Science teachers are constantly hunting to find new and engaging ways for their students to review, especially after a year of hybrid-online teaching during a pandemic. How do you individualize your instruction for each student? The answer lies in Science Choice Boards.
The magic behind Choice Boards is that students become engrossed in material and are given options in how they learn. In this review and Paula’s presentation, we will cover how Science Choice Boards can play a pivotal role in your classroom, review topic/theme ideas and share activity examples.
Using Choice Boards in the Classroom
Though they are a fairly new tool, Choice Boards have erupted in popularity because they allow students to have a voice in how they want to learn. With one Choice Board you can evaluate your students’ education level, then properly provide the support each child needs.
Some reasons why teachers use Science Choice Boards:
- They are easy to use in synchronous and asynchronous classes.
- They can be modified for formative or summative learning goals.
- They are flexible enough to incorporate many types of assignments.
- They make students reflect on how they want to practice, and builds a variety of skill sets.
- They make space for choice and expression.
- They allow for relevance and rigor.
- Their format makes it easy to monitor progress.
Choice Boards can be assigned in a variety of different ways. You can use them in real time to help enhance your first teach. They can also be used in response to teaching as a spiral review or you can simply use them as a daily activity.
By no means is this a complete list, but it will provide you with a starting point for your journey with choice boards.
- Rapid versus Slow Change in Weather
- Weather versus Climate
- Living versus Non-living
- Structure & Function (Adaptations)
- Weathering versus Erosion versus Deposition
- Spiral Review
- Visual Literacy
Sample Choice Board Templates
Choice Boards give the option to push student learning forward or to bridge the gap in learning objectives. There are a variety of formats that can be used. Below is a brief overview of the complete examples Paula Noe provides for your classroom use. Browse through her complete Digital Science Choice Board slide deck.
Format Template Example #1:
In this example, your students must complete activity #5, but can choose two more topics to complete their tic-tac-toe game. The Instructional Module allows EduSmart to come along- side the teacher and provides students a different way to hear the story.
Format Template Example #2
Topic-Based Science Choice Board – Circuits
In this example, we have chosen to focus on circuits because it is one of the most complex standards that students struggle with. Through choice boards you can practice this topic from different angles – interpreting diagrams, creating circuits, multi-step thinking prompts, and higher-order skill-building exercises. Hear more about detail about this choice board example from Paula in her presentation here.
Format Template Example #3
Roll & Review Science Choice Board
Have students roll dice to decide which choice they will complete. This is a great template to do in virtual breakout rooms! Adding a super challenge question is always a fun way to integrate more thought-provoking questions. You can view this example and its activities here.
Format Template Example #4
Student Performance Task Science Choice Board
This last example is a student performance Choice Board– get your students through the learning process and into the “doing” part! This example is ideal for summative assessment pieces. At the end of the day, it is not about what your students know, it is about what they can do with what they have learned.
You can view this example and its activities here.
Integrating Choice Boards and EduSmart into Your Classroom
Paula Noe suggests keeping it simple at the beginning and providing fewer choices in order to accurately model how your Choice Board moves, feels and maneuvers. As you begin to integrate Science Choice Boards into your teaching, you can also introduce EduSmart to your students. Please consider partnering with EduSmart and gaining access to the EduSmart LMS where you will find many of the sample assignments presented above.
Using Science Choice Boards will help you be a difference maker in your classroom. Paula has chosen to partner with EduSmart simply because, “It makes us better.” She hopes her presentation will provide something extra for you to put in your toolbox to use along your teaching journey.