Student Choice

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“The major aim of schooling is to enable students to become the architects of their own education so that they can invent themselves during the course of their lives.” — Elliot Eisner
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Engage with Variety and Choice

Excerpt from Ben Johnson's Blog...."Recently, I asked a 14-year-old student why he was struggling in school. He explained that it's because school is boring. To be blunt here, when I took five days recently and followed one student each in first grade, third grade, sixth grade, eighth grade, and ninth grade all day long through each of their classes, I was bored most of the time. I found it hard to sit still for so long, and I wondered how the students got through it.

I think you get the picture. As teachers, we need to start creating more elephants, giraffes, and swords -- and that awesome Spider-Man.

Let's say it's Monday, and the goal is to get students to read a textbook chapter for content and understanding. As a resource, textbooks have lots of information, but they are not the only source for information and learning."

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I'd like to suggest that you offer something like the following selection for your students to choose from:

· Create a slide show presentation to illustrate the major points of the chapter as if they were teachers teaching younger students.

· Develop a newspaper article or a journalistic TV report about the chapter as if it were breaking news.

· Prepare a debate on the chapter's main points and pose as either politicians or lawyers presenting their persuasive arguments.

· Write a drama about the contents of the chapter and perform it to their peers and parents.

· Construct an encyclopedic database of vocabulary, terms, and concepts included in the chapter, as well as prior knowledge that needs to be understood, and questions that are yet to be answered.

· Design a virtual field trip to study topics and concepts to be learned based on the content of the chapter.

· Invite experts to visit their classroom and ask them questions about their expertise based on the content of the chapter.

· Use the contents of the chapter to devise an experiment to prove or disprove the assertions made in the chapter.

· Fill the walls of the classroom with essential questions gleaned from the chapter and challenge the teacher and other classes to a content quiz show.

Laura Miller M.Ed

Project Based Learning Writing and Literacy Coach

Boulter Engineering Prep