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Excerpt: "Student ownership is a big idea. It takes time to develop the systems and structures for things like student-selected intervention, enrichment, and student self-assessments. Besides, you probably have great lessons that aren't necessarily choice driven (like that amazing read-aloud with that Socratic Seminar built into it).

This is the start of a journey. It will take years to figure out what works for you. But that's okay. Every small act of student ownership is another step in the journey.

Sometimes it helps to start out with one choice-driven project. This allows you to spend some time planning and reflecting while also continuing to teach in a way that feels comfortable. It might be a two-week unit that you try out. Or it might be a day-long project that you can try on a "wasted day" like the day before Spring Break or the last day of state mandated testing.

In the next few pages, we'll be exploring some of the projects you can use as a starting point to student choice."


Originally published as chapter 12 of Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning, by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani, IMPress 2017.

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