Great lesson. Weak response. When it comes to full participation, middle schoolers are a tough audience. The solution is in our hands, says teacher educator Curtis Chandler, who shares strategies from research and many hours observing in the classrooms of effective teachers.
Tagged: student choice
For any educator interested in offering student choice but unsure of how to begin, Laurie Westphal’s Differentiating Instruction With Menus approach offers a strategy that will ease fears about loss of control and assure quality work, writes teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith.
Kids need the opportunity to make choices about what they learn and how they learn it, writes Alex Valencic. This doesn’t mean education becomes a free-for-all. It’s a call to action for us to know our students and help spark a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Having the ability to choose our own focus makes people, on average, five times more committed to the outcome. The classroom implications are clear, says teaching consultant Barbara Blackburn. “If students are more invested in their work, they are more likely to learn.”
Class environment, student attitude toward writing, student choice, and teachers who write with kids are overarching themes that help to make Welcome to Writing Workshop a good resource for creating a productive writing program, says 5th grade teacher Kathleen Palmieri.
When Brent Gilson began teacher training he vowed to one day give his students more choice and voice than he ever had in school. Follow his journey from early experiments to his growing success, thanks to insights gained from mentors like Kylene Beers, Kelly Gallagher and Marisa Thompson.
Recently Sarah Cooper’s history classes debated whether the electoral college should be abolished. Reflecting on the weeklong unit, Cooper concludes she “misstepped” in several ways. Learn what she plans to do differently next year, starting with a fresh debate topic.
Educators talk about giving students “voice, choice and agency,” says NBCT Rita Platt, but how does that actually happen in a practical, curriculum-friendly way? Platt believes the secret is teaching students to set goals. Learn about her 5-step process (tools included).
Inspired by Donalyn Miller’s game-changing work The Book Whisperer, middle school teacher Cheryl Mizerny has transformed her traditional ELA classroom into a reading community where everyone learns to love books. See if some of her ideas might work for you.
Ultimately, teachers have the final say in the classroom. But when they share some ownership with students, they create a true community of learners and reap benefits for themselves. Expert Barbara Blackburn shares three ideas about building student ownership.