Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Hardest Part



Choice.

It's all the rage.

It's a great thing to offer kids. I let them choose their books, their speech and writing topics. Choice keeps them motivated. Choice lets them explore and share their passions. Choice. It's a good thing.

Right?

Then why is it so hard for kids?

Right now I have students beginning research for their demonstration speeches-- but first they have to choose a topic.
And students putting together a digital storytelling project---but first they have to choose a topic.

There are some who seem incapable of doing that.

"Mrs. Day, I don't know what to demonstrate."

"Mrs. Day, I'm not good at anything."

"Mrs. Day, can't I just use my last piece for the digital storytelling project?"

So, we talk. We talk a lot.

"What do you like to do outside of school"

"What are you good at that no one knows about?"

"What is an experience that really affected you?"

"Who is a person who has influenced you?"

"Have you ever lost someone close to you?"

And on and on and on.

Finally, they find a topic, an idea (or maybe it finds them). And they settle down to the task at hand.

But, wow, it's a lot of work :)

8 comments:

  1. I am finding more and more that kids want direction and don't have the ability to be able to decide on a choice of what they want to do. It can be very draining.

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  2. I am finding more and more that kids want direction and don't have the ability to be able to decide on a choice of what they want to do. It can be very draining.

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  3. Wise words, Deb. I find the more traditional the previous classrooms have been the harder it is for my students to embrace choice. They get there, but with a lot of work on all of our parts. :)

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  4. We struggle with this in our district, too. It's a learning process, I think. It's difficult.

    "Or maybe it finds them" ----- I love this line!

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  5. I was thinking about your demonstration speeches just the other. I'd like to do them this year. Choice is hard especially for high schoolers, I think. So much of their day is dictated and perhaps it saps their energy. Thank you for giving them the direction and support they need to think for themselves and tap into their talents!

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  6. Choice is difficult for everyone. It's tough to make a decision because you might not like what you pick, then who is there to blame when it didn't work out. I have a hard time picking what I want off a menu, lots of choices, but which one is best?

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  7. Initially you guide the students with your questions, eventually they will learn to ask the same questions internally, and choice (who or what to speak or write about) will hopefully become easier for them.
    I also like the line - "or maybe it finds them"

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  8. What better place to learn about making choices than in your classroom? You have a way of making them discover themselves and what they truly want (or don't want). They are learning so much more than speech, writing, etc. - they are learning how to deal with life. Great job!

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