RENEW
Jul 11, 2012

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How to Use Choice Boards to Differentiate Learning

 

A choice board is a graphic organizer that allows students to choose how they will learn a concept. The choice board below has nine squares. (There is no minimum or maximum, however nine seems to be a good number.) Inside each square is an activity. Students can choose one or several activities to complete. Choice boards can be organized so students need to finish one square before moving to the next, they can be random, or can be organized in a specific way. The level of difficulty of the activities can vary or stay consistent.

The activities on the choice board below have a similar level of difficulty. If you want students to complete multiple activities on the choice board, have students play tic tac toe (by themselves), completing three activities in a row. Be sure to put the most fun activity in the center.

This art history choice board was created for students to use if they finish an art project before the class is ready to start the next project.

 

{click to download a PDF of your own copy!}

Each choice board should revolve around a single concept or learning expectation that you want them to focus on. Art history is the concept for this choice board. Each square contains an activity related to the multiple intelligences. Students choose an activity to complete. Almost all activities are completed as individuals with one exception (the intrapersonal square.)

The choice board is attached to a bulletin board in the back of the classroom. There is a folder with detailed instructions for each activity on the bulletin board. These are intended to be independent, additional activities for students to work on once they complete their art projects. This choice board was created for middle school students and could be adapted for younger students by using pictures and different activities.

 

Have you ever used a choice board in your art classroom?

If you created a choice board for your classroom, what concept or topic would you choose?

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  • erica

    This is an amazing idea! I would like to do this for a whole unit. I think it would take my students a very long time (say 3 weeks) to accomplish something like this even scaled down a lot. I am wondering if you have any examples of elementary art choice boards because I’m having a hard time imagining what they would look like. Maybe it would be interesting to try with a higher level 5th grade group.

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Cassidy Reinken

      Thanks Erica!  If you use a
      choice board with elementary students, I suggest you use pictures and fewer
      words. Be sure to include activities that students can complete independently.  Keep your eye out for a future post of an
      elementary level choice board! 

      • Bri_balboni

        I wold love to hear more thoughts about making this work for elementary!!

    • http://www.artbke.blogspot.com/ Amanda Heyn

      I agree! This is a cool idea, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this idea for elementary kids. I’m thinking maybe it could be more like kits that the students could take back to their seats. Like, a bag of modeling clay with a sheet of sculpting challenges, or a bag of tangrams with some shapes to make. Or perhaps a packet of 5 “finish the drawing” pages or something. The wheels in my head are turning! :)

  • http://www.theartofed.com/ Chelsie Meyer

    Thanks so much for sharing! I will try this one out with my middle schoolers! I think choices make the world of difference with my students’ level of motivation. 
     
    I love how you have each box labeled with what type of multiple intelligence it is- Genius!
     
    A math teacher and I this past Spring created a Tic-Tac-Toe board for a Tessellation project we did.  Here is the link to the board http://bit.ly/S9vWx5.  We could edit it next go around by labeling for multiple intelligences!

    Thanks again!

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Cassidy Reinken

      Thanks for sharing your board- I might have to use it!

  • http://www.theartofed.com/ Jessica Balsley

    I also see this as an advocacy tool. How great would parents and administration feel knowing you are thinking about and aiming to help kids learn in ways that best fit their learning style! It’s powerful, and the kids will be more engaged this way. I am also thinking of ways to use this with the lower level students, It would have to be much simpler, like a way to share your artwork with a friend. 

  • Cathy

    I LOVE this idea! What a great concept for middle school students and even high school students as well. I think many of us differentiate in many ways and this is one way that provides a concrete way to differentiate, plus it gives the student more ownership because they get to pick how to go about their project/assignment. My mind is already spinning with other ways to use something like this in my classroom.

    Like Jessica, I am already thinking how I could implement this with lower elementary. Definitely would have to be much simpler but could be done with a unit on color or something like that.

    • http://www.theartofed.com/ Cassidy Reinken

      My mind was also spinning when I was introduced to Choice Boards. There are so many ways to use them! A unit on color would be a great start!

  • JanVG

    I  would REALLY like more information on this concept since I teach Middle School. It would provide more of a challenge for those who really need it.

  • Lstone

    Cool idea!  This is something I am going to try this year.

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