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Welcome to Carolyn Coil's website!

Carolyn Coil has worked in the field of education for over 30 years as a teacher, training co-ordinator, project director, learning resources specialist, author and consultant.

Carolyn warmly welcomes you to this website. Click on the links above to find out about Carolyn's work both nationally and internationally.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Carolyn at carolyncoil@comcast.net

To listen to Carolyn's podcast on Assessment for the Inclusive Classroom, click on this link: www.blogtalkradio.com

To listen to Carolyn's podcast on Differentiation for the Inclusive Classroom, click on this link: www.blogtalkradio.com

To view Carolyn's blog on CNN, click on this link: http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com

To find out more about Carolyn's online courses, click on this link: http://info.kdsi.org/carolyn-coil

Recently published article by Carolyn in Knowledge Quest:
"Creativity in an Assessment Driven Environment"


Now available! Click on a title to order this books!

creAtivity X 4: Using the Common Core Standards

TAGT 2013 Legacy Award Winner!

The Common Core State Standards, with their emphasis on breadth, depth, and higher-level thinking skills, are exemplary vehicles to enhance creative practice and production in the classroom. Because the standards are both general and conceptual in nature, with broader curriculum application and a problem-solving focus, they have the potential to both lay the groundwork and provide the framework for higher-level thinking, including creative and critical thinking. Common Core State Standards hold the promise of providing opportunities for developing creativity through the integration of new ideas, technology, the arts, and higher-level questioning.

Creativity and innovation are considered by P21--Partnership for 21st Century Skills--to be some of the most important areas on which to focus work within the Common Core State Standards. Indeed, in the 21st century, creativity and innovation skills are central components of college and career readiness. Creativity x 4  includes four practical, standards-based lesson planning formats to use to develop creativity and higher-level thinking:

  • Six Thinking Hats® is a thinking process that identifies six different ways of thinking with each way indicated by a different colored hat. Each way of thinking adds information and helps students look at problems or challenges more creatively and with a variety of points of view.
  • Encounter Lessons include open-ended questions that help students practice good listening skills, stimulate creativity and higher-level thinking, and provide motivation for all students.
  • The Questivities™ format consists of a Project Activity and a series of Thinking Questions that stimulate creative and critical thinking and give practice in research skills.
  • SCAMPER is an acronym for words describing seven different thinking techniques to spark creativity and generate ideas for problem solving. It provides teachers with the means for generating questions and gives students a vehicle for demonstrating higher levels of thinking.

Creativity X 4

21st century learning skills - problem solving and critical and creative thinking - are showcased in this interactive workshop. See four user-friendly formats, Questivities?, SCAMPER, Six Thinking Hats and Encounter Lessons, that enhance and encourage creativity. Understand how each provides ways for students to use their imaginations, work on research skills, storytelling, listening skills and creative project activities. You will actively participate in four lessons and will take back samples of all four formats.

Recommended resources: Creativity X 4

Now available! Click on the title to order this new book!

Differentiated Activities and Assessments Using the Common Core Standards

A significant advantage in using Common Core State Standards is that they are general, with broader curriculum application. They can potentially lead to higher-level thinking and mastery of 21st century skills rather than focus on lower-level test-prep answers. Coil’s practical examples show educators how to use differentiated curriculum, differentiated instruction, and differentiated assessment with the Common Core State Standards.

Differentiation is essential when educators work with diverse groups of students while using the same set of Common Core State Standards for each student. These activities and corresponding assessments are specifically designed examples of how the CCSS can be implemented in your classroom with diverse students.


Differentiated curriculum calls for differentiated assessment. Not only are the topic activities differentiated and provide for student choice, but the assessments are differentiated as well. Using differentiated activities and assessments leads to greater success and achievement on high-stakes standardized tests.

Coil includes over 50 topics in language arts, math, social studies, science, and interdisciplinary topics. Lesson formats include Curriculum Compacting, Individual Lesson Plans (ILP™), Questivities™, Tic-Tac-Toes, and Tiered Lessons & Units.

The accompanying CD includes all 50+ lesson formats (activities AND assessments) in ready-to-use customizable WORD files

New Common Core Standards Workshops presented by Carolyn Coil
For information on booking a workshop for your school or district, email Emily(emily@piecesoflearning.com)

Differentiating Instruction Using the Common Core Standards

The Common Core Standards are based on the most effective standards from states throughout the country and from other countries around the world. They provide guidelines about what students should know and be able to do as a result of their schooling. Clear and understandable, they include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order thinking skills. In this workshop, you will learn how to incorporate these standards into your curriculum using a number of practical, user-friendly differentiation strategies. You will leave this workshop with many realistic and doable teaching ideas that you can use right away!

Using the Common Core Standards with Gifted Students

The Common Core Standards are based on the most effective state standards and on standards from other countries around the world. A big advantage in using them with gifted students is that they are broader in application, incorporate evaluative thinking and research skills, and can lead to higher level thinking, rigorous work and problem solving. In this session, see a variety of practical differentiated activities with corresponding assessments that use the Common Core Standards, extend learning, and are appropriate for gifted kids.

Using the Common Core Standards with Diverse Learners

In this interactive workshop, we will consider and reflect upon the needs of Special Education students, English Language Learners and Gifted and Talented students as the Common Core Standards are implemented in schools and school districts nationwide. Examine connections between Differentiation, RTI and the Common Core Standards. Discover practical strategies, interventions, policies and organizational structures that can be used by school districts, schools and teachers to implement these standards while continuing to meet individual student needs.

Informational Texts and the Common Core Standards

One major characteristic of the Common Core Standards is that they emphasize analysis, reflection and research based on informational texts. In an age where anything and everything can be put on the Internet with no screening, editing or outside evaluation and review, teaching our students how to read, use, assess and evaluate informational texts is essential. In this workshop we will identify many of the Common Core Standards that focus on informational texts. See how to meet these standards by using differentiated activities and assessments in many subject areas and correlating them to the appropriate standards.

Differentiated STEM Activities and Assessments Using the Common Core Standards

This workshop focuses on the “how-to” of differentiation. Participants will examine a number of Common Core Standards and learn how incorporate them into a variety of practical differentiated STEM activities with their corresponding assessments. Strategies include: Curriculum compacting Tiered lessons/units Learning preferences Individual Lesson Plan™ format Tic-Tac-Toe learning activities Assessments using mini-rubrics and criteria cards Questivities™ (Higher level questions) Participants will leave this workshop with many realistic and doable teaching ideas and examples focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that can be used right away!

What People Say About Carolyn's Workshops

One teacher has absolutely blown me away with how much she's internalized the training! She used your model to create a rubric and task cards for a Tic-Tac-Toe assessment for her 12th grade literature class after reading a Chang Rae Lee's novel, and the kids projects were STELLAR! I was so impressed by the presentations I saw. SHE was so impressed that she sent some of the projects on to the author! She said the training was one of the best she's been to! Kudos to you! You really made a difference in her teaching.
--Director of Curriculum & Staff Development

Great practical ideas! Carolyn is always so real and practical, helps us to understand concepts easier!

Thanks for walking us through the book and making it easier to use as a resource.

Carolyn Coil is always a treat! Great application pieces! My understanding of tools for differentiation is much greater than before. Thanks for the time, Carolyn.

Excellent! You are so detailed and down to Earth--very user friendly.

Enjoy the practical applications and resources that Carolyn shares. Thanks Carolyn. I have some good ideas for high school, now.

Carolyn, you are always so inspirational! You make differentiation seem attainable. I always enjoy your useful workshops! Thank you for sharing your ideas to help oodles of teachers.

Carolyn Coil makes things simple and understandable.

I like that Carolyn makes connections to topics and implementation in our district. She is a great trainer. This empowers us to help other teachers.

Well paced and well planned! Carolyn always does an excellent job--interesting and informative! Thanks!

Absolutely awesome! I loved everything!

copyright © 2014 Carolyn Coil
All contents, graphics, and materials on this web site are posted for the promotional purposes of Carolyn Coil's consulting and publications. They may not be copied or reproduced in any form without written permission. All rights reserved.