Giving your students more choice can go a long way towards improving their motivation, helping them focus better, and ultimately enjoy learning more. Take a look at these 4 tips to find out more.
#1 – Let them choose their own seats.
This may seem like a bad idea but giving students the choice means they take responsibility for their own learning. However this does not mean that every student should have free reign to sit wherever they want, as they will obviously just sit with their friends and are likely to be more chatty and disruptive. Instead you can have rules or guidelines like getting them to sit with the opposite gender or encouraging them to sit with a new person every lesson. This video from The Teaching Channel shows how great this hack can be.
#2 – Give them a choice of homework activities.
Even if it just letting them choose which 5 questions to answer on a worksheet or giving them a choice of reading materials, this autonomy will mean the students will be less reluctant to do the homework and have more motivation. In fact a study by researches Erika Patall et al, called The Effectiveness and Relative Importance of Choice in the Classroom, has proven this hack true.
#3 Use choice boards.
Choice boards are yet another way you can empower your students by giving them more responsibility and the chance to have a say in their lesson. Choice boards are like a menu for the lesson where the student can choose from difference activities. This can be done on a point-based system, like a competition with different activities earning the students different amounts of points or you can just give them a list of options. To learn more about what you can achieve with choice boards this site is a great place to start.
#4 Choice assessments.
Let’s face it nobody likes exams. However by giving students a choice of which questions to answer you can find out more about their preferences, strengths and weaknesses. You can group the questions by topic and get students to choose a few from each or vary the type of question, in this way you will start to notice which students prefer answering which questions. Of course you would probably learn more about students by making them answer the whole exam; but by letting them choose their questions you will keep their motivation higher, as they are likely to score better, while still getting some insight by seeing which questions they avoid. For more information on choice assessments take a look at this article.