Just like I was given choice in this blog I am about to write, it is incredibly both important and powerful to allow as much CHOICE in our classrooms as we possible can each day. We need to give students options and opportunities to learn and also to show that learning within the classroom. Student-led choices should be occurring all day long and also specifically within your literacy block. Giving students choice in which books they get to choose and also which media they use to read is a critical aspect of getting our young readers to LOVE reading now and forever. This may be a variety of choices such as listening to reading on a tape, reading a story on a laptop or iPad, reading a story with a partner, reading a newspaper or magazine article, or simply choosing the spot in the classroom where the student will read independently. As an adult, we all love choices in our day and it makes us feel like we have control. It is a powerful way to make students feel important and powerful to be able to make some of these daily academic choices on their own as well. This is also an essential way to build classroom community and a rich literacy based environment.
Daily 5 is a literacy structure that allows different literacy activities to be going on at the same time by different students. This includes listening to reading, independent reading, reading with a partner, working on writing and working on word work. I used to assign which station my students would be at and when they would be there… but I quickly learned that if a student wants to read first and then write… LET THEM! Sometimes teachers just need to give up a little bit of control and allow students to jump right in and make an independent choice, while still keeping them accountable.
LET THEM CHOOSE! Allowing students to explain their thinking or learning from what they read in different ways is also important in a classroom. Not all students will be successful showing their understanding in the same way on the same day. We need to provide an abundance amount of opportunities to “show off” their new learning. We all love choice! So it is time to embed more student-led choice in ALL grade levels, no matter how hard it may be for some adults to do! 😉