Education is changing, and so are the ways we get kids excited about learning. Teachers are finding new ways to let students take charge and discover their own passions. Giving students choice using choice boards is an easy way to allow students to take charge of their own learning.
So, what’s a choice board? It’s a grid that gives students the power to pick activities that match their interests, how they learn best, and what they’re ready for. It’s like a menu of options that lets students choose what they want to do. What are the benefits of student choice? Choice boards do more than just make learning fun. They help kids think critically, be creative, and work together with their classmates.
In this blog post, we’re going to explore four reasons why you should use choice boards in your classroom.
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Choice Boards Increase Student Motivation & Engagement
The problem many educators face is that students often either produce sloppy work or simply refuse to do their assignments altogether. They may rush through tasks just to complete them without putting in genuine effort, or they might completely avoid the work because they lack interest or motivation.
Now, picture a classroom where students actually want to do the necessary work to improve and achieve success. It sounds like a dream, right? Well, the secret to unlocking student buy-in and engagement lies in giving them a choice in how they practice.
When students have a say in their learning, when they have the opportunity to choose activities that align with their interests and preferences, they become more invested in the process. Suddenly, the work becomes meaningful and relevant to them. They feel a sense of ownership and pride in what they’re doing because they can see the value in it.
With this newly discovered independence, students are more likely to approach their work with enthusiasm. They are willing to put in the effort because they are genuinely interested in what they are doing. The act of choosing gives them a sense of agency and control, making them active participants in their own learning journey.
Choice boards. Imagine the possibilities when students are motivated, engaged, and eager to take on their assignments. Student choice boards are the key to turning your classroom into a buzz of active learning, where students willingly tackle their work with enthusiasm.
Choice Boards Support Differentiation
Student choice boards inherently support the differentiation of instruction in the classroom. By providing a menu of different activities, student choice boards offer opportunities for students to choose tasks that align with their individual needs and interests.
With a well-designed choice board, students can select activities that best suit their current skill level and learning goals. Some students may choose more challenging tasks to extend their understanding, while others may opt for activities that provide additional support or scaffolded learning. The flexibility of choice boards allows students to engage with materials at their own pace and explore concepts in ways that resonate with them.
Additionally, teachers can have students work in pairs or groups to complete choice board activities to promote social interactions and peer learning, further enhancing the differentiation of instruction.
By using student choice boards to differentiate activities, you empower students to take ownership of their learning, cater to their individual needs, and foster a classroom environment that values diversity and personal growth.
Choice Boards Support Diverse Learning Styles
By offering choices and options within the choice board, educators can accommodate various learning styles and intelligences. Visual learners may be drawn to creative projects, while analytical thinkers may gravitate towards research-based assignments.
When teachers include a mix of activity types in a choice board, it’s like offering a buffet of learning options that suit different styles and preferences. This way, students get to choose activities that really click with how they learn best. It’s like speaking their language! This not only keeps them engaged, but also helps them grasp the content on a deeper level. Best of all, it shows that teachers value their individual strengths and preferences, making learning more engaging for every student.
Visual learners may be drawn to creative projects with visual elements such as diagrams or artistic representations. Students can create posters, mind maps, or drawings to demonstrate their understanding. Auditory learners might enjoy writing a song or poem to share. Kinesthetic learners may prefer hands-on activities that involve movement and tactile experiences.
Choice Boards Offer Versatility
Choice boards can be used across various subjects and topics. Whether you’re teaching math, science, language arts, social studies, or even art and music, choice boards can be customized to suit the specific content and skills being taught.
Choice boards can be incorporated as part of regular classroom activities, homework assignments, morning work, assessment options, or even project-based learning.
Choice boards can be used with an infinite variety of word lists, texts, and activities.. Whether you’re teaching math, science, history, or English language arts, choice boards can be easily integrated into any subject area.
Think about it: you can use choice boards to spice up your spelling or vocabulary lessons by providing choices for word exploration, such as creating flashcards, writing stories, writing a song, or drawing a comic strip. In language arts, you can offer choices for reading comprehension activities, like summarizing a chapter, analyzing characters, or even creating an alternate ending to a story.
You can take choice boards a step further by involving students in the creation of their own choice boards. This empowers them to take ownership of their learning, fostering creativity and collaboration. By working together, students can design a choice board that aligns with the project goals and allows for individualized exploration and presentation of their findings.
Try Using Choice Boards
Remember, the number of choices you offer on a choice board is entirely up to you. You can start with just a couple of options to keep it simple, or feel free to expand to include even more choices. The key is to provide enough variety to cater to different learning preferences, while also considering your comfort level in managing the choices effectively.
You can unlock the potential of choice boards in your classroom. Let your imagination run wild as you discover innovative ways to incorporate them into your teaching practices. With choice boards, you have the power to create a dynamic and personalized learning experience that will leave a lasting impact on your students.
I love Choice Boards so much that I want you to try one!
If you don’t use choice boards in your classroom, I encourage you to give them a try!
And if you do use choice boards, I encourage you to try using them in other content areas too!
Interested in more choice boards? You might be interested in Reading & Spelling Choice Boards.