Guiding students to make their own choices in Math instruction

Students become more engaged in learning when given a choice.

Photo of KARA AYALA
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I am a Kindergarten teacher in a Dual Language program. It is my job to teach math in the English language to both English and Spanish speakers. In this program students participate in math with their bilingual partner. It was always challenging for me to pair the students up based on their level of learning. After a year of trying new things, I finally implemented a Guided Math Model. Through this model students are grouped with peers of all levels (both English and Spanish speakers). I provide activities of all levels in their workstation tubs for students chose which one they want to do. Students are also given choices on what math apps they can do in the iPad station. During teacher time (small group) I teach the individualized skills students need to be independent thinkers in math. As I observed my students going through these three daily rotations in math I have already seen so much learning, engagement and communication among my students. By providing the students with the choice of what they will work on,  students are now learning from each other! 

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Photo of Lesli Brown

Your insight is so important, Kara. Choice is definitely something that I have seen motivates and fosters curiosity in learners. It makes me wonder about what encourages students to open up and learn from one another. What students are sharing and why they feel that is important to them and to their fellow students! 

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