My new favorite DIY tool: Microprogressions (#solTuesday)

I love Maggie Beattie Roberts. I really do. I have seen her present at multiple conferences and I have never, not once, been disappointed.

Two weeks ago I attended her session at the 2019 CCIRA in Denver, and let me tell you – it was amazing. Entertaining, educational, relevant, instantly usable in my classroom, and highly motivating… in other words, a purely fabulous presentation.

Maggie talked with us (not at us!) about microprogressions, which are these awesome DIY tools that illuminate skill progression. By creating these snapshots of skills on a developmental framework, you can narrow down a “skill story” to about three levels that represent a range in your class. This is a tool that gives praise for progress (it’s not a deficit model at all), is kid-facing, and actually honors each phase of the progression. Microprogressions can be used with any skill that you want to break down in your classroom… and I mean any. Reading skills, writing skills, moving around in the classroom skills, math skills, social-emotional skills, speaking and listening skills, washing dishes skills… anything! What do your students need broken down right now at this very moment?

Here’s my first go at creating a microprogression to target a current need in my second grade class:

This beauty (at least I think it’s lovely) took a whopping six minutes to create. I identified a skill that needed refining in my classroom (same-book partner reading behaviors), I broke down that skill into developmental levels, I recorded the details that encapsulated the current levels of my students as well as where I wanted them to go next (I currently have kiddos sitting squarely in the first three columns), and I shared it with my class. We discussed it. They loved it. This is a clear metric that makes sense to them, helps them identify where they are on any particular day, doesn’t judge them for somehow lacking in this skill area, and it lets them know the next steps to gain skills as a same-book partner.

In fact, one student was even motivated to make his own version of a microprogression…

Of course, he had to add a “zero star” category on the back…

Good call, buddy. Don’t be eatin’ those books.


Okay, fellow educators: I’m curious about your thoughts on microprogressions. Have you heard about them? Do you also love Maggie Beattie Roberts? Have you experimented with microprogressions in your classroom? How did it go? If this is new information for you, do you think that these tools are something that you might try out? Let’s talk about it!

10 thoughts on “My new favorite DIY tool: Microprogressions (#solTuesday)

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  1. OK so I know this isn’t your slice from Day 3… but this is such a cool post! I’ve been having trouble using meaningful rubrics with my students. This might be just the trick to get them invested in book clubs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I love Ms. Beatty Robers! And I love the idea of microprogressions. I haven’t yet made one of my own – but you have inspired me to try! I do love that it provides students with next steps and also gives a common understanding of a goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love both Maggie and Kate. I have learned so much from them. I have not used the microprogressions yet, though I have done the demonstration notebooks and anchor charts. I also have used a lot of Kate’s ideas using whole class novels from her book A Novel Approach. On a side note…I have an anchor chart and some student work in DIY Literacy…page 40 (I think!) if you want to check it out!

    Oh, and no, let’s not eat books! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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