Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Choice

Giving students choice time in Language Arts takes a lot of trust.

I have to believe that setting aside my agenda for a half an hour every day will not result in lost instructional time.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yesterday, when it was reading choice after a writing workshop focus day, a handful went back to the nonfiction they had begun in our new nonfiction study, but the two who are listening to The Lightning Thief as they read along happily plugged into the iPad minis and were lost in the story in an instant. Books that were in process before Thanksgiving came out to be finished. Several students had begun or were beginning next books in series: Clementine, City of Ember, Lunch Lady.

Because we had spent all of our word study time defining and beginning to explore our new roots, we hadn't had any word study choice time. We ended Social Studies with 15 minutes to spare, and the question, "How about some word study choice time?" was barely out of my mouth before this happened:







All I had to do was get out of the way...and play a game of Boggle...and figure out some tricky 4 Pics 1 Word clues.

11 comments:

  1. Great post!! Trust is so important! Thanks

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  2. Trust is critical - something I need to remember. I have never thought of choice in Word Study. I need to come back to this idea. The photos you have - are the only apps Boggle and 4 Pics 1 Word? Are those the options during "choice" word study? Would love to hear more - love the idea. Thanks!

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    1. I'll update the post with more detailed information about all of the choices! Stay tuned!!

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  3. Love this! I need to find some place for my high schoolers to go during those extra minutes we sometimes have. Choice is so important for kids and you are finding great ways to give it to students

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  4. Sounds as if you've started them all well as very independent learners, Mary Lee. Must have felt great to see them "choose" so well. Love seeing all your pics!

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee--Choice is so important! I'm intrigued by the 4 pics 1 word game--will look for it later.

    Lisa

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  6. I am curious, too abut how they knew about the games, but assume you may have taught them these? I agree with everyone else especially Katherine!
    PS Happy Birthday!

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  7. Mary Lee, this is a post I will share this with my staff.

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  8. What is the game that is for 2 players?? Don't recognize it.

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    1. It is Boggle. One of the choices you have at the beginning is one or two players. As you see from the different games going, you can also set the size of the grid. More choices!! :-)

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  9. How gratifying that must have been to see the children making those kinds of learning choices. Did you get a sense that they understood the importance of these good choices for their own learning? Also, isn't it interesting that, as teachers and people, time is one of the things we cherish the most. And that is one of the greatest gifts we can give our students, too! Thanks so much for an inspiring post, Mary Lee!

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