writing assignment included a review of adjectives, punctuation, and capitalization and was directed by the sentence starter, My treehouse... 

Students also added illustrations to their stories. 

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