This week I had the pleasure of training a group of elementary teachers on blended learning strategies. As a group, they wanted to focus on:
- Student choice
One of the strategies we discussed with the potential to weave these three areas of focus together is a choice board. There are several different approaches to designing a choice board, but the goal is to allow students an opportunity to select the activities they will complete to practice a skill or demonstrate understanding.
The example above is a digital choice board I created using a Google Document. I encourage teachers to create their choice boards online, so they can embed images and hyperlink to additional resources or online tools.
Organizing a Choice Board
The classic 9 square model is ideal for a tic-tac-toe approach to a choice board that requires students to complete any three activities in a row across the board. Teachers can organize a choice board so that each column focuses on a particular skill or standard. Elementary teachers, who are teaching all subjects, may combine reading, math and vocabulary activities on a single board. On the other hand, a secondary teacher might design a board focused on one aspect of their curriculum, like reading or writing.
As teachers consider what types of activities to design, it’s important to keep differentiation in mind. Teachers can choose to differentiate by allowing students to decide:
- what they will produce.
- how they will engage with the information (learning modality).
- which level of complexity they are ready for.
- which activity appeals to their interests.
Some teachers choose to color code the squares and encourage stronger students to tackle more challenging activities. While others prefer to assign points to each box based on how challenging that activity is in relation to the other options.
Below is a template for a digital choice board using Google Documents. If you want to use this to design your own choice board, simply log into your Google account then go to “File” on this document and select “Make a copy.” It will automatically save to your Google Drive!
As you design your digital choice board, it’s helpful to think about how you will assess the different activities on the board. In the training I facilitated this week, we talked about unconventional ways to assess student work. I shared the following strategies for assessing student work using technology:
- Ask students to record audio responses directly onto a Padlet Wall.
- Require students fill out a Google Form Exit Ticket.
- Set up a Socrative or Kahoot! quiz for them to take before leaving an activity.
- Allow students to record a short video/screencast explaining their process and/or product.
The choice board is not a new concept in education, but it is a great way to differentiate, prioritize student choice, and build in alternative forms of assessment.
If you’ve created a choice board you’ve had success with, please consider sharing it!
Hello Catlin! My coworker told me about your blog post on choice boards, and she thought I would be able to contribute. I work as an EFL teacher in lower primary know Turkey. In second grade, we started using tic-tac-toe worksheets to make our spelling homework more interesting. You can find the link to two example worksheets below:
Hope this helps!
PS: There is a spelling errors in the second worksheet. It should say blue consonants and red vowels. ?
Thanks for sharing, Jessica! These are great examples.
Could you share the editable files with us? I would love to utilize in my Google Lab.
Thanks so much!
Hi Mrs. Arogbonlo
It is shared already. She said to make a copy on your Google Drive and is ready to edit it.
It doesn’t work. There is no way to get to it to make a copy on my Google Drive.
What if you go directly to this link –> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RxzSVX-Du3FTHCWbDQaOtbxI60VharAn_sEIZziTx-g/edit
If you are logged into your Gmail account, you should be able to click “File” and select “Make a copy.” Let me know if that doesn’t work.
I’m anxious to try this in my classroom.
[…] This week I had the pleasure of training a group of elementary teachers on blended learning strategies. As a group, they wanted to focus on: Differentiation Student choice Assessment One of the str… […]
[…] A blog post explaining Choice Boards: a method to differentiate instruction and allow students choic… […]
[…] This week I had the pleasure of training a group of elementary teachers on blended learning strategies. As a group, they wanted to focus on: Differentiation Student choice Assessment One of the strategies we discussed with the potential to weave these three […]
This is awesome! I have been working on moving to a blended learning approach this year in my classroom, and the results have been fantastic. My concern, as I think is true with a lot of us, is that I needed to get over the whole “am I doing this right?” dilemna. I recently set up a lesson where the students were getting one teacher led station and two digital stations. The targeted skills were varied and the students loved it!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
I’m thrilled to hear your students are enjoying it, Brian! Don’t worry about whether or not you are doing it “right” because there are SO many ways to blend online and offline work. I’m sure you’re doing a fantastic job!
I have used tic-tac-toe boards for reading response for quite some time. I love the choice that it gives students when responding to literature. After reading your post about digital choice boards I was inspired to step mine up with some of the digital tools that we were already using in my blended classroom. Below is the link. I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or suggestions for improvement.
Calcutt Middle School
Central Falls, Rhode Island
Thank you, Melissa! I’ll check this out. I appreciate you sharing.
Thank you, Melissa. I will try this choice board with my 12th graders.
I will use the tic-tac-toe board to give students a choice to answer who, what, where, when, and why questions about a story.
[…] Source: Design Your Own Digital Choice Board | […]
I will use this with my Honors English 11 students for vocabulary
Good! I’m glad you can use it, Pat!
[…] uncomfortable choosing how they want to learn and demonstrate their understanding. Starting with a mini-choice board can provide opportunities for choice but on a smaller more digestible […]
[…] students are doing all of the work, our job is to set up the options. Many use things like “choice boards” to help facilitate. The choices can stay the same (or add new one in every so often), but it’s […]
How do I access this template?
The link to the template is below the yellow choice board. If you want to check out the example choice board, you can make a copy using the link below.
[…] Student Choice Menu Teaching Resources. Gingerbread Man Choice Menu: Based on Bloom's Taxonomy and CCSS by Amy Pearce. Genre Choice Menu 1 by Learning-Laughing-Leading. Book Club Choice Menu by Faithful. Student Choice Menu- Central Message of a Story by FunLovingTeacher. "Matter" Student Choice Menu by Teaching 2nd. Mission to Mars Writing Project Choice Menu. Persuasive Argument Tic-Tac-Toe Menu Choice Board. Design Your Own Digital Choice Board. […]
[…] Design Your Own Digital Choice Board. This week I had the pleasure of training a group of elementary teachers on blended learning strategies. As a group, they wanted to focus on: DifferentiationStudent choiceAssessment One of the strategies we discussed with the potential to weave these three areas of focus together is a choice board. There are several different approaches to designing a choice board, but the goal is to allow students an opportunity to select the activities they will complete to practice a skill or demonstrate understanding. The example above is a digital choice board I created using a Google Document. I encourage teachers to create their choice boards online, so they can embed images and hyperlink to additional resources or online tools. […]
[…] Video: “A bilingual brain solves problems faster” | Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day… Design Your Own Digital Choice Board. This week I had the pleasure of training a group of elementary teachers on blended learning […]
Can I access your google form so I can make a copy and make it my own? I currently do not have access to even view it.
Thank you for the great idea!
You can access a digital copy at –> bit.ly/digitalchoiceboard
[…] Wondering how to design your own digital choice board? Read Caitlin Tucker’s instructions. […]
Any recent updates to this? or tech suggestions in this pandemic/digital teaching age? Thanks!
No updates to this post, Kara, but I have posted several more choice board themed blogs. You can search my blog for those, if you are looking for more ideas.
I like the choice board as students can move at different paces.
My students like structure. The choice board gives them organized directions to complete the topic using differentiation and creativity.
When my students click on links it says they have to have permission. How do I make the links clickable so it opens a word document for them to type on? I’ve already put the directions on the word document but it doesn’t work. And there are no instructions anywhere!!!!
If you create a choice board for your students using Google Documents, you must make the choice board itself and any other documents you link to viewable to anyone with the link. If you want students to have viewable access to the choice board and then have them complete the tasks on another document, you’ll need to share a document they can edit. For example, I share a link to a “View only” version of the choice board in a Google Classroom assignment so kids can decide which activities they want to do. I also “make a copy” of a Google Document that each student can edit inside Google Classroom as they complete items from the choice board. If you are working inside the Microsoft environment, the process is different.
Although I’ve used ChoiceBoards for years, your online Choice Board is a great template and idea for our Covid online learners.
Hi! Just wondering what suggestions you have w/r/t grading. Would you add a rubric (if relevant) for each choice? I want to suggest choice boards to faculty I support (I work in higher ed) and I’m quite sure they will have questions about if there’s “more” grading involved because you have different assignment choices. Thanks for a great blog post!
The rubrics I design with teachers are always aligned with specific standards/skills. Even though there is a choice in how they demonstrate their learning, it doesn’t mean we are assessing different standards or skills. Ideally, they would use the same grade scale to assess student learning in this situation.
Might you have any examples to share? If you ever worked with any faculty willing to share, I would love to see! Thanks again!
Here is a curated collection of choice boards that elementary teachers shared with me on Twitter. I also have some additional examples of choice boards if you want to search my website. There is a search window when you click on blogs.
Thanks so very much, Caitlin! If there are any rubrics that go along with a choice board of assignments, I’d be grateful to see.
If you gave students the option to create a video, podcast, written piece, etc. and they’re all worth, say, 100 points, how do you grade them “equally”? (If that makes sense)
The product is the students’ vehicle for demonstrating their learning (understanding of key concepts or skills). If the teacher is giving students a choice of pathway to share that learning, I would still encourage them to use a standards-aligned rubric to assess the quality of their ideas or skills (regardless of the actual thing they produce). I hope that makes sense.
You inspired me!
Created this choice board as a way to incorporate lessons and activities that I couldn’t fit in with our modified Covid schedule this year. This was great as an anchor asynchronous activity for one group of students at the end of the quarter when I needed to support others with grade catch up. With another group, I was able to build this in as online work during station rotation time.
^Borrowed your font 🙂
Much appreciate all the great things you are putting out there into the teaching world.
Wow! Thank you for sharing this, Matthew! I’m thrilled this post on choice boards inspired you to create your own. I’m so glad my resources have been helpful.
Wow, Matthew. Your choice board was detailed and thorough. I am hopeful that I won’t be confused and I will be able to create mine from scratch for my 12th graders. I am teaching a short story ‘Sexy’ by Jhumpa Lahiri.
I will try to use the Tick-Tock-Toe, with my conjugation drills. I think it will be fun.