If you’re new to this site, “examples of student choice in the classroom” is a great way to get acquainted. Innovative Arts is my dream class – it prioritizes student autonomy and creativity, with the hope of growing that creative mindset though all the middle school classes. It has to start somewhere and I hope to bring that new vision for education to life.
Below, in this post there are links for more information. Amazing things are happening!
When it comes to teaching, there is nothing more important than engaging your students. One of the best ways to do that is by providing students with choices. Allowing students to select how they learn, what they learn, and how they demonstrate their knowledge not only keeps them engaged but also helps them develop essential skills; such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Let’s look at a few examples of student choice in the classroom and why it is so important.
What are Examples of Student Choice in the Classroom?
When we talk about student choice, we’re referring to giving students a say in their learning experience. This can include everything from selecting an assignment or activity to choosing topics for projects or papers. It can also mean allowing students to work alone or in groups, decide when a project should be completed, choose their own reading material, and even pick partners for group activities. The possibilities are endless!
In Innovative Arts class, this looks like making projects. While we are trying, customizing, succeeding and failing, we also have a lot of ‘mindset lessons‘ that are a part of our daily discussions. It is more important for students to learn about their own thinking than to just be told to get into groups or pick from a menu. Here are my upcoming resources on this:
Benefits of Student Choice
Allowing students the opportunity to make decisions about their learning has many benefits; both academically and socially. By providing student choice you create an environment in which students take ownership of their own learning and become more confident in their ability to think independently. Studies have shown that when given choices within the classroom, students are more likely to stay motivated and engaged which leads to improvements in academic performance. Additionally, allowing student choice encourages collaboration between peers as well as building relationships between teachers and students based on trust instead of compliance.
When teachers give their students choices, they remain engaged longer and with better focus. Allowing students to choose which activities they engage in or how they will demonstrate their learning encourages them to take ownership over their education and gives them a greater sense of purpose. This leads to higher levels of engagement and more meaningful learning experiences.
Even better to improve engagement is to help students find projects that they can customize and learn through. Here are some of my best:
A great resource for giving students choices would be TinkerCAD. You cannot go wrong with their 3D modelling tools. Check out my 3D design course above if you are interested.
Giving students choices also increases their motivation. When given an opportunity to choose what they study or how they will demonstrate their understanding of a topic, it gives children a sense of agency and helps them feel valued by both the teacher and their peers. The feeling that their opinion is important (and being listened to) motivates children to work harder and strive for success in all areas of school life.
Better Academic Performance
Student choice has also been linked to improved academic performance – especially when it comes to reading comprehension. Allowing students to pick out books they find interesting helps keep them interested even when topics become more challenging or complex – ultimately leading to better overall performance in all subjects as well as higher test scores.
For student privacy reasons, I can’t give too many examples of student choice in the classroom on this site. Social media can give you a small glimpse of what is happening in class.
Giving your students choices allows them the opportunity to take ownership over their education while becoming more self-confident learners. Providing options promotes engagement while helping them develop problem solving skills and encouraging collaboration among peers. Ultimately giving your students choices will lead to improved academic performance, greater motivation, and better relationships between teacher and student based on trusting each other rather than simply following rules blindly.
I am creating this site to advance student creativity and help students to take ownership of their learning. The resources on this site are intentionally open-ended and a part of my Innovative Arts curriculum.