A blackboard is a visual tool that teachers can use in the classroom to allow students to … make choices! Choice tables consist of two or more activity options that students can complete. The teacher specifies what options are available, and the student selects what activity (or activities) to do. Some panels are simple – choose one of the two options listed. Some choice panels are more complex; for example, nine options are displayed in a grid and students will select and complete three of them.
The selection panels are great because they give students the opportunity to choose how to get involved with the material they have studied and to demonstrate what they have learned in their own way. Students can choose an activity that allows them to play with their own strengths or an option that is new and challenging. They may want to study a favorite subject in depth or explore a new subject.
Choice boards are also great for adapting to different learning styles. For example, students may be more successful in submitting journal entries or reflections if they can choose whether to complete a written recording, a video recording, or a recorded audio recording. For a homework topic, you could provide links to a written article, a video, and a podcast (all on a similar topic), ask students to read / watch / listen to one of them, and create an answer or answer a question. about content.
Choice charts give students freedom in their learning process, which also requires them to take responsibility for their own choices. Allowing students to choose their own activities allows them to choose options that are interesting to them or that they can connect to at a deeper level, leading to more meaningful learning.
The choice panels can be as simple as two options listed on a whiteboard or as fancy as grids, bingo cards, photos, pictures or objects. They can be useful for distance or asynchronous learning, as they allow students to work at their own pace (within the allotted time). You can post your choice panels in any digital classroom used by your school, and students can select and submit their homework virtually by the indicated deadline.
Here are two examples of chart activities. (For more examples and activities, see the downloads at the bottom of this article!)
For a performance-based choice board:
- Students will select and repeat a 30-second monologue of their choice. Students can or they perform their monologue live in class on Friday or record a video with their performance and send it by 7pm on Thursday. Please send Ms. Smith the title of the monologue and the chosen style of performance by the end of Tuesday.
For a theatrical screenplay board (choose one of the following):
- Write a half-page monologue in which the main character expresses a strong emotion.
- Write a one-page scene in which the main character interacts with another family member.
- Write a one-page scene in which the main character does something for the first time with a group of people.
- Write a one-page scene in which two other characters talk about the main character.
The following exercises also show activities that you can use for your choice tables:
Click here for an example of an additional blackboard and a selection of exit questions.
Click here to learn more about and order Create Your Own Choice: Dramatic Activities.
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. She writes on the blog at www.kerryhishon.com.
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