Maximize Student Engagement With Menus

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Far too many K-12 students remain unfocused, unmotivated and disengaged from day-to-day instruction.  Classroom menus offer students choice, goal setting and validation as routine activities moving students towards learning independence.  Administrators, curriculum directors and teachers must provide the "what" students are to learn and the "how" to learn.  Most teachers are given the "what" students must learn, but are given the flexibility to develop the "how" students are to master the material.  Well written menu driven activities provide students multiple learning pathways toward mastery.  Like at any restaurant, a classroom menu provides students choices of how to master the material. 

Using menus as far back as 1980 all the way through 2017, discipline issues decreased, engagement levels increased and students appreciated the choices that menus provide.  One of my first teaching jobs was a "one room school house" with 15 students in grades 6-8 in a small mountain community in California.  I was expected to teach 3 different math curriculums, 3 history curriculums, 3 science curriculums and 3 Science curriculums. Students HAD to be independent learners. Not having enough hours in the day, menus were the call.   After aligning curriculums and finding the overlaps, students were presented menus that drove their choices of HOW they could demonstrate mastery.