Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Menu Mania!

One of my favorite ways to differentiate student work is to use activity menus in the classroom. I like using menus because the students get to decide what projects they want to work on, it gives me an opportunity to teach to the multiple intelligences, and it keeps the students actively engaged.

When I use the menus, I teach a quick mini-lesson, give the students a quick check, and then have them work on their menu activities. For example, we are currently studying place value in math (click here to see the place value menu). Our first mini-lesson was on understanding the value of each digit in a number. After I taught the mini-lesson, I gave the students a 5 question quick check. My quick check problems correlate with the mini-lesson. The students who got all five of the questions correct were able to begin their activity menus. The students who missed some problems were able to meet with me for small group instruction. Once these students mastered the skill, they were then able to begin working on their activity menus.

The students work on their menu activities every day. By the time we are done with the unit, the students have completed their menus. I use the completed menus as a major grade.

My class working hard on their menu activities.