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Offering Choices to Students

EducationWorld is pleased to present this professional development resource shared by Dr. Jane Bluestein, an expert in relationship-building, positive school climate and effective instruction.

Like boundaries, choices are motivational tools that encourage young people’s cooperation through empowerment. Choices build responsibility and commitment, communicate the teacher’s respect for students’ needs and preferences and can encourage students to perform a particular behavior. Choices also can help prevent disruptive behaviors.

This handout from Dr. Bluestein provides guidelines on offering students choices. For example, it's most effective when teachers provide clear, simple options and if appropriate, leave room for kids to change their minds. While not everything in the classroom is negotiable, it's helpful to allow young people to contribute ideas whenever possible. Choices help students "do the right thing" while building their problem-solving and conflict resolution abilities.

This printable resource is an excellent "cheat sheet" to share with school staff including classroom teachers, specials teachers and substitutes.

The handout was excerpted and adapted from The Win-Win Classroom (2008) by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Publishing.

Related resources

Also from Dr. Bluestein:
Is Your School Emotionally Safe?
Accommodating Student Sensory Differences
Tips for Positive Teacher-Parent Interaction
The Art of Setting Boundaries
The Beauty of Losing Control, Part 1
The Beauty of Losing Control, Part 2
Stressful Student Experiences: What Not to Do

About Dr. Bluestein

Dr. Jane Bluestein is a speaker, trainer and specialist in programs and resources related to relationship building, effective instruction and personal development.

She is an award-winning author whose books include Creating Emotionally Safe Schools, High School’s Not Forever, 21st Century Discipline, The Win-Win Classroom and many others. In addition, she has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Dr. Bluestein, formerly a classroom teacher, crisis-intervention counselor and teacher training program coordinator, currently heads Instructional Support Services, Inc., a consulting and resource firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Visit her Web site to access free resources, order books, read her blog and more.

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