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Shake Up Learning Show

Apr 16, 2019

I have been a fan of choice boards (aka learning menus) since my first few years of teaching.

I even shared some choice boards and ideas in my book, Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning From Static to Dynamic.

As a middle school language arts teacher, I began teaching the way I was taught--every student did the same thing at the same time.

But as I began to improve my craft and implement things like small group instruction, I learned that we can differentiate, offer choice, and have multiple learning opportunities happening at the same time--even in secondary.

What is a Choice Board?

  • Learning menus (aka choice boards) are a form of differentiated learning that gives students a menu or choice of learning activities.
  • Learning menus and choice boards can be created in a variety of styles and mediums.
  • They’ve been around for a long time and originated in a static, paper format.
  • With digital tools, we can bring the menus to life with interactivity and creation.

Why Use Choice Boards?

Choice boards provide students with flexible learning paths to the learning goal. Every student has different strengths, learning styles, and interests, and choice boards allow us to reach more learners in new and different ways.

Choice boards help teachers differentiate. There are many ways to differentiate for our students. Providing choice allows us to give students a voice in their own learning. It’s student centered!

“…at its core, differentiated instruction means addressing ways in which students vary as learners.”

– Carol Ann Tomlinson


In This Episode:

[00:28] - Kasey welcomes listeners to today’s episode, and explains that its topic will be choice boards (specifically digital choice boards).

[02:43] - Today’s shout out goes to Rudder Middle School in Northside ISD, in San Antonio, Texas!

[05:43] - Kasey talks about this week’s question, which comes from Mike Mohammed. He wants to know how people have been using technology to help students set goals and track their progress.

[07:46] - We hear an introduction to the meat of the episode, which is the teacher’s guide to digital choice boards.

[09:51] - What exactly is a choice board, or a learning menu?

[11:19] - We learn about some of the benefits of using choice boards, and what they can offer students.

[13:13] - Kasey digs into what choice boards look like and explains that they can be as simple or creative as you like. She also talks about how versatile they can.

[15:13] - Are choice boards and hyperdocs the same thing?

[16:11] - We hear about some of the types of learning menus, such as a simple list, a bingo board, or a restaurant-style menu.

[17:28] - Kasey talks about the tic-tac-toe choice board, which is one of her favorites.

[18:36] - The lesson design for choice boards is something that Kasey has learned the hard way, she points out. She then explains three things that you should notice on her tic-tac-toe templates.

[23:36] - Kasey gives an example of how her color-coding could work, and talks about the option of making the middle square a free option (pending teacher approval, of course).

[26:22] - Kasey talks listeners through the tic-tac-toe templates that she’s sharing today.

[31:16] - There are many other options for designing choice boards, Kasey points out; they don’t have to be tic-tac-toe style!

[33:48] - Kasey mentions a few other types of learning menus.

[36:09] - We learn about the menu that Kasey shared in episode 2 of this podcast, which was the 4 C’s Digital Learning Menu.

[36:53] - Kasey chats about some project ideas that can go onto a choice board.

[39:31] - We hear some final tips on choice boards.

[42:01] - Ready for the podcast question of the week? Here you go: where can you begin integrating choice boards in your classroom? What choices will you give? How will you assess the learning?

[42:38] - Kasey talks about how she can help with the Google Certification process through her three online courses:

The Google Certified Educator Level 1 Academy

The Google Certified Educator Level 2 Academy

Become a Google Certified Trainer Online Course

Interested in all three? Bundle them to save! Enrollment opens on May 21st for a limited time, and if you miss your chance, you’ll need to wait until November for another opportunity to sign up. Head to this link to learn more!

[45:05] - Thanks so much for tuning in! Don’t forget to subscribe so you can hear a new episode each week, and please leave a review (bonus points for using the word “y’all”!) so other teachers can find the podcast.


Links and Resources:

The Shake Up Learning Show

The Shake Up Learning Community on Facebook

Join the Shake Up Learning Book Study!

Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic by Kasey Bell

Education Podcast Network

Mike Mohammed

Tom Spall

Amber Teamann

The 4 C’s: The Superfoods of Learning - SULS002