‘Voice and choice’ in learning

By Maggie Stokes

The following were remarks made at the release of “Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan for Putting Learners First” on Jan. 17, 2012, at the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta.

Maggie Stokes stands at a podium.
Maggie Stokes

I like the new way of learning because it makes fourth grade a lot more understandable.

We unpack learning standards, which tells us the “know’s” and the “do’s” for each unit, so we know what we need to work on and we know what we need to do. We have goals for each unit, and we make our own goals with our teacher’s help based on the standards. And we have lots of voice and choice, which I like.

We got to choose ecosystem projects for our ecosystem unit. I chose sorting herbivores, carnivores and omnivores and a friend of mine chose to create a project on the causes and the effects of forest fires.

At the end of each unit we use a capacity matrix to keep track of our progress and our learning, and the teachers help us decide what we need to work on.

We have two teachers – our other one is Mrs. Glick, who has a class – she comes down for lots of the learning, and she helps us with reading, writing and science, and I like being able to learn from both.

Thank you.

Maggie Stokes is a fourth grader at Williams Elementary School in Oakland. Her teacher is Shelly Moody, the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year.

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