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Clarity for Learning

Clarity for Learning
Five Essential Practices That Empower Students and Teachers

First Edition

Foreword by John Hattie, Afterword by Larry Ainsworth

November 2018 | 240 pages | Corwin


With the ever-changing landscape of education, teachers and leaders often find themselves searching for clarity in a sea of standards, curriculum resources, and competing priorities. Clarity for Learning offers a simple and doable approach to developing clarity and sharing it with students. Are both teachers and students clear about what must be learned, why students are learning it, and how they can be successful? Are students able to determine their next steps in learning through quality feedback and assessment? Have teachers had the time and support to collaborate around clarity to ensure an aligned approach within your school system?

This book offers five powerful practices that include:

  • Gaining clarity
  • Sharing clarity
  • Feedback with clarity
  • Assessing with clarity
  • Collaborating with clarity

In addition, the book is chock-full of examples from teachers and leaders across North America who have shared their journey, struggles, and successes to provide examples, exemplars, and models for readers to use to propel their own work forward. This is a don’t-miss resource!



Foreword by John Hattie
About the Authors
Chapter 1. The Clarity Problem
What Is the Clarity Problem?  
Evidence of the Clarity Problem  
Categories of Clarity Problems  
Reflection and Next Steps  
Chapter 2. Gaining Clarity: Crafting Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
A Personal Account of Clarity From the World of Education  
Learning Intentions  
Effective Learning Intentions  
Common Questions and Misconceptions About Learning Intentions  
Generating Learning Intentions From Content Standards  
Success Criteria  
Effective Success Criteria  
Common Questions and Misconceptions About Success Criteria  
Generating Success Criteria  
Planning as a Next Step  
The Litmus Test  
Summarizing Gaining Clarity  
Reflection, Next Steps, and Evidence  
Chapter 3. Gaining Clarity in Action: Voices From the Field
Voices From the Field  
Chapter 4. Sharing Clarity: Co-Constructing Success Criteria With Learners
Why Co-Constructing Matters  
What Does Co-Constructing Success Criteria Entail?  
Steps to Co-Constructing Success Criteria  
Goal Setting and Progress  
Common Questions and Misconceptions About Co-Constructing  
Reflection, Next Steps, and Evidence  
Chapter 5. Sharing Clarity in Action: Voices From the Field
Voices From the Field  
Chapter 6. Assessing With Clarity: Opportunities to Respond
What Are Opportunities to Respond?  
More Than Assessment and Evaluation  
Timing the Opportunities to Respond  
Characteristics of Opportunities to Respond  
Making Thinking Visible  
Tasks Versus Exercises  
Engaging Scenarios  
Reflection and Next Steps  
Chapter 7. Assessing With Clarity in Action: Voices From the Field
Voices From the Field  
Chapter 8. Feedback With Clarity: Giving and Receiving Feedback on and for Learning
What Is Effective Feedback?  
Types of Feedback  
The Delivery of the Feedback  
Effective Feedback With Effective Delivery  
Adjust Feedback for Learners  
A Balanced Approach  
Reflection and Next Steps  
Chapter 9. Feedback With Clarity in Action: Voices From the Field
Voices From the Field  
Chapter 10. Collaborating for Clarity in Learning
Charting Your Clarity Journey  
Charting Next Steps  
The Journey Toward Clarity in Barren County Public Schools  
What It Takes to Make Clarity Happen  
In the Classroom  
In the School or District: Collective Teacher Efficacy and Intentionality in Professional Learning  
Put Them Together  
Our Clarity Purpose  
Chapter 11. Collaborating for Clarity in Learning: Voices in Action
Voices From the Field  
Appendix A
Learning Intentions  
Success Criteria  
Learning Progressions  
Co-Constructing Success Criteria  
Assessment-Capable Learners (ACL)  
Opportunities to Respond  
Collective Teacher Efficacy  
Appendix B
Afterword by Larry Ainsworth

"Clarity for Learning delivers just what its title promises: a clear and purposeful guide to making a great difference in how your students learn. This book is necessary for any educator who wants to meet their students where they are and show them just how far they can take their learning."

Gayla LeMay, Teacher
Louise Radloff Middle School, GA

"Clarity for Learning provides the scaffolding needed by both novice and experienced educators as they endeavor to make learning more meaningful for students and provide the type of instructional setting that promotes student achievement."

Melissa Miller, Middle School Science Teacher
Randall G Lynch Middle School, AR

"Clarity for Learning is a valuable book for a wide audience and is on its way to making an impact on the effectiveness of American classrooms."

Debra K. Las, Science Teacher,
Rochester Public Schools, ISD #535, MN

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John Taylor Almarode

Learn more about John Almarode's PD offeringsDr. John Almarode has worked with schools, classrooms, and teachers all over the world.  John began his career in Augusta County, Virginia, teaching mathematics and science to a wide-range of students.  Since then, he has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the application of the science of learning to the classroom, school, and home environments.  He has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers across the world.  The work of John and his colleagues has been presented to the United States Congress, The United States Department... More About Author

Kara L. Vandas

Kara Vandas is an educator with an enduring passion for empowering learners. She began her career in education at an alternative school for youth at-risk. Kara spent several more years in the classroom in public education as a middle and high school educator and then transitioned to coaching and professional learning positions that allowed her to support teachers and leaders. Her current role as an author and consultant takes her around the world to partner with schools and school districts.  She also presents nationally and internationally at conferences, with a focus on learner agency and efficacy.Kara is the co-author of Partnering... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781506384696