My grade five class is almost done their perimeter and area unit. At the close of this unit, I was having trouble deciding what the best option would be, a project or a test. I decided to present both options to the class and then let them select which one they should do.
I then had an issue with letting students who had received an “A” on their reports not do both. I wanted them to challenge themselves by trying both since they had achieved such a high mark on their report card.
Some students reacted very negatively to this thinking they wish they had received a lower mark. I on the other hand, tried to explain to them that since they had such a high mark on their report, they have proven that this unit is not a challenge to them so they should challenge themselves by trying to take on two activities.
It was interesting how many students chose to take the test over the project. I for one, HATE tests and as a child never enjoyed spending time after school studying for them. As a teacher, I dislike giving them as well because they do not offer any creative elements for the child who is writing it. So when some of my students chose the test over the project, I was rather shocked.
I am happy I gave my students the option because I loved seeing students debate over both and then finally arrive on their final choice. I think that when I was in university learning about choices for students, I never really understood the feeling over power it would give my future students. It was amazing seeing them weighing their options and I am happy I was able to give them that feeling.