I was prepared to feel disillusioned during the month of January (the graph warned me!), but I didn’t realize my students would be in a slump too. Things just feel different in January. The exciting “new year of school” feeling has been long gone and all of the fun holidays have passed. All we are left with is below freezing temperatures and days that get dark way too early. But good news is…February is finally here, bringing us happy Valentine’s Day colors and one month closer to the end of winter!

Okay, back to my point! One week deep in the slump of January, I just couldn’t bring myself to assign an RRL. I knew that if I didn’t feel like reading them, students certainly didn’t feel like writing them (Okay, I’m not delusional. I know students most likely never feel like writing reading response letters, but this week was different). So, I created the Free Choice RR(L) on a whim, and I am so happy with the results! With Free Choice RR(L) students are allowed to create (almost) whatever they want in relation to their book. I gave them a long list of ideas and a few guidelines to follow, and what they created was amazing! I have been noticing more and more how important it is to give students choice; they really respond to it. I will definitely be doing many more of these throughout the year!

The Free Choice RR(L) directions, along with the “classic” RRL directions, can be found on my Teachers Pay Teachers site!

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