Friday, July 6, 2012

Differentiated Instruction - Choice Boards

Last summer I attended a GT training and was introduced to choice boards! I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I think that students are more engaged and even challenge themselves more when they are given choices.  The great thing is....they aren't just for GT students. Choice boards work similar to tic-tac-toe; the student completes 3 activities in a row {up, down, diagonal} They can be adapted for ALL students and actually lend themselves well to differentiated instruction. On Tuesday, I will be attending another GT training specifically on choice boards and differentiated instruction {I'm super pumped about it!} I can't wait to learn more about these learning tools! {I promise to share what I learn!}

Choice boards can be set up in many different ways. You can base them off of abilities, learning styles, intelligences, and even levels of questioning. I have found it easier, if I focus on just one of these types. When creating the board, you want to plan out what type of activity each square will focus on. {You don't want to have 2 of the same type of activities in a row} The goal of the CBs are to have equally acceptable activities that you want the students to complete that are similar end products, but have varying ways to accomplish the final product. {For example, you are studying the Alamo. Students could choose activities from writing a diary from the viewpoint of being in the battle, recreating a model of the Alamo, creating a movie, etc.}The wonderful thing about CBs though...students can choose an activity they are willing to complete {taking into consideration their own likes/learning style/intelligence}, but they will have 2 other activities they will need to complete that will focus on other skills that they possibly may need to strengthen {but at the very least they're practicing other skills}! It's a win-win situation!

I recently put the choice boards I created for my homework reader's responses in my shop. My students are required to read 20 min nightly, however I found that many of them weren't really reading every night! These choice boards give student's different options to respond to their books, while focusing on varying skills. I've also included 4 blank {editable} choice boards so that you can create your own boards! .....And I used the adorable sneakers clipart to jazz them up from KPM Doodles {love her stuff!}

Here is an example template of how to begin creating a choice board based on Multiple Intelligences:
                                                       Source: Dare to Differentiate 

Here are some great resources:


  1. Love your Reader's Response choice boards you created! I was thinking of doing the same thing for my 4th graders this upcoming year.

  2. What a fantastic idea...i can't wait to read more this year! I am giving you the One Lovely Blog award. Stop by my blog to claim it!

    A Passion For Primary

  3. I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! This post was very helpful. I love how you shared those additional links. I have some exploring to do!

    Sweet Seconds

  4. What a great idea! I would love to us for the grades I work with. Can you suggest how to adjust for various grade levels and tell me what GT training is?

  5. I ventured into the world of choice boards with my fifth graders last year. My students and I both loved them. I will definitely be using them more often this year. My only issue with them is grading. I used rubrics, but the grading took forever. Do you use rubrics or have you found a different method for grading?

    I am new to the world of blogging. Come check out my blog at

  6. Katrina,
    I'll be honest - I really don't like rubrics! I don't like that it allows students to figure out the min of "how to get by". I give the students the guidelines for the boards and my expectations. Then I just grade according to their completed project. For example, the boards that I used for my reading response - I just graded their 3 completed responses for the week. As a class we went over what a response was expected to look like, we wrote a response together, and created an anchor chart. I simply graded it based on those expectations. I guess the way to think about it is just grade it as you would any other project - you've just given students the choices of what project they should complete. I hope this helps!

  7. This sounds like great differentiated instruction strategies. WE have been hearing about this program making its debut in our school systems next year or the year after. I guess they are waiting till all the teachers have the right training. Thanks so much for sharing this information, it was very helpful!

  8. We love this idea, thanks for passing it along!
    Feel free to check out the hundreds of literacy and maths stations we've made at

  9. Thank you so much for the links, found great ideas for my classroom!