Whatever you choose, you might as well enjoy it. It is your choice.-Shad Helmstetter
When I go to a restaurant with an extensive menu, I sometimes have trouble deciding what to order. It all looks good to me. Buffets are nice because then you can sample a little of everything. When we travel, my husband packs way more clothes than he needs for the length of the trip because he likes to have “choices” when we are there. Choices are a good thing.
My students like choices also. One of my awesome first grade colleagues introduced me to her choice schedule she uses on Fridays. Her schedule has time blocks. I altered it slightly to omit the times and just put numbers in. I listed several activities on the board and they chose which ones they would complete today. I showed them my own “planning page” which is my lesson plan. I explained this is what I use to schedule my day. They filled in their planning page and got it approved by me or my assistant.
My kids loved the idea that they would plan their own day. The class was engaged all day. I was able to assess, work with individual students and pull small groups. As the kids worked on each activity block, they checked them off when finished. These time blocks were about 30 minutes each and I rang a bell. A few of them finished early and they had choices about what to do until the next time block.
At this point in the school year, my students had the scaffolding necessary to handle this planning sheet. Those needing individual help, were able to ask experts in the class or get teacher help. Because their activities were varied, they were moving around the room to complete their various tasks.
Many children grow up unable to make decisions because they have had little experience in doing so. Teaching decision- making greatly benefits them in life.
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!