Sunday, April 6, 2014

F is for the Four C's

To give you a bit of backgound- The Four C's are being called the "super skills" for the 21st Century. These skills have been 10 years in the making and were developed in partnership by the National Education Association (NEA) and several national organizations. The skills were narrowed down to four after interviewing leaders in a variety of areas. The 4 C's include:
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Communication
The goal is to make the development and refinement of these skills part of the "classroom practice." Which in and of itself seems to like a great idea, but how to do it is the challenge.

Now, as a teacher I believe I need to be able to show my students what each skill "looks and sounds like" in order for them to make any progress. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything written in kid terms. So... I read what I could find about each skill and attempted to synthesize what each skill would look like in an elementary school student.

Just click on the posters to download. Hope you find them helpful:)


  1. Love you blog! I'm your new follower.

  2. Thank you! We are so happy to welcome you to our blog.

    Martha and Wendie

  3. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !

    Visually appealing post.

    I'm sure "collaborative" is important. For me, however, it just brings back nightmares of doing four times as much work because my own personal grade now depended on three other students who cared far less and would put in far less effort. Collaboration meant I either accepted getting a B+ at best by letting them do their assigned parts, or doing all four parts myself and having them re-copy my work so we could all get an A+. The very first A+ that any of them had ever gotten. Which means I brought their grade up. Grades went up, therefore it WORKS! Therefore the teacher had us do it MORE. And, again, my choice was to do the work of 4 people, or to get a lower grade. The only upside was that now they knew to leave me in peace so I could do all the work, because it meant they were going to get an A+.

    I hope school has changed since I went. Or that the 3 normally-average kids who get to work with the one always-above-average kid are far worse liars now, so that teachers figure it out. Wait, no, that wouldn't help the frustrated always-above-average kid.

    College was better. Honor students were with other honor students. Everyone was able to pull their own weight. I guess that's what I'd tell the kid stuck being the brain-- it will be better in college, and in the adult employment world. One day you can fire the three, and replace them with three who are smart and dedicated, like you are.

    I realize that this isn't the intent of the post here. I'm sorry. Those were just my own life traumas coming out.

    Hopefully, it's better now.

    1. You make an excellent point. I agree that there are pitfalls to collaboration and as a teacher it is my job to be diligent and not allow for only one person or two to do all the work. My "above average" students have also brought up this issue and if I have to take away what I feel is the true essence of collaboration it is to be able to work with people with different personalities, abilities, and beliefs. Easier said than done but that is my take.
      Thank you for sharing your experience and know that you bring up a concern many teachers share and I hope I can do better for my students.

  4. Ah, yes! It all brings back memories all the way back at least 65 years (or more)! Responding to the previous comment. I'm afraid I must somewhat agree. I became a teacher and librarian and was one of those overachievers as well. Others quickly recognized my leadership abilities in school and so quite often I became "the one who did it all" not by my choice but theirs. Natural born leaders are just that. Anyway, I applaud you ladies for your hard work and dedication in teaching, and for your great ideas! God Bless. I retired from teaching 20 years ago, and I have noticed from talking with teacher friends that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Same questions; same answers according to the times. I applaud you! The only difference is that as the years progress, the teachers have wound up with more record keeping and less time to teach. God bless you! Best regards. Ruby

    1. Thank you for your feedback and yes it is interesting that today we still are struggling with similar issues as when I started teaching 20 years ago. I remain optimistic that we will eventually get it right.

  5. Those are so cool! You are so talented. :D

  6. These are awesome! Thanks for sharing them!

  7. These posters are just what I've been searching for. Thank you for making them and sharing them (that they were free was an extra bonus) :)


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