Let Your Students Choose

By Terri Burg, 7th Grade ELA, Grass Lake, MI:


While this has been one of my favorite years as a teacher, the best moment happened on our last full day of school. I asked my students to look at the reading data they had been collecting all year and give themselves an award for something they were proud of accomplishing. When they decided what that would be, they came to me and I wrote up a fancy award certificate. The entire class ended up clustered around my table, and everyone cheered as each student declared what they were proud of accomplishing. Some students had read 50+ books; some tried a new genre; some discovered new authors; one read a single book cover to cover. It didn’t matter what their accomplishments were, they all got a celebratory cheer. It was a very proud moment for everyone.