“Amplify student voice” they say. What does that really look like? We’re here to help you engage and motivate students to reach higher levels of achievement. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Recently, more attention has been placed on elevating student voices in schools, and with good reason. When students feel they have a stake in their education, they become more motivated and engaged, and it’s found that this is often reflected in their academic achievements.
If you’re looking for easy and effective ways to boost student voice in your classroom, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about our four favorite ways to boost student voice and keep students engaged!
Use Tools That Allow Students To Go At Their Own Pace
Nothing tells a student that they’re in the driver’s seat of their own education than allowing them to set the pace for their learning. While this may be tricky in a traditional classroom, there are student-friendly tools that make implementing differentiated learning a breeze.
Give students free rein over their pace of learning with Read to Lead games. In this interactive learning platform, students get the freedom to explore, read, and learn within virtual workplaces. Adaptive technology also ensures that each game is catered to each student’s learning needs. As students complete games on the platform, the Auto-Assign feature provides game recommendations to easily assign the next learning game and provide deeper practice on the skills your students need most. The Teacher Dashboard also records students’ progress and performance, providing insights on each skill, organized by the support level needed so you can introduce additional differentiation in your teaching. Differentiated learning has never been so easy, or fun!
Show Students That They Belong In Our Classrooms
Would you speak up in a room you didn’t feel you belong in? Our kids are the same. That’s why showing our students that they belong in our classrooms is critical to empowering and encouraging student voices.
Incorporate culturally relevant teaching in your curriculum with the books you choose as a class, and include educational materials that allow students to see themselves in their learning. Resources to support students’ learning should also showcase diverse and inclusive representation to ensure that no child feels left out. Read to Lead, Flocabulary, and Learning for Justice all offer educational resources that are an excellent addition to any middle school classroom that’s eager to make students feel welcome and elevate student voice.
Bonus: Need ideas for culturally diverse and inclusive reading lists? Check out our recommendations for 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade!
Ignite Engagement With A Reading Challenge
A reading challenge is a great way to engage students and boost their confidence by putting them in-charge of their own learning. We’ve found when students feel they have agency, achievement follows. When a student is able to read and learn at their own pace, they will feel more confident in flexing their voice. The Read to Lead Million Words Read Challenge is an easy way to get started.
Simply sign up for a free educator account on Read to Lead, and get your students on the platform to read and rack up their word count at their own pace. The challenge officially kicks off in January 2022 but words read on the platform during December also count toward the final tally! P.S. When students in your class cumulatively reach one million words read, we’ll reward them with prizes and a celebratory class party! Sign up now to get started!
Survey Students To Find Out What They Want
What better way to boost student voice than to actually give your students… you guessed it, a voice! We often assume we know what our students want or are interested in, but the best people to ask about students’ opinions are the students themselves!
Use a fun survey or polling tool like Kahoot, Plickers, and Socrative to get students’ input in classroom decisions that matter. Whether it’s the music that plays in the background during independent reading time, choosing what book they read for that month, or how they want to showcase their learning, giving students a choice in their education is an easy and effective way to boost student voice in your classroom.
Elevating student voice doesn’t have to be a challenge! Being mindful about putting students front and center learning and including them in the conversation about their education is all it takes. By giving them agency and the opportunity to take ownership of their learning, we will not only be able to boost student voices, but also nurture more engaged learners who perform well in and out of school!
Are you ready to empower the next generation of readers and leaders? Create a free Read to Lead account and watch student achievement soar.
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!