Kids Love Choice {in Math Class}

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.

Solving equations mix match

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? 

equations with variables on both sides

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. 

Domain and Range Matching Activity

Because my students are super anxious about math, I use a lot of activities in my classes and even assess with them instead of tests and quizzes. Activities are so much less panic-inducing than tests and let me see what my students actually know rather than how well they can do on a test (which for a lot of my kiddos isn't very well). Scavenger hunts (this one is for domain and range) are great because of the self-checking component. Students get immediate feedback on how they are doing. 

Domain and Range Matching Activity {INEQUALITIES VERSION}

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! So I work with them and switch up the kids of activities we do in class. Offering different types of activities, even on different days, I have found to be a great way to reach most to all of my students. 

One of my favorite ways to offer choice is with Number Talks. This was the first year I have ever done them 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!

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