Who Owns the Learning in Your Classroom?

It took me years to transform my instruction toward a more student-centered approach. This is my story where I share my journey toward student ownership through student choice. Note that this is a revision of a post I wrote last year. I’m taking a few weeks off to work on a novel (which I can’t […]

10 Reasons to Pilot Genius Hour This Year

“What are you going to make today?” That’s one of my favorite questions to ask in the summer. On this particular morning, my daughter tells me about her duct tape and cardboard car she’s creating. It might not work but that’s okay. At some point, she’ll make a functioning prototype. My middle son tells me […]

7 Things That Happen When Students Own Their Learning

The best way to prepare students for the future is by empowering them in the moment.   A Snapshot of Student Ownership Right now, my middle son is at the computer typing away on a shared Google Document that he and three of the neighborhood kids created for a collaborative story they’re all writing. They […]

Here’s How to Empower Students While Also Hitting the Standards

Student ownership sounds like a great idea but what about the standards? How do we teach all of the standards while also empowering students with voice and choice?  An Epic Project (That Also Hit the Standards) Trevor Muir makes a powerful point about student ownership. If you do nothing else, take three minutes to watch the […]

Fidget Spinners Aren’t the Issue (The Real Issue Is Student Ownership)

The debate about fidget spinners often misses the bigger issue of student ownership. When we focus on student distractions and student engagement, we miss out on student empowerment and student ownership.  Listen to the Podcast Just click on the audio below to listen to this Creative Classroom podcast. You can also listen to it on […]

Students Need to Own the Project Management Process

Note that I use the terms “organization,” “creative process,” and “project management” interchangeably. I’m basically suggesting that students should own the workflow process. I have an embarrassing confession to make. I like Microsoft Word. I like the way it handles autocorrect when I start typing way too fast. I like the interface that’s free of […]

14 Ways to Differentiate Professional Development

I’m sitting at my desk reworking my pedagogy course. With each revision, I move closer and closer toward truly empowering my students to own the learning. I started with student choice and slowly shifted toward student freedom. But now, I’m taking it a step further. I am finding ways for students to take more ownership […]

What Happens to Behavior When You Incorporate Student Choice?

My hardest year of teaching involved a sixth grade self-contained class about four years ago. Somehow, I got off on the wrong foot. I had just been an instructional coach and I felt, on some level, that I could handle any classroom situation. I was wrong. I had never had a group interrupt me, yell […]

5 Tips for Getting Started with Student Choice

What does a choice-driven classroom look like? Student choice goes beyond simply picking an item out of a menu. It’s about self-directed students taking charge of their own learning. Here are some of the ways students can own the learning process: Students select the course text. They get to decide about what to read or […]