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Learning menus: yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by singinintherain, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. singinintherain

    singinintherain New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm just wondering what your views are regarding learning menus with low level students: are they beneficial?

    Any ideas/comments are welcome.
     
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    What’s a learning menu ?
     
    singinintherain likes this.
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I wondered too what a learning menu was and when I Googled the expression, this PDF came up: https://x78251kcpll2l2t9e46kf96a-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Choice-Menus.pdf

    It all seems to be an American idea to give students a bit of choice in the work they do during a lesson, using the extended metaphor of a balanced meal, so some central tasks ("courses") are compulsory while others ("side-dishes") are optional. This is supposed to "empower" the learner by involving them in the decision-making when covering a topic.
     
    singinintherain likes this.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Ahh - thanks.
     
    singinintherain likes this.
  5. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    NAY!
    Just a way of trying to "hide" the learning in my opinion and dressing up the activities that you would be doing anyway. Pretends to give the students a choice, but you (and they) soon realise there's no choice when one claims that they're "not hungry." Meanwhile, the hours you've spent writing your resources into a fun, witty "menu" have just been wasted.
     
    Pomza and singinintherain like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Gimmicky garbage. Just teach them what they need to know.
     
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I tend to give some choices anyway. I don't dress it up as a menu though, more here's what we need to learn but there's a choice of how we get there.
     
  8. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Why not? I wouldn't do it every lesson (or even every week) but if I was planning on differentiating by task anyway, it might be a fun way to present the options.
     
  9. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    I mean, we do differentiated tasks - comprehension and fact retention for the C-D students, analysis and explanation for the A*-B ones. Not exactly a menu but there is choice.

    Other tasks have to be a case of "everyone does this." Like washing your hands before eating, you've got to write the title and the date...

    Dammit now I've come up with even more garbage extended metaphors.
     
  10. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I eouldn't call it a menu, but do use this tactic sometimes. Often the choices get recycled the next lesson so just the order they do them in may be different!
     

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