My students are strong-willed. This is a great thing in life! But it can be a definite challenge in the classroom. Some eat every lesson right up while others take a lot more convincing. I've found that offering a choice works wonders. Students are more engaged when they feel they have a say in their learning and it's less stressful on me to not have to constantly convince students that working hard is important.
There are a bunch of ways to offer choice in math. A variety of activities that assess the same skill can be offered for students to choose from. Choice can also be built into a single assignment. For example, instead of solving all equations on a sheet, how about making your own equations and solving them? This Solving Equations Mix Match activity lets students chose expressions to build equations to solve.
This Equation Spinner Bingo game also offers choice, though there may be some luck involved! Students spin to make equations, solve them and find their solutions on their bingo cards.
I like to use activities as assessments because they are less panic-inducing than tests, especially for my students who have always struggled with exams. Above is a domain and range matching activity with 20 cards to match to their domain and range intervals and below is one card from a domain and range scavenger hunt.
Some of my students would prefer to never get out of their chairs ever so really enjoy cutting and pasting activities. Other students can't stay in their chairs so love walking around! Offering a choice between these activities is a great way to offer students choice while assessing the same skill. You can get both of these activities (versions in both interval notation and inequality notation), as well as a domain and range pennant, in my Domain and Range mini-bundle.
There are a lot of ways to offer choice to students to boost engagement, both within one assignment and over the course of a few assignments. One of my favorite ways is with Number Talks. This was the first year I have ever done Number Talks in my class and I'm wondering why I waited so long. They are awesome. The choice comes in with how students choose to solve a given problem. Each one of my students who offered to explain their thinking explained a totally different way to solve each problem. This has been so empowering for them and completely eye-opening for me.
How do you offer choice in your classes? I'd love to read your comments below!