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Transcript

Strategies for Using

Choice Boards

in the Classroom

16

Pass the mouse over the numbers to know my principles ;)

Make ItA Team ActivityPlace students into pairs and ask that they complete the entire board between the two of them. Make sure there’s no bullying here! Each student must take on both difficult and easy activities. In a 3x3 board, have each student choose 4 activities and leave out the one they like least.

Have Students Create Their OwnDivide your students into groups of 3-5 students, and have each group create a review activity for your lesson. Then combine their activities into a template like this one to create a choice board that the class can use.

Use Breakout Rooms to Guide StudentsUse breakout rooms to guide students through a choice board activity during a live video call class. If working with a standard 3x3 grid, break your activities into 3 groups of three (by rows on the board) and have students choose 1 activity from each group.Start with row one and write the first activity in the chat before asking students to leave a comment if they want to be in that room. Do this for the first 3 activity options and break students into rooms by looking at their comments. Then, repeat this for the 2nd and 3rd groups of activities. It's a good idea to visit each group and post their task there as a reminder when they're starting.

Start SmallYou can always add rows or columns for next year’s class or the following unit. A 3x1 choice board is better than not having choices!

Consider Learning StylesMake sure you have options for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners whenever possible. All learners will benefit from interacting with lesson materials in different ways.

Add Audio ExplanationsAdding audio to your choice boards, especially for those shared on online platforms, is a nice way to help students feel you close to them.

Choose APoint SystemIf your activities vary in the amount of effort and time they require, you may wish to assign different point values to each one and have students complete enough activities to reach a determined point value. If all your activities are similarly demanding, you can simply ask students to choose a certain number of total activities to complete.

Try Tic-Tac-ToeOne fun way to set up your choice board is as a 3x3 grid where students must perform a set of activities to “get” Tic-Tac-Toe. You can add a “free choice square” in the middle so that students can choose from all the squares for that activity.

Keep Everything in the Same PlaceYou’ll reduce clutter and confusion by inserting videos, images and other resources within your board instead of sending students to external sites. These windows that open up are an example of how to do so.

Leave Time For AClass ShareWhen creating your lesson plan, reserve 10-15 minutes for students to share their favorite activity when they finish.

Get FeedbackIn share time have each student tell you which activity they liked the most and which seemed the least interesting to them. Use this feedback to improve your board for coming years or units.

Keep Your Activities RelevantGet creative! Consider assigning social media formats in the board with prompts such as “choose two character from this book and write 3 tweets for each with responses in the comments from the other character” or “create a 3 square Instagram feed for this historical event”. If you’re not social media savvy run your idea by a friend or coworker who is!

Organize Your ContentKeep a list of tasks grouped by theme, topic, standard, or any other concept you'd like. Maybe even tag your curriculum. Then, when you want to create a digital choice board, you already have the ingredients ready. It's like preparing a meal ahead of time.

Use Learning TaxonomiesUse each quadrant to represent a level of complexity of Bloom’s Taxonomy or use Bloom's Taxonomy Questions. It's time to review those levels of learning on the pyramid chart!

Use a Google DocsWith a bit of time, you can create beautiful and personalized choice boards with audio, video, unique scoring systems, and more. But in a pinch, a simple Google Doc with a basic table 2 x 2 table is technically a digital choice board and, with the right options given, work well.

Consider Combination LearningYou can also fill your choice boards with learning blends–combinations of ‘ingredients’ designed to promote mastery of content while letting students have agency, choice, andopen-ended opportunity for sustained creativity.

12 Strategies for Using

Choice Boards

in the Classroom

Click on the numbers to learn about each strategy.

Make ItA Team ActivityPlace students into pairs and ask that they complete the entire board between the two of them. Make sure there’s no bullying here! Each student must take on both difficult and easy activities. In a 3x3 board, have each student choose 4 activities and leave out the one they like least.

Have Students Create Their OwnDivide your students into groups of 3-5 students, and have each group create a review activity for your lesson. Then combine their activities into a template like this one to create a choice board that the class can use.

Use Breakout Rooms to Guide StudentsUse breakout rooms to guide students through a choice board activity during a live video call class. If working with a standard 3x3 grid, break your activities into 3 groups of three (by rows on the board) and have students choose 1 activity from each group.Start with row one and write the first activity in the chat before asking students to leave a comment if they want to be in that room. Do this for the first 3 activity options and break students into rooms by looking at their comments. Then, repeat this for the 2nd and 3rd groups of activities. It's a good idea to visit each group and post their task there as a reminder when they're starting.

Start SmallYou can always add rows or columns for next year’s class or the following unit. A 3x1 choice board is better than not having choices!

Consider Learning StylesMake sure you have options for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners whenever possible. All learners will benefit from interacting with lesson materials in different ways.

Add Audio ExplanationsAdding audio to your choice boards, especially for those shared on online platforms, is a nice way to help students feel you close to them.

Choose APoint SystemIf your activities vary in the amount of effort and time they require, you may wish to assign different point values to each one and have students complete enough activities to reach a determined point value. If all your activities are similarly demanding, you can simply ask students to choose a certain number of total activities to complete.

Try Tic-Tac-ToeOne fun way to set up your choice board is as a 3x3 grid where students must perform a set of activities to “get” Tic-Tac-Toe. You can add a “free choice square” in the middle so that students can choose from all the squares for that activity.

Keep Everything in the Same PlaceYou’ll reduce clutter and confusion by inserting videos, images and other resources within your board instead of sending students to external sites. These windows that open up are an example of how to do so.

Leave Time For AClass ShareWhen creating your lesson plan, reserve 10-15 minutes for students to share their favorite activity when they finish.

Get FeedbackIn share time have each student tell you which activity they liked the most and which seemed the least interesting to them. Use this feedback to improve your board for coming years or units.

Keep Your Activities RelevantGet creative! Consider assigning social media formats in the board with prompts such as “choose two character from this book and write 3 tweets for each with responses in the comments from the other character” or “create a 3 square Instagram feed for this historical event”. If you’re not social media savvy run your idea by a friend or coworker who is!