Values Discovery

Learning Alliance

Designing The Learning Alliance
Previously, we introduced you to Designing the Learning Alliance to set the stage for a culture of empowerment, collaboration, and achievement. 

Designing Classroom Values

Let’s start Designing the Alliance with creating a classroom culture based on shared values. Designing a values based classroom culture has 2 parts, Values DIscovery and Value Commitments. This post will share one way of discovering the core values of the classroom. The next post will dive into Value Commitments, where students define their expectations of one another based on their values.

Values Discovery Activity


The process steps the classroom through establishing a core set of values.  Be evoking values, we can gain deeper commitment and shape a classroom culture authentic to you and your students.



  • Print out the Value Rating Sheets and the Essential Question Sheet Post them around the classroom.
  • Fill out a Value Ratings Sheet as an example
  • Space them out to allow students to walk around
  • *Note, you can remove some of the values or create additional ones.


  1. Introduce the Essential Question. You might have a class discussion around what values are and why they are important.
  2. Explain the purpose of the activity. For example, to shape a classroom culture that reflects who they are.
  3. Explain how to use the Value Rating sheets (1) Each student fills in one circle on each value sheet (2) Sign it to show their commitment (3) Write down thoughts about the value based on their own insights and discussions.
  4. Ask students to form pairs or triads and take a pen, pencil, or marker with them & visit a value rating sheet posted on the walls. They should distribute evenly so one value is not being “overcrowded”.
  5. Students discuss with their partner what that value means to them. They can capture their summary on the sheet where is says “Thoughts”.

  6. Each student rates how important the value is in their life and learning.
  7. After they have voted, they can move to the next value and repeat. *You can have them do this on their own or set a timer for them to rotate.
  8. Analyze the results. Choose the top 3 or 5 values that are most motivating to the students as the core values. Share it with the group.
  9. You may want to have a debrief conversation with the classroom around their values. Does it reflect who they are? Does anyone strongly disagree with the results?
Sample from Desiging the Learning Alliance Guide


  1. You can download the resources and instructions for this activity from the Agile Classrooms Resource page.
  2. Note: Designing the Learning Alliance Guide is being written and published one by one since many have asked us to share them as fast as possible. Please check back for updated versions frequently.

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