Want to increase engagement? Add choice. If you’re teaching content standards, allow students to think creatively and choose their own assignment. Throughout the chapter, I provide templates for a number of assignments, including the Business Email Protocol, My Name is Brian: Theme Assignment, Warts: How to Prevent and Treat Them, and Hooray! Hooray! It’s Rewrite Day. Feel free to download/use and revise to customize for your students.
Also, PLC Assignment #2 is introduced, which encourages you to create your own Choice Assignment. Have fun with it and be amazed at the quality of student work. Comment below with your reflection after you’ve taught your lesson. If you’d like to use the holistic Choice Assignment Rubric presented in the text, feel free or create your own.
For additional resources, read the following blog post, which includes even more examples of the type of choices that students have in a UDL environment. What Does UDL Look Like?
Additionally, you may want to explore resources on the importance of executive function and self-regulation in students, as they need support to make effective choices:
- This is a great ebook, Executive Function 101 prepared by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. It was written for parents but it does an awesome job explaining what executive functioning skills are, what happens when students have deficits, and also tips for teaching the skills that are lacking. Would be awesome to read and then share with your parents in weekly email tips or a newsletter. (:
- Great article on Understood.org that explains the 8 executive functions and what occurs when students are lacking those functions. Quick and easy reference. You will note that many of the functions overlap with self-regulation as those parts of the brain are so interconnected.
- Learn about executive functioning issues and how they impact student learning on this resource page at Understood.org
Finally, you may want to select one of the following resources to learn more about how to teach students how to self-regulate, so they are able to persist and work toward their goals when their strategies may need adjustment. The ability to cope, and find another way to reach a goal, is a skill that students must have if they are going to be successful.