We’ve talked about what choice boards are and the four reasons why you should use them in your classroom. Now we’re a couple of months into the school year, and you may be shouting through your screen, “No way! Choice boards will be too challenging to introduce now.”
But here’s the truth: Choice boards can be super simple, and they’re so worth it. Now is the perfect time of year to introduce them because routines and procedures have already been established, and you can easily add something new to your routine.
Common Challenges of Utilizing Choice Boards
Challenge #1: Students can get off-task. We all know that we’ve exited the honeymoon phase of the new school year and increased off-task behavior becomes a fear for a lot of teachers. You may worry that students won’t stay on task while using choice boards.
Challenge #2: Some students struggle to work independently. The purpose of choice boards is to encourage independence and allow students to choose their activities. This can feel daunting when we have students that struggle to work on their own.
Challenge #3: Sometimes students will avoid certain tasks because they struggle with them or don’t want to do them. You might be worried that you can’t support students as they work on choice boards.
How to Overcome Choice Board Challenges
#1 Provide engaging, meaningful, and fun choices on the choice board. You’ll find that once you learn which activities your students enjoy, you’ll be able to adapt them to many different standards. There will always be students that have a tendency to get off-task, but this behavior is less likely when students are working on something they enjoy and find value in.
#2 Remember that one of our jobs as teachers is to gradually release students toward more and more independence, and choice boards are a great way to practice that! They’re low-pressure and engaging. To support students who struggle with independent tasks, consider having a teacher station where students can come for a check-in or extra support. This allows students to have support, but still be leading the charge in their learning.
#3 To keep students from avoiding certain activities, try including the activity in a variety of formats. This gives them the chance to practice skills in a format that feels comfortable for them. This also ensures that students are working on the skill or standard you need them to work on, but doesn’t dictate the avenue they take to get there.
Want Holiday Choice Boards?
These are great for morning work, early finishers, or even centers – and will help you get into the festive holiday spirit.
Thanksgiving Choice Boards – Engage students in festive activities related to Thanksgiving. Some options include research, creative writing, and purposeful math integration.
Christmas Choice Boards – Get students in the holiday spirit with these Christmas-themed choice boards! Some choices include writing poetry, creating a picture book, and character development.
Want more ready-to-go choice boards? I have a ton made already for elementary school students! You can check out my science boards, math boards, and holiday boards! They are perfect for grades 3rd – 5th.