In order for students to be able to demonstrate understanding in a way that makes sense to them, we first need to give students the tools they need. But how do I know when students should master different skills? Fortunately, the Fresno Office of Education has taken the guess work out of this and developed a scope and sequence for technology skills. This is a great place to start and has provided a road map identifying when students need to have skills introduced, reinforced, and mastered. I use this guide with my teachers to help develop projects that incorporate grade level appropriate skills.
Another key piece to developing voice and choice in the classroom is the management that comes with the release of control. Many teachers have a hard time releasing control of their classroom to a model that is more student-led. Ultimately, you have to have systems in place that work for you; there are a few common themes to well managed classrooms: clear expectations of student behavior, a positive classroom climate, and respect for both the teacher and students. This article from EducationWorld.com provides a good synopsis of the necessary elements in a well-run classroom.