My favorite action is Make it Their Idea. This is the reasoning behind setting up literacy workstations the way I do...students are allowed to choose between 5 workstations if they are not at a teacher’s workstation for each round. At Word Work and Work on Writing, they can usually also choose between a few different choices. I highlighted: “The more you share power in the classroom, the bigger the pie (power pie) get- and the happier and more empowered your students will be...”
I’d like to keep improving on this too. I am looking forward to engaging students in project learning this Spring when students study the Zoo.
Karen- You do such a great job of this. I struggle with releasing the power and so admire how you run your classroom. It is apparent is your student's growth how this process engaging them in their own learning.
We try to provide content choice in the lit lab very often in grades 3-5 by letting kids vote on the book we will read next. This does affect engagement and we sometimes see better data results due to buy-in. I really like the verbage "I don't know, but I'd like to know" and I want to build that into our classroom routines!
I like the idea of building mind-set. It is so important for students to believe that they can. How does that saying go . . . "Whether you think you can or you can't, You're probably right." I enjoyed learning about brain development during my master's program and was intrigued by the brains abilities and influences on brain growth. Over the last 20 years, scientist have proven that we are not set in our mental abilities. Students need to grow up understanding that they can learn. I try to do this every day with my kids showing them their growth through the year. It has to be very small steps for some of them to believe they can, but my hope is that they see the steps they are taking and it becomes their reality as they grow up and into other grades!
An area that I would like to improve in is the area that Karen is so good at - student choice. I see the empowerment her students get from the way she runs literacy stations and I would love to learn how to less my control and give it over to my students.