Tara just asked me a great question about how to use Educircles resources with self-directed learning in literacy centers.

You can watch the Loom video with my answer here.

Here are some quick talking points:

1. I wouldn’t buy the Educircles Everything Bundle if it was only to be used in centers


  • I think you’ll be frustrated trying to figure out what could work in a center; 
  • I think your students will be frustrated because they’ll need to be trained.
  • A lot of my resources could work in centers (after you trained the students), but the 6Cs units are really designed with whole-class teacher-guided instruction in mind.

Literacy Center Program Ideas: 

2. Goals of small group literacy centers: 

  • Train students how to work independently; give them tools to succeed.
  • Give students opportunities to practice self-directed learning skills; 
  • Hold students accountable (assessment); 
  • Make sure students see why this matters: relevant to school (marks) and life (overcoming obstacles.) 

3. I would get the BookFace 10x Learning bundle for my literacy center program. (Look at the product preview) 


4. Teach students how to play “Idea Volleyball” and “Say Something.” Practice Idea Volleyball and Say Something with the ChatGPT Debate

  • Why: Give students explicit instructions on what to do as the read or analyze a text.
  • Why: The world is changing (i.e., ChatGPT) – being able to learn how to deal with the changing rules is the key to success.

5. Diagnostic Assessment: The Rock 

  • Students see that the articles they’re reading are for marks. (They will be held accountable for learning.)

6. Set up stations with a bunch of differentiated articles 

7 (Optional) Do reading strategy lessons to address whole class gaps in strategies and skills.

8. Do Formative Assessment: This App

  • Students see the stuff they do in the learning centers is directly building skills that they will have to do independently for marks. 

9. More differentiated articles. 

10. Do Summative Assessment: Born Here

  • Hopefully students have improved – both in literacy skills and self-directed learning skills.

Training Students How To Learn (Whole Class Instruction): 

11. I would get the 6Cs bundle to train my students to work independently / self-directed learning. 


12. I would start with a conversation about how the point of school was not to learn:


13. I would watch this video at 5:02 where I talk about how these 6Cs transferable skills saved my life:

14. I would use the 6Cs Character unit to talk about mindset, and to give them strategies for when they get stuck; Practice with sudoku. 


15. I would co-create learning skills rubrics with my students using the 6Cs Challenge unit: 


  • This way, they know what’s expected of them during the literacy centers.
  • There’s more ownership because students created the learning skills rubric.
  • During the activity, students do a self-assessment and I’ll be assessing their learning skills.

16. I would have students do self-assessments with their co-created rubric as part of their literacy center.

17. Every month, I would do a different 6C unit based on what students were struggling with. 

  • We would update the co-created rubric to show it’s a living document and things can change as our learning becomes more sophisticated (or we become more complex.)
  • Students learn what is expected of them during the learning skills.
  • You get a common language to use as a class to talk about self-directed learning:
    • When you’re in the literacy centers, you should be collaborating, not having one student co-ordinating others and telling them what to do.  
    • I love the way students are doing some “true collaboration” by playing “idea volleyball” – even though I’m working with this group here, I can see across the room how those students are building on each other’s ideas.
    • I just heard how that group connected two completely different ideas. That’s exactly what we do when we’re being creative or innovating. Can you share your answer with the class?
    • Wait! I need to stop the classroom to point out something awesome. I’ve seen three people look at those character strategies to find something new to try. Good for you. 
    • Unbelievable. I just saw communication break down in one group. Super impressed how one person in the group decided this wasn’t a big deal and let it go. That’s a big step towards assertive behaviour. You pick and choose your battles. I can’t wait to see how they communicate when something is important to them. Will they be aggressive or assertive?
  • Students see that self-directed learning is an on-gong thing, and not just a one-off in September thing. It takes time to build self-directed learning skills and to unlearn how to be helpless.