A choice board is a visual tool that provides learners with options for completing tasks or projects. It allows them to choose which activities to do, allowing for more individualized learning experiences.
Using choice boards in the classroom has become increasingly popular among teachers to engage students and motivate them to learn. Keep reading to learn more about choice boards, creating one, and the best ways to use it in your classroom!
- What Is a Choice Board?
- How to Create a Choice Board
- How to Use a Choice Board in the Classroom
- Examples of Choice Board Activities
What Is a Choice Board?
A choice board is a visual tool that lets students choose which assignment they’d like to complete. It typically includes educational and fun activities, allowing students to select their preferred activity. This ability to choose helps them stay engaged in their learning process, as they can decide how they learn best.
Choice boards also offer teachers more ways to analyze students’ understanding of topics or lessons. This can often be done without lengthy tests or exams. Thus, choice boards are great tools for promoting student engagement and helping teachers assess student learning!
Read on to learn about their benefits and the types of choice boards available:
Benefits of Using a Choice Board
Choice boards can be used in various settings, including classrooms, libraries, and at home, and offer many benefits for students and educators. Here are some of the key benefits of using choice boards in the classroom:
1. Facilitates Collaborative Learning
Teachers can design choice boards that require students to work together on certain activities, encouraging them to develop teamwork and communication skills. This is effective for group projects and other collaborative activities.
2. Offers Flexibility
Finally, choice boards offer flexibility often lacking in traditional classroom activities. Teachers can create choice boards tailored to specific units or topics, allowing students to explore subjects in greater depth and at their own pace.
3. Supports Differentiation
Teachers can create different choice boards to cater to individual learning levels and abilities. This can be particularly helpful in inclusive classrooms, where students with different needs may require different levels of support.
Types of Choice Boards
There are several types of choice boards you can use, depending on your teaching objectives:
1. Tic-tac-toe Choice Board
The point of a tic-tac-toe choice board is to make the learning experience more of a game than a chore. Students have nine options to choose from—arranged in a 3×3 grid—and must choose 3 adjacent or diagonal tasks. This choice board type helps students practice problem-solving, decision-making, and prioritization skills.
2. Menu Choice Board
This type of choice board allows students to pick their activities from a list of options related to the learning objective. The student has full control over which activities they want to complete and in what order, allowing them to customize their learning experience.
3. Choice Board With Tiers
In this case, there are three different levels of tasks or activities that the student can choose from, depending on how much time they have or how challenging they want the task to be.
For example, if your lesson is about math concepts, you could provide three levels: basic math skills for those who need more practice, intermediate skills for those who understand basic concepts but need more challenge, and advanced skills for those who want to apply their knowledge in more complex ways.
How to Create a Choice Board
Keep reading to learn how to create a choice board together with different choice board examples:
Steps to Follow in Creating a Choice Board
Here are the steps to follow when deciding on a choice board template:
- Identify the Learning Objectives: Before you create your choice board, you must understand the objectives you want students to accomplish through this activity. This will help guide your decisions when selecting tasks and activities for your board.
- Determine the Tasks & Activities: Once you’ve identified your learning objectives, you can determine which tasks and activities best align with them. Selecting relevant activities and encouraging students to apply their knowledge meaningfully is important.
- Design the Choice Board: You can choose from various formats, such as a grid or a timeline, when designing your choice board. Be sure to include tasks and activities that appeal to multiple learning styles so all learners can benefit from this activity.
Following these steps will help ensure your choice board aligns with your learning objectives and provides meaningful tasks for students to engage with.
Examples of Choice Boards
There are plenty of choice board templates you can find online that you can use when designing one for your classroom. Here we will look at some choice board ideas for language arts, math, and science:
Language Arts Choice Board
Language arts offer a variety of opportunities for immersive student learning experiences. Create a choice board that includes activities such as writing stories or poems, creating book reviews, playing word games like Scrabble or Boggle, or researching a particular topic related to language arts.
It’s also always a good idea to explore the world of fiction or non-fiction books in the library or watch movies with educational themes. Finally, include activities that involve technology, such as using a website or app to create digital stories.
Math Choice Board
Math can be a difficult subject for some students, but you can simplify it with a choice board! Examples of activities could include playing math games like Yahtzee or Sudoku, creating visual models and diagrams related to math concepts, researching mathematicians and their discoveries, and watching movies about mathematics.
Your students can explore online resources like Khan Academy or Quizlet, design charts and tables to visually display data, go on virtual field trips related to math topics or even compete in an online math competition.
Science Choice Board
When creating a science choice board, consider activities such as performing experiments, watching videos about scientific topics, and researching world problems and how they can be solved with science. Other ideas include exploring technology related to the field of science, creating 3D models of various concepts in biology or chemistry, and playing games that involve physics principles.
How to Use a Choice Board in the Classroom
If you’ve never used a choice board before, you may not exactly know how to use it. So, why not look at some tips?
Tips on How to Implement a Choice Board
So, how do you implement a choice board in the classroom? Let’s see:
- Provide Clear Instructions: It’s important that when setting up a choice board, you provide clear instructions on what activities to complete for each task and how long should be spent on each. You may also want to have visual cues such as arrows or different colors so your students can easily follow along with the tasks at hand.
- Set Expectations: Once you have provided clear instructions for using the choice board, make sure you set expectations for your students. This includes letting them know how many tasks they should complete in a given timeframe, what materials are needed for each task, and any other expectations you have.
- Encourage Student Accountability: This means having them keep track of their progress and providing feedback on what they’ve completed so far. You may also want to set rewards or incentives for completing tasks or even give extra credit points to those who go above and beyond the requirements.
Advantages of Using a Choice Board
Here are some advantages of using a choice board in the classroom:
- Encourages Student Engagement: Choice boards give students the freedom to choose how they want to learn particular concepts. This helps them stay interested and motivated to work on the topics at hand, allowing for better absorption of the material.
Teachers can create choice boards with activities that vary from creative assignments like drawing or writing stories to more technical tasks like recording videos or building models. The options offered to appeal to different types of learners and keep everyone engaged throughout the lesson.
- Fosters Student Independence: By allowing students to select how they want to learn, choice boards foster independence in the classroom. Students can take ownership of their learning and be more proactive in seeking out new knowledge on their own. Choice boards also help students become better problem-solvers by letting them come up with creative solutions to complete activities.
- Promotes Differentiation: Choice boards are a great way for teachers to differentiate instruction for different groups or individual students within the same classroom. Teachers can create multiple levels of difficulty or tailor specific activities to address each student’s needs. This ensures that no one is left behind and provides an opportunity for all students to reach their full potential.
Examples of Choice Board Activities
Learn about some choice board activities you can implement in your classroom and make teaching more fun:
Language Arts Choice Board Activities
Examples of language arts activities that could be included on a choice board include:
- Writing a Persuasive Essay: Students can practice their persuasive writing skills by composing an essay on a topic of their choice. Teachers can provide guidelines and rubrics to help students structure their papers and cite evidence.
- Creating a Book Trailer: Students can use images, audio, and video editing software to create dynamic presentations about the books they are reading for class. This allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the book creatively.
- Participating in a Socratic Seminar: In this type of discussion, students can analyze texts as a group and engagingly express their thoughts and ideas. By participating in this type of seminar, students will be able to practice critical thinking while also gaining insight into other perspectives.
Math Choice Board Activities
Here you can take a look at some of the most popular activities associated with math choice boards.
- Design a Survey and Analyze the Results: A survey is an effective way to get feedback from your students on topics such as favorite TV shows, preferred pizza toppings, or why they find math hard to learn. After collecting the data, ask them to analyze their results using graphs or other visual tools. This activity helps bring real-world applications into their learning while also encouraging them to think critically about the results.
- Create a Scale Drawing: With this activity, students are asked to create a scale drawing of something they’re familiar with, such as their bedroom or classroom. Encourage your students to think critically about measurements and proportions when completing this task.
- Investigate a Real-world Problem Using Math: Give your students a real-world problem to solve using math skills. This could be anything from finding the area of an irregular shape to calculating the cost savings when switching light bulbs to energy-efficient models.
Science Choice Board Activities
Here are some examples of possible activities you can include on your science choice board:
- Design an Experiment: Allow students to design their own experiment by choosing from a list of materials provided by the teacher. Have them research the scientific method and use it as they plan their experiment, then carry out the experiment using whatever materials they’ve chosen.
- Research and Present on a Current Event in Science: Allow students to explore the latest news in science and then conduct research on a particular topic that interests them, such as climate change or space exploration. Have them present their findings to their peers in some form, like an oral presentation or written report.
- Create a Visual Representation of a Science Concept: Have students draw, paint, or create any type of visual representation of a science concept they’ve recently studied. Encourage them to get creative with it and use whatever materials they have available. Ask them to explain what their visual representation is depicting and discuss how it relates to the concept they’re studying.
Choice boards are a nifty tool for teachers to use in the classroom. Not only do they help keep students engaged and motivated—they also allow them to explore their interests and autonomy. Through these resources, students become more independent learners and have the opportunity to take ownership of their learning journey.
Teachers should not hesitate to get started with incorporating choice boards into their teaching practice. These tools provide a multitude of benefits that will ultimately lead to making learning in the classroom much more enjoyable and enriching for everyone involved.
So, don’t wait, and get to crafting!