The English Classroom

A GUIDE TO IMPROVING STUDENT LITERACY

Choice Boards

Part of the motivation for any teacher should be promote independence in the classroom.

We should want our students to choose and select for themselves, rather than becoming automatons.

A couple of years ago, I came across choice woads. A choice board is a grid or a table of activities.

choice board is a graphic organizer that allows students to choose different ways to learn about a particular concept.

If you want to create a choice board for your classroom, keep these 4 things in mind:

  • Each choice board should revolve around a single concept or learning expectation.
  • Each square should contain an activity that is related to one of the multiple intelligences so that all students can find something that fits how they learn best.
  • If you want students to complete multiple activities on the choice board, have them complete three activities in a row. Be sure to put the most fun activity in the centre. 
  • The majority of the activities should be able to be completed individually. The exception would be the interpersonal square.

Check out my examples below.

As you can see, there are three categories (my terms, but feel free to create your own); each category is slightly different based on the number of chilis. My students were reading a book, Trash by Andy Mulligan. In response to the first chapter, I wanted to review what they knew and could remember from the task.

I didn’t want just give them comprehension questions, that seemed rather boring. Plus, some students can obviously remember more than others.

Enter the choice board. student choose independently the amount of work they would like to achieve.

If students complete the work early, there is time for feedback from the teacher and to encourage them to complete the next category.

Alternatively, you can assign points.

“5 points will get you to recess! 7 will mean you get to leave first!” Turn it into a game and make it fun!

Here is another example that I used when I had students making comparison between achilles and superman (Year 8s, we were exploring ancient mythology):

I placed parameters around what websites they had to use and how many words each response had to be. Here is where you can differentiate and complete the same activity at different levels.

Here is one for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:

Here is another one; however, it may need more scaffolding for your students in terms of the parameters of each task.

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