The Choice Is Yours

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#sol17- December 5, 2017

Today was one of those days, in one of those weeks. This morning 6 of the 18 students were going to be out, at a performance rehearsal for an hour (okay, so in reality, it ended up being an hour and a half until they all returned). Understand that this is the week before our last week of school. This is a week filled with special events (Christmas Around the World was yesterday, the performance is tomorrow, the swim carnival is Friday).

So what to do with the remaining 12? I decided to give them time and choice. We have a parent share next week, so we are trying to get a few more projects finished, so they are eager for time- that part was easy.

They could: publish their nonfiction chapter book (and within that they had the choice of fancying up their draft, recopying in book form, or publishing it digitally), working on research reading to learn more about the ecosystem/human impact issue of their choice (what they will do with this learning the class will determine later this week), recommend books via Flipgrid (as a year-end collection of recommendations that we will share with other third graders).

What I loved was the independence they showed. There was no priority list made for them, so they divided their time as they wished. They had access to lots of choice- digital and analog options for everything they were working on. There was a hum in the room (which you can hear on the videos), but it was, almost entirely purposeful. Students moved from one activity to the next without pause. It was a slow-paced morning in our frenetic week where students could get some one-on-one support (teaching students how to format a Google doc, insert page breaks, search the online resources we have for more information, enter the password to access Epic on their laptop vs the ipad, and more) and work in a way that worked for each one of them.

Watching the Flipgrid videos tonight made my heart fill with pride. The videos were an option, not a must. You can definitely see their love of books and their growing confidence in sharing their reading lives.

Finally, it was time for our classmates to return, so we put away what we had been working on and went on to something new. I was thankful for this little break in our busy week and the reminder of how much these students are growing!

 

Former students are slicing still:

Zhi Hong

Juliet

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8 thoughts on “The Choice Is Yours

  1. sarahmbond

    Choice is so powerful. It’s great to hear that even with the freedom of choice your students were so productive during such a short time. Also, a little jealous that next week is your last week before Christmas–our last day is the 22. I hope the rest of the week, and next, are as productive as this day was.

    Reply
  2. franmcveigh

    Love that you were able to provide choices and time . . . both gifts at this time of year. Always a fast pace but still manageable when you have a bit of time like today! ❤

    Reply
  3. Clare and Tammy

    Have you thought about how to incorporate some of these choices in your daily workshop? Seems you might be able to get the best of both worlds! Choice of topic, process, and product are so important. Thank you for sharing.
    Clare

    Reply

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