We've struggled with one main problem regarding choice of expression: How do we get students to try something new, or to feel free to express themselves as they feel most comfortable? We decided that for students to "think out of the box" they need to see a less restrictive "box"!
One way to achieve that, which we talked about last week with Math, and which was again illustrated today, was that we need to provide fewer parameters, fewer limits. We should present a problem to be solved and NOT a prescribed way to solve it.
When Mr. McMahon asked students to create a Who Am I? poster, he provided a template, guiding questions, and an example. What if he had just said, "Hey, I'd like you to create something that shows who you are. I want to be able to display this work in the hall, under the title: Who's Who in Middle School. In your groups, plan how we could do that." Perhaps, instead of the nearly identical results he received, the students would have been much more creative!
We are planning to share our ideas about this pillar with the rest of the staff. At our next meeting, we will come prepared to discuss what we have learned, in total, about Choice of Expression, and how we think we could best communicate that learning. Thanks!