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Choosing Student Choice with Nicole Mancini

Howie and Ryan welcome back to the show, Nicole Mancini.  Nicole is a Reading Specialist that is currently teaching 5th grade ELA at Bedminster Township Public School in Bedminster NJ.  Nicole also is a freelance writer, literacy advocate, Flipgrid Ambassador, and a Skype education teacher.  Nicole is a very passionate and dynamic educator and we are glad to have her back to focus on one of her passions, student choice.  


So what does it mean to allow student voice and choice in your classroom?  These concepts are hard to see in the traditional classrooms where teachers are practicing direct instruction the majority of the time and deliver a mandated curriculum to the students that is either created by the district or the teacher themselves.  In classrooms that do create an environment were student's voice and choice are prevalent, you would see a curriculum and learning environment where students are actively choosing how they learn and possibly what they learn. Nicole has created such an environment inside her classroom and she shares on this episode how she goes about laying the foundation for such an environment.


Nicole will also share strategies, lessons, and tools that she uses to execute student choice in her classroom.  You will hear how she engages students and takes them to the next level through the process of writer’s workshop and utilizing independent reading, book talks, 30 book challenge, and student choice in selecting their own reading books.  


Nicole also talks about her massive in-class library that has over 1000 books.  Obviously, this can really help student choice in book selection. She also shares tips on how you can create and organize a student library of your own.  You won’t want to miss all her wonderful ideas and stories.


We hope that you enjoy our show today and walk away with an understanding of how learning that incorporates student choice can provide a pathway for students to fully, genuinely invest themselves in quality work that matters.  Allowing students to participate in their own learning design creates an environment where students can make real meaning of their content and do so on their own terms. This is so apparent in Nicole’s classroom room story and the strategies and tips she shares with us are truly innovative and powerful.


Show Links:



Skype: missnikkiIN5th











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