What Is This?
Learning menus are a teaching practice which promotes differentiated learning by providing flexible ways to engage students in the learning process. Learning menus provide students with an individual choice between different learning activities. Teachers can decide how many activities need to be completed at any given time, or which activities are mandatory. By choosing from the menu, students become familiar with different types of study methods and assignments. Each choice on the menu encourages students to engage in an activity at their own pace while practicing different skills. When students are given choice as to how they learn, they feel more responsible for their achievement and development.
How To Use It?
A learning menu can take many forms and require students to complete any number of assignments on a variety of subjects. Teachers should provide clear individual instructions to students as to how many, which and when to complete self directed choices of learning activities.It is best to include a mix of activities that your students are familiar with, but also some new learning methods.
When To Use?
Learning menus can be used as part of any curriculum or subject where differentiated teaching is a goal. Menus can be used at a specific time daily or weekly, as a classroom learning habit , or as part of a specific learning process towards a chosen objective. Learning menus are best used after both a positive learning environment and structure have been established in the classroom.
How To Assess?
Learning menus can be assessed through submitting portfolios of completed chosen assignments or learning journals which reflect the learning experience, or interviewing students about their completed activities. Teachers can assess aspects of self directed learning, such as defining individuals goals, completing tasks on time or evaluating strengths and individual abilities.