Home Educational Trends Discovering Autumn-Themed Choice Boards

Discovering Autumn-Themed Choice Boards

by Andrew Roush
choice boards

We know choice boards can be wonderful tools to incorporate and encourage student voice and choice into regular class activities. But choosing the right choices to share with students — well, it can be downright scary.

But fear not, educator. We’re collected some of the best Halloween and autumn-related choice boards, and tips to create them, so that you can make your next teaching choice an easy one.

Using Choice Boards

The concept is simple. With a board, students can choose from several different options for assignments or activities, in the classroom or asynchronously. 

Kasey Bell share tips and G Suite templates in her “Shake Up Learning” blog.

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. But with digital tools, we can bring the menus to life with interactivity and creation. Menus can be a simple list, a tic-tac-toe or bingo-style game, or get as creative and intricate as you like. …

I have found that menus and choice boards tend to be more popular among elementary teachers, but I used them in my middle school classroom, and now I use them in professional learning workshops with adults. Any grade level can use learning menus!

“Interactive Learning Menus (Choice Boards) with G Suite – FREE Templates” Kasey Bell. https://shakeuplearning.com/blog/interactive-learning-menus-choice-boards-using-google-docs/

In the “School and the City” blog, educator Kristen Yann outlines three reasons to integrate choice boards into your teaching.

Intrinsic Motivation

With choice boards, students are motivated to take on something they chose rather than something decided for them. “Students are more likely to internalize content if a learning activity is interesting to them or if they can make a connection to their own life,” Yaan writes.

Learning Styles

“Choice boards also cater to multiple learning styles, allowing students to explore content in ways that are exciting for them,” says Yann. “That’s empowerment!” 

Differentiation

You work to tailor your teaching to each student’s needs, and choice boards are a handy tool for that. “In order to maintain a growth mindset, I discourage students from choosing activities that will not help them grow academically,” Yann writes. “But ultimately, it’s their choice, and all of my boards are specifically designed, so I know that anything they choose is aligned to standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy.”

Selecting Boards

choice board

The Library Voice

As part of a series of monthly choice boards, The Library Voice from Shannon McClintock Miller, offers an October choice board, themed around fall holidays and this year’s election season. Choices for students include interactive storybooks, sing-alongs, coding activities, and lots more. Check it out here

Write Solutions

The Write Solutions blog, by Alicia Sullivan, includes math choice boards with fall themes for learning fractions and multiplication, in addition to useful tips on differentiation and assessment.

One way I build upon that is to sometimes provide students access to Answer Keys around my room. The answer key is designed to be self-checking and for student use. I place a sticky note over each answer. Once students have completed a problem, they find an “Answer Key Station” in the classroom and peek under just the sticky note they need. This instant feedback helps students to avoid making the same mistake across an entire assignment.

“Halloween Math Choice Boards” Alicia Sullivan. https://www.writesolutions.org/halloween-math-choice-boards/

Fall Reading Choice Boards

Educators looking for read-aloud activities should consider the choice boards shared by Hillary Kiser in her blog “Autumn Books and Choice Boards.” These activities relate to the books Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden and Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie.

Halloween Hyperdoc Template

You can also check this Google choice board template shared by educator Tonya Nugent. This template includes hyperlinks to coding activities, videos, a jigsaw activity, and even a few holiday-themed jokes to lighten the mood. Check out the template here.

More Choice Boards Ideas for Choosy Educators

Looking for more choice boards and tips on creating your own? Check out the links below and share your choice board ideas in the comments.

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