Do you ever feel like you spend more time getting your class on task than actually teaching? Managing behavior can take up SO much class time!
This will sound a little counter-productive when you read it at first, BUT what if you gave your students more choice and independence? I know what you're thinking… “More freedom?!? My Class? NO WAY!”
Yes!! Your class! Student choice leads to higher engagement and student ownership. Let me tell you why!
What is student choice?
Effective classroom management and student choice go hand in hand. Student choice allows your students to have a voice and ownership in the classroom.
When we put ownership on our students and allow them to have a say in the classroom, they have more buy-in and are more likely to follow expectations.”
When teachers incorporate student choice, students will be more accountable for their learning. Of course, the teacher is the one deciding what choices the students have. This is not about letting the students do whatever they want. It is about the path they take to get to the common goal.
Why student choice?
There are so many benefits of incorporating student choice in the classroom! Just a few of these benefits include:
- Encouraging positive behaviors
- Creating student ownership
- Supporting different learning styles
Student choice fosters a positive learning environment where all students are involved and engaged. When students are engaged in their own tasks, the teacher has more time to focus on small groups or individual students.
Choice menus are one way to incorporate student choice so you can focus on small groups or individuals. Read more about choice menus HERE!
Another great benefit of student choice is time management. Students learn time management by learning to prioritize tasks. You can give students activities they need to complete by the end of the week/day/station time with activities they want to (or would rather) complete. Cue student buy-in!
Learning to prioritize tasks definitely takes some practice in the beginning! In the end, the ability to make these choices help students become self-starters, practice time management, and produce quality work! Student choice can be an effective management tool because it creates student buy-in.
Areas Where You Can Give Student Choice
Students can be given choices many times throughout the day! Choices don't just have to be for station/center time. Here are some ideas on where you can include student choice in your day:
- Morning Work
- Classroom Jobs
- Paper or Digital Assignments
- Work Style (partner, independent, etc.)
- Places to Work (flexible seating, standing, sitting, etc.)
There are so many ways to empower students through choice! What they do, how they do it, and where they do it can ALL be choices. Options give students ownership of their learning. However, student choice is not a one-size-fits-all. Start small and learn what works for you and your students!
Trust me! You'll be blown away at what giving your students options can do. Take back your instruction time by giving independence.
Bring Student Choice to Your Classroom
How can you bring student choice into your classroom for more effective classroom management? Consider Classroom Management Academy. It is an online course you can take from the comfort of your home! You will learn how to foster student choice in your classroom, among many other effective classroom management strategies.
This self-paced program will help you learn how to maximize classroom time, foster independent learners, and create a positive learning environment. It is a complete roadmap of strategies, PDF downloads, live weekly Q & As, and TONS more bonuses to help you and your students!
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