Thanks to Carolyn Markel of Moraine Valley for sharing these ideas. Way to go Carolyn for empowering your students!
"For math, I like to have the students sometimes show math problems
with drawings or manipulatives. For example, students may be able to
solve 1/4 of 20 on paper, but they struggle with how to show it with
manipulatives. They are often tempted to put the counters in groups of
4, instead of showing how there are four groups, and one of those groups
has 5 in it, which is the answer.
Also, after we complete an activity in class, I often ask my students
to tell me why we just did what we did. After being with me for a few
classes, students soon learn that "because it will be on the GED" is not
an acceptable answer to this question. A lot of times the students
will come up with much deeper reasons for doing an activity than I
originally had in mind. I think the students find this exercise
empowering because it puts them in the mindset of the instructor. They
learn that my instruction is intentional and purposeful - and that a
teacher isn't a magician or a puppet-master. There is a method to the
madness, so to speak. "
Please feel free to comment and share other ideas of what you do in your classroom.