What do you choose to do with your time? I like to mow the yard on the weekend, lay in the hammock and play with the kiddos. My wife likes to clean the house (weird, I know). My oldest daughter, right now, loves to ride her bicycle, play school and put on dance recitals. My son, he loves to be a boy - dig in the dirt, wrestle, water the yard, mow the yard… My youngest daughter who happens to be 7 weeks old, well she loves to sleep, eat and just hang out.
It is amazing how motivated we are when we have choices. When I am asked to do something and have choices on how I can do it, I am more likely to do it the way I want and am more likely to do a better job when I have choices. Think of our students. When we ask students to do something, how often do we give them choices? Are we giving them choices along the way to give them a sense of ownership?
Often times, if we give students choices along the way they will be more motivated and more engaged in the process. If we are focusing on the process of learning and not necessarily the end product, the choices along the way will lead students down different paths. It is important for us to be comfortable as teachers to allow our students to have choices in their learning. Whether it be in their cognitive learning, gross motor learning, fine motor learning, social/emotional learning, giving students choices for learning will further their engagement and their motivation to learn.
One of the core Montessori tenants revolves around choice. Children are able to choose their work and do their work as long as their interest and focus is there. That is so powerful but the choices we offer can go beyond work.
What choices will you give your kids today?