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Wishful Thinking


Students analyze their understanding of concepts using the lead4ward Student Learning Reports and make 1-3 wishes to help them improve.



  1. Students reflect on each “I can” statement on lead4ward’s Student Learning Report and do the following:
    • Write a symbol in the Check Up columns: + (I know it)  checkmark (I know parts of it)  – (I don’t know it yet).
    • Write “I wish” in the Notes column on 1, 2, or 3 concepts they wish to improve.
  2. For each “I wish,” students write a question about the concept on a sticky note.
  3. Organize students into 3 or 4 Wishful Thinking groups (6-8 students in each group).
  4. Groups move to assigned corners.
  5. Students organize sticky note wishes into categories.
  6. Use the group’s strengths to grant (answer) wishes or recruit experts from other groups to help “grant wishes.”
  7. Groups give unanswered wishes to the teacher.
  8. Use ungranted wishes to form intervention groups.

Classroom Management

  • Model the strategy using a think-aloud.
  • Implement this strategy before/during/after instruction as a progress measure.
  • Role-play how to categorize sticky note wishes and how peers can “grant” wishes.


  • Promote access by partnering with a supportive peer/adult and allowing the partner to read the “I can” statements and sticky notes aloud.
  • Promote response support by allowing students to dictate ideas to a scribe and/or record ideas using speech-to-text or word prediction support.

Think It Up!

  • Have students think more deeply about the concept by responding to a Think It Up prompt as an exit ticket or journal entry:
    • Summarize how your wish was granted by explaining to a friend what you learned.
    • Draw a conclusion about why you will perform better on an “I wish” concept next time.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.