The last couple of weeks have been all about student choice for us. I figured out a while ago that if I let the students have a controlled choice they are much more engaged. As the year progresses, I give them more freedom of choice. I gave a very informal poll. What spooky creatures do you want to learn about this month? They voted on bats, spiders and owls. So of course I chose texts with these themes for shared reading. It's pretty easy to match common core standards to these topics. For writing I told them they could research any of the three and then write an informational paper on it. Every day when writing was over someone said, "Do we have to stop?" Music to a teacher's ears. I encourage you to give your students choices. Instead of deciding between two topics yourself, throw the choice out to the class for a vote. I bet you that they will be more interested than if you always choose.