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Shoutout! A Tool for Encouraging 21st Century Skills

If you are like me, more than the content you teach, you desire for your students to become decent human beings, engaged citizens, and skilled thinkers! Among other things I seek to help my students develop essential skills, such as critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, collaboration, (often referred to as the 4C's of 21st Century Learning), flexibility, growth mindset, etc.

There's a wise adage that says, "what you spend time upon is what you value." What you value is how you spend your time and attention! So if we value our students becoming decent human being, engaged citizens, and skilled thinkers, we need to spend time on developing those things and to draw attention to their value.

With that in mind, I try to regularly carve out time to reflect upon how we are cultivating the 4 C's and growth mindset. When we have completed a collaborative task or experiential learning activity, I will engage students in a whole group discussion around the Shoutout! slide inserted in this post.

During Shoutout! students are encouraged to reflect upon the learning experience and give kudos to peers who demonstrated one of the skills or habits of mind upon which we are working. In the example below, you will note that the skills emphasized are the 4C's and growth mindset. You can swap out the skills or habits for the ones you and your class are working on cultivating.

If you want to help your students improve upon these skills, we have to provide structured time for them to reflect upon how they and others are demonstrating these skills. Draw attention to these skills. Ask students to reflect upon how they are putting these skills into action and to point out how others are doing so. An added side effect to Shoutout! is that it helps build positive community and helps students notice the ways their peers are cultivating these essential skills.

Feel free to use this Shoutout! slide template and modify it to meet the needs of your own classroom! Make a Copy and use away!

Keep Learning at the Center,

:) Anita

Shoutout! example
Shoutout! example

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