I have to say that I am already in LOVE with this book! Only one chapter in and I don't want to put it down! I teach a 3-5th grade self contained class with a wide range of different abilities. The fist quote on the first page is something that myself and my paraprofessional are constantly saying to our students!
"Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it" - Augustine of Hippo
This is a powerful statement and this is something that I try to teach my students everyday. They should be making the right choices and right decisions even if the other students in the class or school are not :)
In this first chapter Paul Solarz talks about how a student-led classroom is one where the students are making decisions and choices throughout the day without consulting with the teacher. I have been trying hard this year to have this happen in my classroom. I use Daily 5 as part of our readers workshop and I allow the students to choose the centers/activities that they do during this time. In a way this is teacher directed because they have to complete a certain number of centers but I try to give them the free choice in deciding which centers they go to and when they are in that center what activities they would like to complete. Decision making is difficult for some of my students and if they are given too many choices or sometimes even just two they become unable to make a decision. So far this year this has been working well and the students have been able to choose their tasks and they are working appropriately in the centers that they choose.
I would love to hear any suggestions that any of you have on how to help make my classroom next year a little more student-led! I look forward to reading all of the posts :)