Strategy Sort Tool

This protocol helps teams to review a range of teaching ideas and make design decisions.

strategy sort.jpg

Use this protocol to:

  • Review and prioritise a broad range of potential teaching strategies

  • Tap into the internal ideas and expertise of your team

  • Engage in team discussion about identifying the most effective strategies


  • Prep

    Each team member prepares 1-2 suggestions of teaching strategies to help teach the defined ‘pebble’ or ‘sand’ outcome. These can be based on previous experience, research-evidence or a new innovative idea. Where possible team members should bring some documentation about the tasks students would be asked to do (printed or e-versions).

  • Step 1

    Share (10 mins)

    - Each team member writes their suggestions on a post-it note
    - Each person in the group shares their idea/s and why they believe it can have an impact on the specific outcome for the specific students
    - As each post-it note is shared it can be stuck on a wall or board

  • Step 2

    Sort according to impact (10 mins)
    In the Sort phase the team is trying to assess which of the ideas are likely to have the greatest impact on our specific target group of students.

    On the wall poster write ‘high potential impact’ on learning at the top and ‘low potential impact’ on learning at the bottom, creating a scale of impact on the y-axis.

    - Each team member places their post-it note on the wall poster and explains why they put it in this location
    - Other team members should ask clarifying questions about why they have positioned it (e.g. “Has this strategy worked for similar learners in the past?”)
    - Try to come to a consensus on which group of teaching strategies are likely to have the largest impact on this specific group of students

    Note - A teaching approach or strategy that may have worked well in the past may not be the best fit for this specific group of students. Each team member should seek to explain why they feel their suggested approach would be suited for this specific group of students.

  • Step 3

    Analysis and decide (10 min)
    As a group focus on those strategies that have been identified as being higher in potential impact. Consider which ones you might want to use in the design of your sprint.

    - Could any of these ideas be combined or sequenced?
    - Which ones would be simple and reliable to implement?
    - Which ones do we feel will work work best to support our students to more deeply engage in their learning?

    Determine which 1-3 teaching strategies the team will use.