A framework for introducing choice making in the classroom, through “invitations” that encourage students to find out who they are, how they learn, and what they need to thrive.
“I’m the kind of kid who builds things,” reflects seven-year-old Jude. “I’m a builder, a doer, a maker of things.” How does Jude possess such a clear sense of self at this tender age? And what viable actions might teachers take to awaken, nurture, and develop learner identity and a sense of agency that lives within Jude and every child?
Debbie Miller and Emily Callahan believe that it all begins with choice. In “I’m the kind of kid who…,” they provide a framework for introducing choice making in small, medium, and large ways through “invitations” that ask children to consider:
- What if you could choose where you want to work?
- What if you could choose your own materials?
- What if you could choose to learn more about yourself as a reader?
- What if you could choose to do what readers do in the world?
- What if you could choose what you want to explore, investigate and study?
- What if you could choose how to share your thinking and learning?
Debbie and Emily use a predictable structure to describe each invitation from beginning to end, offering practical suggestions for how to fit invitations within the day and across the year.
“There are no magical programs to call upon to develop learner identity and agency” write Debbie and Emily, “because the truth is, children and their teachers don’t need them! What kids really need are invitations from their teachers to discover themselves for themselves, invitations that encourage them to find out even more about who they are, how they learn and what they need to thrive.”