Sunday, March 18, 2012
Tip #6: Give Your Students a Choice
Have you ever heard a deep sigh from your hardest to reach student when describing an assignment? While it can be frustrating, especially when you've planned thoroughly and thought about the assignment well in advance of class, there are ways to combat those discouraging sighs.
One way I have found is to give students a choice. Giving students a choice in the classroom lets your students take some control of their learning. Whether it is a simple choice, such as a material for an art project, or a more complex choice, like deciding on a science fair project, choices allow students to feel as if they have some say during the school day.
There are a variety of ways you can give students choices in your classroom. If you are having collaborative groups in your classroom, allowing students to choose their role in the group is one way you could give students a choice. To combat students always picking the same role, switch it up and have students choose a different role to play halfway through the lesson.
Projects are another way to give students choices in the classroom. Allowing students different ways to fulfill the assignment such as writing a paper, creating a poster, making a game, or giving them other options will help them pick the choice that will fit their learning style better as well. Writing lends itself naturally to giving students choices as well as they pick their own topic or write their own story or poem. If you use centers or stations, you give students a choice with those by requiring them to complete a smaller amount of centers than those available, such as completing 8/10 center activities.
Overall, I think that giving students choices helps keep them interested and feel that they have choices and their opinions are valued and count. This helps keep both of you happy in your classroom.