Essential Skills

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Building a Skillset

There are 15 Essential Skills used daily at TFA. The skills listed below are used by teachers and students to promote higher order thinking. Essential skills are a tool for understanding, applying, and communicating knowledge, and developing social and emotional maturity.


  • Comparing
    Examining for likenesses and differences
  • Abstracting
    Breaking up a whole and/or creating a whole from pieces
  • Analyzing Perspective
    Examining the elements and parts of something in its relationship to the way you view it or someone else views it
  • Philosophizing
    To reason.  To bring into conformity with a philosophical point of view.  A search for general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means
  • Discriminate
    The power to distinguish and select what is true, appropriate, or excellent
  • Evaluating¬†Measurement
    To determine the significance or worth by carefully appraising or study
  • Organizing
    To form something into a clear structure so that it can be systematically followed
  • Analyzing
    To break down a complex whole to its parts

Communication Skills

  • Paraphrasing
    A restatement giving the meaning in another form
  • Sequencing
    A continuous and connected series united by a theme
  • Arguing
    Showing proof
  • Listening
    To pay attention in order to hear and understand
  • Questioning
    To subject to analysis
  • Clarifying
    To be free of confusion, to make understandable
  • Storytelling
    Uses sequencing analyzing perspective to tell a point of view