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▶️ View a Video Tutorial of Quill Lessons

Step by Step Guide

Setting Up The Lesson 

Finding the Lesson 

Go to "Assign Activities" and click "Explore activities." Click "choose activities from our library", then click "create your own activity pack." From there, you can search for the type of lesson you are hoping to assign by typing it into the search bar. Once you find the concept you are looking to teach, click on the name, and read through the slides and Step-By-Step Guide.  Here's a guide on how to assign Quill Lessons.

Reviewing the PDF Lesson Plan

As soon as you assign the lesson, you will receive an email in your inbox that contains a PDF of the lesson plan. The lesson plan will list each of the prompts and suggested discussion topics. If you would like, you can print out the PDF and annotate the discussion questions to use during the lesson. Here's a sample lesson plan PDF.

Using the Projector 

In order to project your lesson, first click the “launch lesson” button from your teacher dashboard. You will notice that both the slides and the interactive teacher guide will show up on your board. By clicking on the projector view button at the top of the page, you will launch a new window that shows only the student display. You can drag this new window off to the right-hand side of the screen, so that it will appear on your projected screen, but your desktop will still show the teacher view. Here's a guide on how to project Quill Lessons in your classroom.

Getting the Class Started

As each student signs into their Quill account at the beginning of class, they will populate the "0 students connected to this lesson" field on the right of your screen.

Using the Lesson 

Unlocking the Lesson 

If you do not open your lesson before students login to their Quill accounts, the lesson will show up as locked on their profiles until the teacher presses the “launch lesson” button. The lesson will then then unlock on their profile and display on the dashboard. The students can then click on "start lesson."

Using the Guide to Model Skills

Once you have started your lesson and you encounter a Teacher Model slide, use the “watch teacher” button, which pauses student screens and instructs students to partially close their laptops. You can then type out your answers on your computer, and your students will be able to see your changes live.

Completing a Question 

When your students come to the first question, they will be prompted to enter an answer. You can then select a few strong answers to project to your students. Use the questions you annotated in your PDF to guide discussion around the student answers.

Retrying Questions to Demonstrate Mastery 

For each individual practice slide, you can project strong student answers to help the students discuss and understand the material. After sharing a few strong answers, use the "retry question" button, which allows all students to start over and submit a new, improved answer.

Completing the Lesson & Follow-Up

Flagging Struggling Students 

During the lesson, you may notice that a few students were consistently struggling to apply the new material in Individual Practice. Use the flag button to mark these students. As you progress through the slides, some of your flagged students may demonstrate mastery and others may not. At the end of the lesson, you will be presented with options - you can either send all students to independent practice now, or send some to independent practice and pull others aside for small group instruction. You can assign some of your students to start the independent practice, and prompted the remaining ones to join you in a small group table.

Small Group Instruction 

Ask your small group to write down a few of the prompts from your PDF in their notebooks and walk through the process with them once again. Engage each student in a discussion around improving one another's answers. As your small group works, you can provide personalized feedback based on your students' responses. During the small group instruction, the rest of your class can work independently on their follow-up activity.

Ready to Jump In? Check out the checklist for completing your first lesson.  

Getting Started Checklist

Before the Lesson

Determining Class Structure:

  • Decide if you will use Quill Lessons with a small group or the whole class. 

Selecting a Lesson:

  • Consult the diagnostic recommendations for whole class lessons. 

  • Filter by Quill Lessons tool tab under Explore All Activities. Have questions about which grade Quill Lessons is suitable for? Here's a guide.

Setting Up a Lesson:

  • Preview lesson for alignment to objective

  • Assign lesson. Here's a guide on how to assign Quill Lessons

  • Review Lesson

  • Download and print lesson plan. Here's an example lesson plan.

  • Practice projecting student view, and using teacher view. Here's a guide.

  • Test out locking and unlocking lesson for students

During the Lesson


  • Personalize prompt

  • Model incorrect response

  • Model correct response

Engaging in Discussion:

  • Share best student response

  • Share responses that require revision

  • Check to see that all students are submitting answers

Addressing Student Needs:

  • Skim student answers as they arrive for the strength of response, effort, points of discussion

  • Send response for a student to retry if the response is unacceptable or a student asks to improve response

  • Flag if student’s response shows misunderstanding of the skill

Wrapping up/Debrief:

  • Use final response to check for understanding

  • Flag and unflag based on final responses

  • Select next steps for all students

After the Lesson

Following Up: 

  • Assign practice

  • Create opportunity for enrichment

  • Students revise one another’s writing for correlating skill

  • Remediate

  • Return to student response slides to review in more detail

  • Work through a Quill activity collaboratively

  • Create sentences in writers’ notebooks with which to practice

Returning to Reports:

  • Find great examples of student responses to post

  • Review flagged students to analyze comprehension issues

Sharing Your Feedback With Quill:

  • Ask us questions

  • Let us know what you loved

  • Let us know what you’d like us to improve

Questions to Guide Discussion


  • What is the relationship between the parts of this sentence?

  • What are all the joining words we could use to connect these ideas?

  • How are the sentences you can see different from one another? How are they the same?

For analyzing strong responses:

  • Which of these responses would you use in your writing? Why?

  • What might change your choice?

  • How does the sentence structure change the meaning?

For revising responses:

  • How could I correct this response?

  • How could I improve this response?

  • What rule could we write to prevent this writer from making this error again?

For discussion of style:

  • Which of these responses sounds better when you read it out loud?

  • What vocabulary would you change to make this sentence your own?

  • What is the writer communicating with their word choices?

Teacher Stories

Over the past month of beta testing, we’ve seen teachers in action and gathered their stories of making Quill Lessons work for them and their students. Here’s how we gathered these ideas and best practices.

“Eighth-grade students were literally begging me to project their answers or asking me to allow them to re-submit an answer because they’d just gotten a better idea from another student’s example. An excited class learning grammar from each other, now that’s a good day in ELA class! One other huge bonus is that in my lessons throughout the week, I was able to refer to the Quill lesson when kids were giving me fragmented answers on written homework in my regular unit. They caught on so much faster thanks to the experience gained from just one lesson. I can’t wait till Friday to do it again.”

Kim Hinderlie, Elma Elementary School

“The kids are really enjoying the new lessons! As far as prepping for lessons, I start with the diagnostic first thing. I am anxious to see where the kids start at the beginning of the year and where the finish by the end of the year. We started with the most basic lessons, and are working our way up. One thing that the students love is when we put the wrong answers up on the board. They see that they aren’t the only ones who struggle, and it helps them build more confidence. We share a few laughs and then go on to find the correct answer.Once lessons are complete, we either move on or practice individually. If the students did really well and seem to understand the topic, we’ll go on. However, if they struggled with the information, we’ll spend an extra day working on the material.”

Britney Wilson, Morgan Co. R I Middle

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