Branching Out is a weekly, bite-sized professional learning videos filled with engaging instructional strategies that can be implemented in any classroom.

For all the Branching Out videos, visit Kane County ROE Branching Out YouTube Page

Human Bar Graph

Check out this strategy that incorporates movement and assessment!

Dear Absent Student

“Dear Absent Student” is an exit ticket activity where students write a short note to a classmate who was absent during the lesson.

Positive Office Referral

Check out this strategy to create a positive environment for students and increase parent communication!

Permission Slips

This strategy helps to create a safe, trusting environment for all students in your classroom. Try it out this week!

Grudge Ball

“Grudge Ball” is an engaging classroom game designed to reinforce subject material while encouraging teamwork and healthy competition among students.


Looking for a way to increase positive behaviors with your most challenging students? Take a moment to watch the 2X10 strategy here!

Dance – Freeze – Share

“Dance – Freeze – Share” is a versatile teaching strategy that integrates physical movement, communication, and collaboration in the classroom.

Total Physical Response

Looking for a new way to engage students in vocabulary? Try Total Physical Response!

Tea Party

The National School Reform Faculty shares an activity called, “Tea Party” which is a vibrant strategy designed to captivate students while fostering critical thinking and collaboration. This variation adds a unique twist by centering on word exploration and inference-making.


Headlines is a thinking routine developed by Project Zero, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This teaching strategy requires students to create a succinct newspaper-style headline that captures the key concepts or main idea of a lesson, topic, or text they have studied. This strategy goes beyond simple summarization and requires students to distill information, prioritize details, and think analytically about the material. 

Digital Notebook

Check out this digital note-taking strategy for all content areas! 

Pet Peeve Pyramid

The “Pet Peeve Pyramid” teaching strategy is an innovative and engaging approach designed to improve behaviors and encourage self-awareness and self-regulation among students.

Give One, Get One

Check out this interactive strategy that helps students develop their thinking and add to their written response! 

Philosophical Chairs

Philosophical Chairs is a strategy that encourages students to express and defend their opinions while also actively listening to their peers’ viewpoints. By using this strategy, you can create an engaging and intellectually stimulating classroom environment that promotes active learning and thoughtful discourse.

Two-Dollar Summary

Looking for a way to help students synthesize their learning? Check out the “Two-Dollar Summary” strategy!

Circle the Sage

The Kagan cooperative learning strategy, “Circle the Sage” is a great way to review concepts, get students discussing and reflecting on curricular topics, and build classroom community.

Gallery Walk

This strategy provides students an opportunity to give one another feedback. Try using at the midpoint or end of your lesson!

Teach it

Exit tickets are a great way for teachers to gather information and allow students to reflect on the day’s lesson; however, they are implemented so often they can become redundant for students and at times, you see them not putting forth their best effort. “Teach it” is a way to implement an exit ticket with a fun, new twist!

Not Right Now Shelf

Do you have students in your class with a lot on their mind? The “Not Right Now” Shelf strategy can help students put distracting thoughts down on paper and focus on the task ahead. Try this strategy after a transition or before an assessment!

Q&A Match Up

Utilizing cooperative learning strategies has countless benefits for your students. Check out the strategy, “Q&A Match Up” to see how it will help your student develop their higher-level thinking skills, oral communication skills and so much more!

Affinity Mapping –

Affinity mapping is a great way to get students talking and engaging with the content through inquiry!

Tape Diagram – 

Tape Diagram is a visual strategy to help students organize and solve word problems.

Truth or Dare – 

Looking for a fun way to have your students practice concepts or review for a test? The gamification activity Truth or Dare is a fun way to engage students and help them retain information.

Gleam and Glow – 

Are you looking for a strategy to help students make connections and to actively engage with texts? Gleam and Glow is a great way to foster understanding, connection, and a love of reading.

Retrieval Strategies –

Retrieval strategies are activities designed to recover the stored information students have previously learned. “2 Things” is a retrieval strategy from the book, “Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning” by Pooja K. Agarwal & Patrice Bain. This strategy only takes a few moments to implement but will lead to higher retention of information and learning for your students. #BranchingOut #AllNew #education #k12