Choice boards are amazing but they can be a lot of prep work, confuse students with too much content, or be too repetitive. Let’s spice up some student choice boards and rethink how we use them in the classroom.
Progressive Choice Boards
Choice is great for students but sometimes too much choice is overwhelming. You would have students ask you “just tell me which one to do” and you instantly regret putting together a huge choice board when they want to be told what to do anyways. Slowly adding choices makes it easier to choose from a lot of different options.
Instead of making a single choice board for a unit try a progressive one! You could make a choice board that has three options at first and then slowly add to it each week or each part of the unit. You wouldn’t erase the beginning of the choice board, just keep adding to it. Now students won’t get overwhelmed because you are slowly adding to the same choice board so students aren’t surprised when they see 9 or 12 activity options. You also will be able to stagger your choice board prep so you don’t have to do all of it at once. Check out the templates below for Progressive Choice boards. I got this idea from this amazing article on Ditch That Textbook, check it out here. Links to all the templates are below.
Important Note: Just make sure when you give the choice board you do it either on a google app or on a canvas page that you can add to it and students will get the updated version.
Homework Choice Boards
Less and less teachers are giving homework out to their students. I was one of these teachers and my thought was they should be able to get everything done during class and if they need more time, then it’s homework. There is nothing wrong with the mentality but my issue was I would have parents begging for homework for the students and I would have to assign random material. Let’s think about a different approach, homework choice boards! If you read through this article you can get a better idea of this concept click here.
Elementary: Make a similar choice board like the one below. You could also have different subjects or combine different subjects. For example, have students make a hundreds table, read out loud to a family member, check out a book at the library, do a science experiment at home with a family member.
Middle: You could still make this optional. You could send a packet home at the beginning of each unit or even at the beginning of each semester. Then when students finish you could give them a reward instead of grading it. The best part of this idea, when parents call and request homework or help for their student to get their grade up, just point them to the digital choice board!
High School: You could use a choice board instead of a typical study guide before a test. You could give options such as,
- Study for a test using notecards
- Study with a group of your classmates
- Make a study guide with answers
- Create a flow chart of all the material you learned
Then have them take a picture and add it to the choice board. Now instead of the study guide they have more options and you have less work. You could make them use the same choice board throughout your unit and they have to study different ways so they can learn their best study approach.
Tic Tac Choice Board
This is a very common choice board option so you may have heard of it. You would provide a series of 9 choices with the middle choice required for all students. They can then pick two other options as long as it makes a line like in tic tac toe. Look at the examples below.
Staggered Choice Board
This choice board option provides more guidance for students but still gives them choices. Looking at the example below you can see that students are exploring the content and then picking something to demonstrate their understanding. This is a great idea for a final project or using along with canvas mastery paths.
Finished Early Choice Board
Don’t forget to always have this easy choice board on hand! I recommend putting this choice board on a bulletin board with qr codes so students can walk up and pick their choice and expand their learning. You can find some awesome websites here or include podcasts that relate to your content, engaging youtube videos, free coding programs like code.org or codecademy.