Give us a CHOICE and We’ll GROW!

Ok, I know that the majority of classrooms today run this way:

*educator teaches a lesson then assigns the entire class the same assignment they must work on individually

Can I ask you something? If an assignment isn’t a test, why are students working alone? Before you think of the reply, let me say this….. SOME STUDENTS DO LIKE TO WORK ALONE! Therefore, let’s leave those students out of this.

What about the other students then?

Being in classrooms since kindergarten, I know that when a teacher assigns an assignment for individual work, myself and other students sigh! Educators, I know you hear our sighs! Students always end up asking, “Well, can we just work on it together?”

I find the educators that say NO to that question to be very interesting. In my mind, I always question the educators that say no. From a junior high/high school viewpoint, we teenagers hate to sit down and be quiet for long periods of time. There is a huge focus on student voice right now, so get us talking!!!

I know, even as a student, that your admins are talking to you guys about less quiet and more group work in your classroom. Trust me, us students don’t have any problem with either of those things. I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Isn’t that powerful? That quote shows us how involvement can be beneficial. EDUs, if you get us students involved – that is when we learn!!!! Students are not learning as WELL as they should from you telling them information from a powerpoint! Instead of a powerpoint lesson every day, what could be a choice? Instead of silent independent work every day, what could be a choice?

Before an assignment is given is a perfect time to ask us about choices.

I hope this post has inspired you. Here are some alternative choices (that you CAN give to your students!!!) for your students that I have found to be helpful:

  1. Group students together; letting them try and master the material before you teach it to them; track their knowledge by having groups do small presentations in front of the class
  2. Get those whiteboards out! Getting a whiteboard and expo marker out is like legendary for us students!
    1. have students race; give candy out to the first one, two, or three students to hold up their board and answer the question correctly
  3. Pair students up (Pairs of two); have one of the students present information to the other (basically teach them); at the end of class, walk around and see what both of your students have learned
  4. Allow students to separate things like guided readings or study guides upon their peer groups!
  5. Let your kids teach the class one day while you observe!

I could go on…. BUT – please take this out of this post….. giving your students choices will motivate them to work harder and WANT to come to school every day!!!!! Be authentic! Be the best! Be different! As an educator, BE YOU! Through these choices, you and your students GROW together!

Please share your student choice doings with me on Twitter @isterlingn

Before I go,

SOME STUDENTS CAN WORK IN A GROUP, AND SOME CAN WORK ON THEIR OWN! YES, AT THE SAME TIME! AS LONG AS THE WORK IS GETTING DONE AND KIDS ARE LEARNING, RIGHT?

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