Who’s Who in Middle School (McMahon)
What we noticed:
- Most students used identical layouts
- Two students drew straight lines to help create tidy writing
- Very few students used color
- One or two students illustrated their writing
-Offer a larger list of categories to choose from
-Show diverse models and formats
-Encourage different layout
Most groups used the same materials and designed identical coolers to solve the problem of how to keep ice frozen for the longest. It was a good way to diagnose where students were at, and we discussed that it might be interesting to see how they’d make changes if they did the assignment again.
So why are our students making identical work?
- Adolescents don’t want to take a risk, don’t want to be wrong
- Teachers want it done a certain way, so we scaffold how we want it to be done.
- When does it make sense to provide choice, and when does that choice hinder learning?
- How much choice is enough, how much is too much?