It is important that we give students choices in the classroom and the “Must Do, Choose Two” format is a great way to do this.
Benefits of giving student choices
Giving students choices:
- Ensures they do the activities you definitely want them to do while giving them choice on the other activities they complete.
- Gives students opportunities for differentiated learning.
- As Katie Usher explains in Differentiating by Offering Choices,
The best way to differentiate instruction is to give students a choice in how they show their learning. All students learn in their own way, and they need to be able to show their individual skills and interests. As long as they’re able to demonstrate a certain skill, assessment should be more about the process than the product.
- Can increase student motivation.
- Helps students engage in deeper, richer learning.
- Allows them to take ownership of their learning. Intrinsic motivation flows from ownership.
- As Mike Campbell says in Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn,
Students learn more when they are motivated….sometimes, the learning task is so easy that it is boring or so hard that it is overly daunting. Or it may be that the learning doesn’t seem to have any personal relevance or doesn’t connect with a student’s strengths or interests. When choice is used well, it can help overcome both of these common classroom challenges.
I’ve previously written about student choice in my blog post Offering Choice in your Reading Response Activities.
Bringing Student Choices into Reading
Bringing Student Choices into Spelling
In the classroom, I set up my spelling activities in a Must Do, Choose Two format. Students would complete the two compulsory (Must Do) activities and then choose two activities from a range of other activities. I set this up as a wall display (similar to the reading display above) so that students didn’t need to come to me to ask what to do. I am all for developing independence, and if I am working with a small group, the fewer interruptions the better.
Use task cards in a Must Do, Choose Two format
The great thing about task cards is that they can easily be set up in a Must Do, Choose Two format to give students choice.
Set up a Must Do, Choose Two display or task board in your classroom and it is then easy to swap out task cards on a variety of topics: grammar and punctuation, vocabulary, math activities, writing prompts – the sky is the limit.
Next time you are providing these activities to your students, try giving them choices – the engagement level will skyrocket!
Check out my range of task cards here or click on the photos below to see more.
Previously on the blog
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