Back to School with the 4 C'sThe 4 C’s are foundational skills that students need to thrive in the 21st Century.

How are you ensuring your students are tapping into the 4 C’s this school year?

In this episode, Kasey shares learning activities that align with the 4 C’s, as well as tips to help you build these skills throughout the school year.

Be sure to listen to the podcast episode! Kasey will walk you through the activities and how to apply the 4 C’s!

Listen to this article.


Back to School is the perfect time to begin planning with the 4 C’s!

As you plan your lessons this school year, think about the 4 C’s and how you can implement them on a regular basis.

Are there C’s that you implement frequently? Are there some that you rarely implement?

At the heart of the Dynamic Learning Model are the four Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.

The Dynamic Learning Model

Foundational for learning transformation, the four Cs help prepare students for the future.

I often refer to the 4 C’s as the “Superfoods of Learning.”

Every time I walk into a classroom and see something amazing, at least one of the four Cs are present, if not more. Every Dynamic Learning Experience should include at least one of the four Cs.

This is something I share more extensively in my books, Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic, and Blended Learning with Google: Your Guide to Dynamic Teaching and Learning.

What Are the 4 C’s?

For our purposes, we will define these skills as the following:

Creativity: The use of imagination and original ideas to solve problems and create (Examples: Cultivate creativity and innovation with projects that require students to design original solutions, invent something new to solve a problem, or integrate art and design, with room to fail.)

Communication: The ability to effectively and clearly communicate for a variety of audiences and using a variety of tools and mediums (Examples: Give students opportunities to interact with adult experts, authors, and real-world audiences. Let them experience speaking and presenting.)

Collaboration: Learning and working in groups or teams, locally or globally, to achieve a goal (Examples: Ensure that there is purpose to the collaboration and not just group work. Form partners and teams strategically, with assigned leadership roles, include team-building exercises, and establish collaboration guidelines and shared decision-making.)

Critical Thinking: The ability to conceptualize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information for the purpose of deeper understand- ing, problem-solving, and guiding action (Examples: Create learning experiences, such as mock trials or debates, scientific investigations, interpreting events in history or literature, or design challenges.)

Related: The 4 C’s Choice Board

The 4 C’s Aligned Activities

The table below is merely a starting place.

Obviously, activities can be tweaked to include other C’s, but these are the basics that usually coincide with these types of activities. (Listen to the episode, and I will explain each one!)

Move BEYOND traditional assignments, expectations, and OLD rubrics.

For instance, communication goes far beyond presentation skills, in fact, you will see that communication has the most checkmarks in the chart below because it is required for almost everything that we do. How that gets translated in the classroom is up to you.

On the other hand, collaboration could be added to many of the activities below. However, I encourage you to not look at collaboration as an add-on.

Going back to episode 120 with Vicki Heupel, collaboration is much more than just putting students in pairs or groups. It needs a purpose, and often a deeper learning expectation to make it meaningful. Think of assignments that are much more challenging solo.

There is a lot of overlap in the C’s. Collaboration requires communication, and often time creativity and critical thinking also go hand in hand. It depends on your implementation.

Back to School with the 4 C's

* This is just a general place to start. Be sure to listen to episode 124 of the Shake Up Learning Show for a breakdown of skills, and variables to reach more C’s. Created by Kasey Bell,

Related: The 4 C’s: The Superfoods of Learning!

What will you try this school year? What would you add to this table?

The Back to School Conference (FREE)

Looking for more Back to School ideas to prepare for the “new normal”?

The Shake Up Learning Team is excited to announce a brand new online conference coming this September! It’s completely free, online, asynchronous, and designed for K-12 teachers and educational leaders.

With a focus on adapting to the “new normal,” this conference will help teachers and educational leaders learn new skills and strategies to engage students in online and blended learning.

With 30+ breakout sessions from education experts and special keynotes by Kasey Bell and Jen Giffen, this is sure to be an event to remember. Teachers will walk away with practical ideas to move learning forward. Leaders will learn about critical shifts, and how to lead meaningful change.

All presenters have been hand-selected from the Shake Up Learning Team, and special invited guests, including Jake Miller, Evan Robb, Angela Draper, and Jon Corippo. We even have a few sessions in Spanish!

With engaging presentations by the expert SHAKE UP LEARNING TEAM and invited guests, educators across the globe can take their teaching and leadership skills to the next level.

  • 30+ sessions, including keynotes by Kasey Bell and Jen Giffen.
  • Video presentations are released each day of the conference week.
  • Videos available until Oct. 30, 2021 (or one-year access with the ALL-ACCESS PASS)
  • Topics include: Google tools, Dynamic Learning, Google Certification, Leadership, SEL, and Accessibility
  • GET CREDIT! Certificates will be available for each session.


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