**Choice Boards**

How do we ensure all of our students are engaged in their learning? How do we create activities that support our students’ learning and still give them choice? How do we differentiate our students’ learning using parallel tasks? The answer to these and many more questions that keep teachers up at night is the implementation of choice boards.

Choice boards can be used in a variety of ways to ensure each of our students is able to develop and apply what they are learning. Most importantly, choice boards encourage our students to own learning by giving them options.

**Homework Choice Board**

One of the most popular and easy ways to implement choice boards right away is to use it as homework. My grade-level team and I design the homework with the reading, writing, and math standards in mind. We also encourage family involvement. The goal is to practice the standards in an entertaining and purposeful way that does not take away from family time.

**Morning Choice Board**

I don’t know about you, but I have found many of my students find it difficult to transition from home to school right away. They may need time to transition from playing outside, time to distract them from an incident that happened at home, or time just to transition period. Thus, I implemented the “Morning Choice Board” for the first ten minutes of our day. The goal is to have students engage in purposeful activities that incorporate reading foundational skills and are game-related. They are to choose a different morning choice activity every day. This has reduced tardiness and absenteeism considerably. My students love these games so much they have asked their families to purchase them to use at home.

We chant our “Believer’s Cheer” at the end of Morning Choice to make the clean up as efficient as possible:

At the end of the week, they are to write a reflection of one of the activities including why they chose it, how it has helped them transition to the academic part of the day, and how the choice helped them with their reading, math, or writing. My kids cannot wait to play: phonics checkers, Boggle, Bananagrams, Apples to Apples, LEGOS, sight word checkers, Rubik’s Cubes, Jenga, or PlayDoh.

Ensuring my students have a choice to show how they are solving problems within our math standards is an imperative part of metacognition. They need to be able to share with me and others why they are choosing the strategy and how it is helping them grow as a mathematician. We incorporate the 8 Standards for Mathematical practices. (Debbie Waggoner has a plethora of resources and posters to explain and emphasize how to implement the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practices: http://www.debbiewaggoner.com/math-practice-standards.html.)

**Versatility**

Choice boards give students versatility and still set specific perimeters to ensure the standards are met. These options have given my students the opportunity to own their education, discuss their learning, and to determine the next steps to grow as a learner.

Want to connect and learn more? Follow me on Twitter @tikaee

Do you have any ideas for the middle school language arts classroom?

I have that EXACT SAME question!

Hello, Thank you for your interest in choice boards. There are a lot of great ideas on the FB post this article. Whenever I create a choice board I always start with the end in mind (What do I want my students to learn and accomplish from completing the choices?). Please feel free to contact me anytime via FB, Twitter, or email (epstet@nv.ccsd.net).

Excited to open this article and realize it was written by someone I know!! Great job!

I have create mini project boards for each subject. Student make choices of which activities to complete. We read 2 stories about Chinese immigration and then each day had to pick 2 out of 4 choices each day of things to complete. Some examples were: Create a diary of your trip as a Chinese immigrant coming to the US in 1935. Your trip will take 8 weeks and you need 2 entries per week. A few ideas: Describe your surroundings, what do you eat? How are you feeling about this trip?

My ELA team does some similar things in our classroom. For example, they have a menu of choices after reading some of our short stories in class, where they can choose how they want to show that deeper understanding. This year we are also going to let them choose why type of book report- type project they would like to complete.

Hi Kim and Sharon! I teach high school health so this isn’t specifically what you’re looking for, but hopefully this will get your wheels spinning. Here’s a choice board I created for “Coping with Loss and Grief”:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16wA_Jnd9Kn2krRI_8oIEymLLg6-Zq3tKFrcVRVDAPDY

Please let me know if you need anything else!

Jessica

mathesonj@rockford.k12.mn.us

This is an amazing tool. Thank you for sharing.

I’d like any ideas for Middle School choice boards for math. I’m not so sure that they will do the activities. I fear they may write something down just to have it in their notebook and good around. Staying on task is real difficult!

If they have a choice in activity, they are WAY more likely to do it. Some may abuse it, but don’t let them dictate what you do that is good for the others. It’s their loss if they just game the system. But HUGE benefits for everyone else.

I too worry about students actually completing choice work with true effort.

Choices are wonderful for all age levels😊

Do you have any boards for first grade possibly with pictures?

I teach first grade and would like to know the answer to this question as well

I am seeking the same information Kim Mills.

Would love more information!

Hello Everyone, Thank you for your interest in #choiceboards. I have several ideas for grades K-12. Please feel free to contact me at @tikaee via Twitter. I would like to collaborate😊

I don’t “tweet”. Can you offer another option?

Please feel free to contact me via email at epstet@nv.ccsd.net😊

I’m also interested in how this can be implemented in middle school math. Is there a Forum or group where these are being discussed and/or developed?

Do you have a template for kindergarten with pictures? Or ideas?

Hello Everyone, Thank you for your questions and comments. I would like to collaborate with you. Please message me via Twitter @tikaee or via Voxer tepste325.

Thanks! This may seem like a silly question, but do students on that Homework Choice board select one activity and do it 10 minutes per day each day, or are they to select different activities each day? The top says “10 minutes” but most of those activities seem as though they would take much longer than 10 minutes for a 2nd grader to complete.

Hello Rosie, Thank you for your questions and for your interest in choice boards. A choice might take longer than 10 minutes, but that gives them the option to work on it longer or extend it to the next day. Most of my families tell me the kids don’t even realize that 10 minutes has past😊

I would love middle school language arts and reading choice boards.

Do you have this plan for fifth grade?

Any suggestions for high school ELA/Yearbook are greatly appreciated.

9th grade World History ideas?

Choice boards are great for differentiation. Another idea is to poll students at the beginning of the year and have them come up with choice board ideas you can use. I’ve invited students to have lunch with me so they can explain their ideas. It goes a long way in building rapport and relationships. I’ve taught 5th grade science and LA the last 20 years and this year am moving to 6th grade science.

I would love to try this with my 5th Grade ELA & Writing classes this year! Would you be willing to share some samples to help me share with my class, please?

I love this idea! Has anyone come up with one that could be used at a leadership and/or staff meeting? I’d love to model choice boards with the teachers rather than simply reading and talking about them. Thanks!

Do you have choice boards for kindergarten in the different areas?

Anything for middle school science.

Check out Kesler Science! They’re on TpT, and they’re totally worth it! You can buy a week-long lesson that is in the 5E model, and most of them have some kind of choice board in the “Elaboration” part.

Here’s the website, or just search for Kesler Science on Teacherspayteachers.com

https://www.keslerscience.com/

I would love to use this idea with library classes, any suggestions?

I would like to do this in my library, as well!

No comment, interested in any secondary math ideas that might be offered.

Interested in anything dealing with high school global history (1492-present)

Hello Everyone, Thank you for the questions and interest in choice boards. There are several ideas shared in the Facebook post. I make choice boards for my students as needed to support what they are learning. I am happy to brainstorm ideas with you. I always start with the end in mind. Please email me to collaborate.

I love the idea of utilizing choice boards. I believe this would truly encourage students to learn since they have a chance to decide how they will practice a skill since everyone has their preferred learning style. I’m looking forward collaborate emails.

I would lobe to do choice boards. How can I implement this in a once a week class? Health Education is the subject.

I would love to use choice boards in my Emotional Disabilities Classes (SEL & Study Skills) but I haven’t found the best ones that would work….. can I get help please because I’m going remote for two weeks after the holidays and it could be longer do to matrix’s. I need to find something different to help me keep them engaged…

Hello Jeanne,

Happy New Year! I would like to collaborate with you to ensure the choice boards are meeting the needs of each of your students. Please reach out anytime via email at epstet@nv.ccsd.net. I look forward to hearing from you.

Hello,

I saw your post on Facebook and it caught my attention. I think that Choice Boards are a great tool to use for teaching. Can us give me some examples of how to use Choice Boards with the courses and grades that I teach? I am Middle Grade CTE Teacher. I teacher grades 6, 7, & 8. The courses I am teaching for 2nd half of this school year is:

-Keyboarding/Basic Word Processing

-Exploring Personal Characteristics & Employment

-Exploring Business, Marketing & Entrepreneurship