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How I Use WILF and TIB To Let My Students Know What I’m Looking For

This week I’d like to share with you a teaching strategy that I was first introduced to in my first year of teaching and that I find helps to focus…

Teaching Strategy

This week I’d like to share with you a teaching strategy that I was first introduced to in my first year of teaching and that I find helps to focus my students during a lesson.

When planning my lessons I always set a few learning objectives that I hope my students will be able to achieve by the end of the lesson. I think it’s also important to share these with your students.

This is where WILF and TIB come in. These are acronyms, so WILF is short for – what I’m looking for and for TIB is short for – this is because.

teaching strategy_WILF_TIB

I have these posters displayed at the front of the room where the students can see them and refer to during a lesson. At the beginning of the lesson I would discuss what we would be doing and then share with my students what I thought was the key focus of the lesson.

For example, I have spent quite a bit of time on sentence structure, but I’ve found my students still forget to use capital letters. I would write next to my WILF poster, what I’m looking for is that you use a capital letter to start each sentence in your story. Then next to my TIB poster, this is because it helps me to read your writing more easily when you use capital letters.

I think these posters act as a handy reminder for your students. When you have finished your lesson you can get your students to reflect on how they did according to the focus you set. So with the example I mentioned I have then asked my students to read back through their writing and check each sentence to ensure there was a capital letter. You can ask students if they achieved the objective – so all sentences had capital letters. If they did not, then it’s a good opportunity for the students to edit their writing.

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How I Use WILF and TIB To Let My Students Know What I'm Looking For

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  1. Tracy S.

    I thought this was an amazing idea! I am going to start it on Monday with my kiddos!

    • Melinda

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Have fun using this strategy with your kids!


  2. Mindy

    Thanks for the tip. My principal requires something similar. But we write BLESWB:, which stands for By Lesson’s End, Students Will Be: and then we fill it in with something like “able to identify capital letters at the beginning of all of their sentences.”
    I really like your acronyms. They seem simplified and I LOVE the second part explaining why it’s important! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Laura


    This is such a great idea! I like the visual reminder for students. My students always respond well to visual reminders. At the begining of the year, I go over my expectations about sitting on the carpet and being “ready to learn”. I take a picture of the class showing me their best “ready to learn” sitting and then take a picture of them being silly and squirmy. I made signs up that say “,We are ready to learn!” with a picture of how they look, and a sign that says “We are not ready to learn!” with the silly picture. Your WILF and TIB posters reminds of the same strategy. I find it is always helpful when they know what the expectations are; they want to be successful!

    Thanks for sharing this awesome strategy!

    Laura ~ First Grade Spies

  4. Sarah

    I have done something similar in the past but I love your posters and the this is because part. It is so important for the kids to understand the “why” behind it. Thanks for sharing!


    Clearly Kindergarten

  5. The Fun Factory

    I love this idea. Letting the students know what to expect and how to monitor their own learning is great. Your acronyms WILF and TIB are simple and straight forward. I will definitly use this and pass it along,
    Thank you,
    The Fun Factory


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