Guide to Tripod’s 7Cs Framework

Captivate

Teachers who captivate spark and maintain student interest in learning. They stimulate and engage students by cultivating curiosity and inquiry and by making lessons interesting, relevant, and enjoyable.

Message to Students:

“I find ways to make lessons intellectually stimulating and relevant.”

Download 7Cs Guide

Sample Student Survey Items

(for different grade levels)


Indicators of an Exemplary Classroom

Teachers effectively captivate through practices like these:

Designing stimulating lessons

The teacher designs lessons that capture and hold students’ attention.

  • The teacher designs lessons that are responsive to students’ interests, backgrounds, and questions.
  • The teacher conveys the relevance or importance of key facts, ideas, concepts, and skills.
  • The teacher highlights ways that lessons can contribute to students’ lives.

Facilitating active participation

The teacher engages students in interactive learning experiences.

  • The teacher uses a variety of methods for promoting interaction among students as they engage with ideas and materials.
  • The teacher asks open-ended questions and encourages students to raise additional questions.
  • The teacher uses appropriate technology to engage students in learning.

Reflection Questions

Consider these questions as you reflect on your classroom practice:

  • How do you make your lessons relevant to students’ lives and the world outside of school?
  • How well are your lessons paced? Are they too fast? Too slow? Is pacing differentiated for varying skill levels?
  • How interactive are your lessons?
  • How successfully do your lessons pique students’ curiosity and engage them actively in inquiry?
  • How do your vocal inflections, movements, and mannerisms communicate your enthusiasm and contribute to capturing and holding students’ attention?
  • How effectively do you use appropriate technology to engage students in learning?
  • How do your assignments sustain students’ interest?

Sample Strategies

Try implementing teaching strategies like these in your classroom:

  • Discuss how news articles or video clips relate to topics or concepts you are teaching.
  • Create projects that engage students in applying what they are learning in meaningful real-world contexts.
  • Use simulations or interactive online activities to engage students in learning.
  • Provide opportunities for students to use digital tools to explore, create, and communicate, both individually and collaboratively.

TEACHING RESOURCES

We’ve curated a set of teaching resources for Captivate. As you set goals and pursue professional learning opportunities, use these resource collections to access additional strategies, tools, and examples of effective practices in action.


Captivate: Facilitating Active Participation

Teachers who captivate spark and maintain student interest in learning. They stimulate and engage students by cultivating curiosity and inquiry and by making lessons interesting, relevant, and enjoyable. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of engaging students in interactive learning experiences.

Challenge at the Heart of Deeper Learning: Teaching Channel Deeper Learning Series

vimeo.com/100358675 This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators …
Read More

Classroom Time Analysis Tool

www.timeandlearning.org/our-services This online tool is designed to help teachers track and analyze use of classroom time, which can assist in monitoring and reflecting on pacing, transitions, disruptions, engagement, and balance of learning activities. The tool makes it easy for teachers observing each other’s classrooms (or their own classroom video) to …
Read More

Keeping It Relevant and “Authentic”

www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-relevant-lessons-video The teacher featured in this video highlights the relevance of what he is teaching, connects ideas, and engages students actively in learning. He designs tasks that invite students to synthesize and apply their understanding in real-world contexts. He anticipates challenges, monitors student work to check for understanding, and identifies …
Read More

Arizona Technology Integration Matrix

www.azk12.org/tim/index.php This interactive collection of lesson plans and videos offers a variety of examples of how technology can help to engage students in learning that is active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal-directed. These sample lessons are organized through a matrix, which describes ways in which technology can support student engagement, …
Read More

The Big Ideas of Understanding by Design

www.ascd.org/publications/books/109107/chapters/Module-A.-The-Big-Ideas-of-UbD.aspx This book chapter describes an approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments in which teachers plan backwards from what they want students to understand and be able to do and engage students actively in meaningful learning experiences involving inquiry and application of skills and knowledge in authentic contexts. This …
Read More

Student Choice Leads to Student Voice

www.edutopia.org/blog/student-choice-leads-to-voice-joshua-block This teacher’s blog post offers a variety of examples of how he and his colleagues have incorporated student choice into the curriculum. They describe a range of projects, including parameters set by each teacher as well as opportunities for students to have a voice in what they learn and …
Read More

The Doing What Works Library

dwwlibrary.wested.org/resources/618 This video includes a helpful overview of higher order questions, why they are important, and how to use them effectively in a variety of contexts. It describes a variety of teaching strategies that focus on using higher-order questions to help students deepen their thinking, develop their understanding, and make …
Read More

Thinking Big About Engagement

www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-student-engagement-video The teacher featured in this video illustrates how he sparks and maintains interest and cultivates curiosity and inquiry through designing a project that engages students actively, creatively, and collaboratively in learning. He clarifies key concepts by highlighting their relevance and their connections to students’ experiences. He invites students to …
Read More

Science Talk: Management in the Active Classroom

vimeo.com/76178452 In this video, a teacher illustrates how she prepares students for participation in small-group discussions, helping them to document their ideas and supporting evidence in advance. She asks questions that highlight the relevance of important concepts, encourages students to ask and investigate their own questions, and requires them to …
Read More

Reciprocal Teaching | Reading Rockets

www.readingrockets.org/strategies/reciprocal_teaching This article and video explain how to use designated group roles in order to promote interaction through student-led peer group discussion about a text. Reciprocal teaching is a technique that engages students in reading comprehension strategies including questioning, clarifying, summarizing, and predicting. Accompanying resources support classroom implementation in a …
Read More

ICT Literacy Maps – P21

www.p21.org/component/content/article/31-ict-literacy-maps These maps offer many illustrative examples of learning tasks that address 21st century skills along with other curriculum standards, providing a variety of ideas for using technology to engage students in learning. The maps suggest a multitude of ways to incorporate digital tools and resources into instruction that help …
Read More

Enliven Class Discussions With Gallery Walks

www.edutopia.org/blog/enliven-class-discussion-with-gallery-walks-rebecca-alber This teaching strategy, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, sparks interest in learning by creating interactive learning experiences for students. The article suggests various ways of challenging students to silently engage with ideas, student work, and other materials around the classroom in order to cultivate …
Read More

Big Paper – Building a Silent Conversation

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/big-paper-silent-conversation This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, promotes discussion by inviting students to engage deeply with a topic through silently writing responses to a stimulus and then reading and responding to their peers’ comments. At the end of the routine, students are invited …
Read More

Assigning Roles for Group Work

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/assigning-roles-group-work This classroom strategy involves establishing roles within groups in order to focus discussion, manage time effectively, and efficiently guide student learning. Creating roles and routines for group work enables student learning by systematizing classroom procedures, distributing responsibilities for group work products, and creating structures that hold all students accountable …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Talking and Listening: Talking to Learn

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov14/vol72/num03/Talking-to-Learn.aspx In this article, the author makes a strong case for the value of student-driven discussions and offers helpful guidance about how to cultivate a classroom climate where students feel safe and motivated to participate. She argues for investing time in laying the groundwork for classroom discussion as a prerequisite …
Read More

Save the Last Word for Me

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/save-last-word-me This simple, accessible classroom routine engages students in learning by inviting silent inquiry and reflection about a text, video, or other instructional materials prior to active participation in discussion. The protocol, which can be adapted for use in a variety of teaching contexts, supports students in contributing their ideas …
Read More

Fishbowl

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/fishbowl This article articulates several instructional uses for a versatile discussion strategy that facilitates interaction and promotes thinking by providing structured opportunities for students both to speak and to listen to each other as they engage with ideas and materials. It outlines steps for setting up a fishbowl, including establishing …
Read More

Instruction | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

www.tolerance.org/publication/instruction This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom …
Read More

Collaborative Culture: Academic Talk | EL Education

eleducation.org/resources/collaborative-culture-academic-talk This article with embedded videos offers guidance in facilitating student discussions that promote learning. The article explains the value of norms and protocols in ensuring that academic discussions are respectful and productive. The videos illustrate a variety of examples of teaching strategies that help students effectively engage in academic …
Read More

Barometer – Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/barometer-taking-stand-controversial-issues This classroom activity, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, engages students in broadening and deepening their perspectives by inviting them to literally and figuratively take a stand on a debatable issue, explain their positions, and consider other viewpoints. The routine describes several steps to ensure …
Read More

Analyzing Perspectives through Primary Sources, Part 1 in Core Practices in Action: Laying the Foundation for Deeper Learning with Literacy

vimeo.com/channels/deeperliteracy/131805947 In this two-part video, a teacher describes and demonstrates how her students explore and analyze differing perspectives using a variety of primary sources. The video aptly illustrates how the teacher probes student thinking and students ground their statements in evidence from complex texts as they engage in turn and …
Read More

Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects

www.edutopia.org/practice/personalized-learning-enabling-student-voice-and-choice-through-projects In this video, several teachers describe and demonstrate how they personalize learning and facilitate active engagement in their classrooms. The video and accompanying article offer useful strategies for designing engaging projects that cultivate curiosity and inquiry, promote interaction, provide choice as well as helpful structure and guidance, and offer …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Instruction That Sticks: Making Cooperative Learning Powerful

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct14/vol72/num02/Making-Cooperative-Learning-Powerful.aspx This article explains the value of cooperative learning and articulates techniques for making it work successfully. The author outlines helpful suggestions for designing lessons that set students up to work together effectively, and he provides practical strategies for ensuring that cooperative learning time is productive and that collaboration promotes …
Read More

5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

www.edutopia.org/blog/help-students-become-better-questioners-warren-berger This blog post offers suggestions for building a classroom culture in which students are encouraged to ask questions that stimulate thinking and promote learning. The author recommends establishing conditions that make it both safe and rewarding for students to ask questions, and he recommends a variety of activities to …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Getting Personalization Right: Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar17/vol74/num06/Student-Engagement@-Key-to-Personalized-Learning.aspx This insightful article provides an excellent overview of key elements of intrinsic motivation and explains what teachers can do to cultivate student engagement and agency. It includes strategies for designing learning experiences that promote autonomy, relatedness, competence, and relevance, which empower students to take ownership of their learning within …
Read More

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk

www.edutopia.org/practice/oracy-classroom-strategies-effective-talk In this video and accompanying article, educators discuss the importance of speaking in students’ lives and demonstrate how they provide regular opportunities for students to talk about their ideas as part of the learning process in a variety of contexts. They share helpful strategies for engaging students in communication …
Read More

Implementing the Writing Process – ReadWriteThink

www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/implementing-writing-process-30386.html This article describes how to use the writing process to help students engage in meaningful writing tasks, deepen their thinking, persist in their efforts, and produce quality work. It explains the value of clarifying expectations and structuring opportunities for students to check their own work, engage in peer review, …
Read More

Think Pair Share

www.visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03d_UnderstandingRoutines/ThinkPairShare/ThinkPairShare_Routine.html This thinking routine invites students to confer with each other about an open-ended, higher-order question to clarify and consolidate their ideas. The teacher poses a question and asks students to think about their responses individually, then explain their thinking to their partners, and finally share with the whole class …
Read More

Chalk Talk

nsrfharmony.org/system/files/protocols/chalk_talk_0.pdf This protocol invites students to silently share their thoughts and ideas about an open-ended prompt with each other through public writing. This powerful classroom routine engages students in sharing their thoughts, making connections, building on each others ideas, and deepening and extending their thinking, all without a sound …
Read More

Jigsaw

www.readingrockets.org/strategies/jigsaw This cooperative learning strategy actively engages students in conferring with each other in small groups with distributed expertise so that each student’s contribution is essential to consolidating the group’s understanding of a multi-faceted topic. While it requires some prior organization of students and materials, this teaching technique is great …
Read More

It Takes a Village: Teenagers Use Community Resources to Pen a Guidebook

www.edutopia.org/it-takes-village This article provides examples of projects that engage students with their communities in meaningful ways.The students featured drive their own learning and are invested in creating quality products. The projects described demonstrate the benefits of designing student learning experiences that result in applications of skills and concepts to solve …
Read More

Kindergarteners as Experts

eleducation.org/resources/kindergarteners-as-experts This video features a kindergarten learning expedition about birds that captivates students’ interest, sparks their curiosity, links their inquiries directly to the world outside of school, and actively engages them in producing quality work that they share with the community. Students act as citizen scientists, researchers, and artists, and …
Read More

Circle of Viewpoints

visiblethinkingpz.org/VisibleThinking_html_files/03_ThinkingRoutines/03e_FairnessRoutines/CircleViewpoints/CircleViewpoints_Routine.html This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, supports students in exploring and discussing different viewpoints on a given topic. It invites students to take on different personas and engages them in thinking deeply to understand different perspectives and their implications …
Read More

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/blooms-digital-taxonomy This video explains how Bloom’s taxonomy can be used as a framework for considering how digital tools can support thinking at various levels, promote 21st century skills, and actively engage students in learning. The Common Sense Media website also includes digital citizenship curriculum materials as well as reviews of …
Read More

Captivate: Designing Stimulating Lessons

Teachers who captivate spark and maintain student interest in learning. They stimulate and engage students by cultivating curiosity and inquiry and by making lessons interesting, relevant, and enjoyable. Find resources offering classroom strategies that support the practice of designing lessons that capture and hold students’ attention.

Instructional Pacing: How Do Your Lessons Flow?

www.edutopia.org/blog/instructional-pacing-tips-rebecca-alber This blog post describes seven essentials of pacing to keep students engaged and events running smoothly in the classroom. These teaching tips include a variety of easy-to-implement strategies for keeping instruction moving at pace that maximizes learning time and keeps students focused and engaged …
Read More

Using Gaming Principles to Engage Students

www.edutopia.org/blog/using-gaming-principles-engage-students-douglas-kiang This article discusses strategies used by game designers for engaging learners that can be effectively applied in the design of classroom instruction. It distills what makes game-based learning fun and how to transfer those design principles to a variety of classroom learning experiences. For example, building in opportunities for …
Read More

The Power of Positive Relationships

www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/ClassroomManagement/ClassDet/TabId/183/ArtMID/787/ArticleID/185/The-Power-of-Positive-Relationships.aspx This article offers general suggestions for building positive relationships with and among students and specific strategies for putting them into practice in the classroom. The list includes recommendations related to clarifying expectations, getting to know students individually, and holding their attention during instruction …
Read More

Encouraging Students to Own Their Work

www.edutopia.org/article/encouraging-students-own-their-work-joshua-block This teacher blog post articulates strategies for personalizing learning, building student ownership, and engaging students in meaningful work. The author argues that students produce higher quality work when they are able to make choices and incorporate their interests, and he offers several examples from his own classroom …
Read More

Solving Real-World Issues Through Problem-Based Learning

www.edutopia.org/practice/solving-real-world-issues-through-problem-based-learning This video and accompanying article describe and demonstrate how teachers design and facilitate learning experiences that capture students’ interest and engage them in thinking deeply through projects and investigations that address complex, real-world problems. They offer tips for incorporating problem-based learning into teaching, such as inviting students to contribute …
Read More

How to Choose the Best Multicultural Books | Scholastic

www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/how-choose-best-multicultural-books This guide provides an excellent list of books to include in classroom libraries that celebrate a variety of cultures and portray them with complexity and accuracy. The guide also offers insightful recommendations for selecting books that depict various cultures authentically and respectfully, avoid stereotypes, and reflect a diversity of …
Read More

Attributes of High-Quality Work | EL Education

eleducation.org/resources/el-attributes-of-high-quality-work This brief article offers guidance to teachers interested in planning worthwhile student projects that culminate in high-quality work products and result in deep understanding. Specifically, it describes considerations for designing projects that engage students in producing work that shows complexity, craftsmanship, and authenticity …
Read More

What Makes a Question Essential?

www.ascd.org/publications/books/109004/chapters/What-Makes-a-Question-Essential%A2.aspx This book chapter explains how teaching with essential questions can challenge students to think deeply about big ideas that are core to the disciplines and captivate their interest by making learning meaningful. This informative introduction assists teachers in crafting questions to guide inquiry and learning that help students make …
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UDL Guideline 7: Provide options for recruiting interest

www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines/principle3#principle3_g7 This well-organized guide to implementing principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) explains why it’s important to personalize learning experiences and offers a variety of practical classroom strategies, examples, and resources. For example, providing choices and inviting input, highlighting relevance and value, and minimizing distractions can all contribute to …
Read More

5 Ways to Give Your Students More Voice and Choice

www.edutopia.org/blog/five-strategies-more-voice-choice-students-rebecca-alber In this blog post, a teacher suggests strategies for engaging students by offering them opportunities to provide input and make choices about what they learn and how they communicate their learning. Recommendations include surveys to gauge student understanding as well as interest, invitations to choose topics of study and …
Read More

Challenge at the Heart of Deeper Learning: Teaching Channel Deeper Learning Series

vimeo.com/100358675 This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators …
Read More

Keeping It Relevant and “Authentic”

www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-relevant-lessons-video The teacher featured in this video highlights the relevance of what he is teaching, connects ideas, and engages students actively in learning. He designs tasks that invite students to synthesize and apply their understanding in real-world contexts. He anticipates challenges, monitors student work to check for understanding, and identifies …
Read More

Arizona Technology Integration Matrix

www.azk12.org/tim/index.php This interactive collection of lesson plans and videos offers a variety of examples of how technology can help to engage students in learning that is active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal-directed. These sample lessons are organized through a matrix, which describes ways in which technology can support student engagement, …
Read More

The Big Ideas of Understanding by Design

www.ascd.org/publications/books/109107/chapters/Module-A.-The-Big-Ideas-of-UbD.aspx This book chapter describes an approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessments in which teachers plan backwards from what they want students to understand and be able to do and engage students actively in meaningful learning experiences involving inquiry and application of skills and knowledge in authentic contexts. This …
Read More

Student Choice Leads to Student Voice

www.edutopia.org/blog/student-choice-leads-to-voice-joshua-block This teacher’s blog post offers a variety of examples of how he and his colleagues have incorporated student choice into the curriculum. They describe a range of projects, including parameters set by each teacher as well as opportunities for students to have a voice in what they learn and …
Read More

Thinking Big About Engagement

www.edutopia.org/stw-assessment-authentic-student-engagement-video The teacher featured in this video illustrates how he sparks and maintains interest and cultivates curiosity and inquiry through designing a project that engages students actively, creatively, and collaboratively in learning. He clarifies key concepts by highlighting their relevance and their connections to students’ experiences. He invites students to …
Read More

Science Talk: Management in the Active Classroom

vimeo.com/76178452 In this video, a teacher illustrates how she prepares students for participation in small-group discussions, helping them to document their ideas and supporting evidence in advance. She asks questions that highlight the relevance of important concepts, encourages students to ask and investigate their own questions, and requires them to …
Read More

ICT Literacy Maps – P21

www.p21.org/component/content/article/31-ict-literacy-maps These maps offer many illustrative examples of learning tasks that address 21st century skills along with other curriculum standards, providing a variety of ideas for using technology to engage students in learning. The maps suggest a multitude of ways to incorporate digital tools and resources into instruction that help …
Read More

Instruction | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

www.tolerance.org/publication/instruction This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom …
Read More

Barometer – Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues

www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/barometer-taking-stand-controversial-issues This classroom activity, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, engages students in broadening and deepening their perspectives by inviting them to literally and figuratively take a stand on a debatable issue, explain their positions, and consider other viewpoints. The routine describes several steps to ensure …
Read More

Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects

www.edutopia.org/practice/personalized-learning-enabling-student-voice-and-choice-through-projects In this video, several teachers describe and demonstrate how they personalize learning and facilitate active engagement in their classrooms. The video and accompanying article offer useful strategies for designing engaging projects that cultivate curiosity and inquiry, promote interaction, provide choice as well as helpful structure and guidance, and offer …
Read More

Educational Leadership: Getting Personalization Right: Student Engagement: Key to Personalized Learning

www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar17/vol74/num06/Student-Engagement@-Key-to-Personalized-Learning.aspx This insightful article provides an excellent overview of key elements of intrinsic motivation and explains what teachers can do to cultivate student engagement and agency. It includes strategies for designing learning experiences that promote autonomy, relatedness, competence, and relevance, which empower students to take ownership of their learning within …
Read More

Implementing the Writing Process – ReadWriteThink

www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/implementing-writing-process-30386.html This article describes how to use the writing process to help students engage in meaningful writing tasks, deepen their thinking, persist in their efforts, and produce quality work. It explains the value of clarifying expectations and structuring opportunities for students to check their own work, engage in peer review, …
Read More

It Takes a Village: Teenagers Use Community Resources to Pen a Guidebook

www.edutopia.org/it-takes-village This article provides examples of projects that engage students with their communities in meaningful ways.The students featured drive their own learning and are invested in creating quality products. The projects described demonstrate the benefits of designing student learning experiences that result in applications of skills and concepts to solve …
Read More

Kindergarteners as Experts

eleducation.org/resources/kindergarteners-as-experts This video features a kindergarten learning expedition about birds that captivates students’ interest, sparks their curiosity, links their inquiries directly to the world outside of school, and actively engages them in producing quality work that they share with the community. Students act as citizen scientists, researchers, and artists, and …
Read More

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/blooms-digital-taxonomy This video explains how Bloom’s taxonomy can be used as a framework for considering how digital tools can support thinking at various levels, promote 21st century skills, and actively engage students in learning. The Common Sense Media website also includes digital citizenship curriculum materials as well as reviews of …
Read More

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