Megan Reynolds

Megan Reynolds

I am a teacher & designer. Connecting with students & seeing them enjoy learning is my favorite feeling on earth! I hope you enjoy this article!

How to Implement a Choice Board in an Elementary Classroom

FREE Blank Fillable & Custom Choice Board

All ages, all grades where you need 9 grid choice board. Start loving learning again! 


Choice boards are a great way to differentiate instruction and allow for student choice in an elementary classroom. A choice board contains a variety of activities that students can choose from to practice skills, demonstrate understanding, or showcase creativity. Implementing choice boards takes some planning and preparation but is a strategy that can engage students and allow them to take ownership over their learning. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to implement choice boards in your elementary classroom

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Step 1: Determine Your Purpose

The first step in implementing a choice board is to determine your purpose and objective. Think about the skills, standards, or content you want students to work on. Choice boards work well for reviewing material, practicing skills, or applying knowledge. The board should focus on one general concept or standard.

Step 2: Choose a Format

Next, decide on the format for the choice board. Common options include:

  • 3×3 grid with 9 choices total
  • Bingo board with 25 choices
  • Tic-Tac-Toe board with 9 choices
  • 4×4 grid with 16 choices

Consider how many choices you want students to complete and how much time they will need. Bigger boards allow for more options but may be better for longer activities or over multiple days.

Step 3: Develop Choices

Now comes the fun part – developing the choices! Come up with engaging, creative, and varied activities for students to choose from. Mix up the types of choices:

  • Create a hands-on activity
  • Design a game or puzzle
  • Include digital options like computer games
  • Offer art and building activities
  • Incorporate different reading materials or videos
  • Have them write, research, or journal

Choices should focus on the skill or standard identified earlier. Consider using a mix of applied, analytical, and creative choices. Offer differentiation through choice levels or using multiple intelligences.

Step 4: Create Clear Directions

For each choice on the board, provide clear directions listed right below or next to it. Be specific on what students should do and what materials they will need. Consider including sentence stems, timelines, page numbers, website links, or QR codes to support directions. If needed, provide a checklist of tasks to accomplish.

Step 5: Determine Accountability

Build in accountability by having students document their learning from each choice. This might include:

  • Requiring a certain number of choices completed
  • Having students write a reflection
  • Creating a product like a poster or model
  • Filling out an exit slip
  • Presenting their learning to the class

Step 6: Introduce the Board

Introduce the choice board to students by going over the objective, format, expectations, and accountability. Model how to read and complete each choice. Explain the procedures for getting materials, asking for help, and turning in work. Provide time estimates so students can pace themselves.

Step 7: Set Up the Classroom

To prepare the classroom for the board, organize any materials students might need like art supplies, books, or game pieces. Have needed technology accessible. Designate areas for different types of activities like space for building or filming. Allow flexible seating arrangements.

Step 8: Let Students Work Independently

On the designated day(s), allow students time to work independently or in pairs/groups on the choice board activities. Have them check off or highlight completed choices. Circulate to observe, answer questions, and keep students on-task. Adjust timing as needed.

Step 9: Follow Up and Provide Feedback

Conclude by having students share out, display work, or turn in their accountability piece. Provide specific feedback on student work. Reflect on how to improve your board for next time. Celebrate student success!

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Key Takeaways

Implementing choice boards takes planning ahead for the format, choices, directions, and accountability. Introduce the board clearly and allow students time to work independently. Choice boards allow for differentiation, autonomy, and engagement. Tailor them to your classroom needs for an exciting learning experience! With these steps, you can design and implement creative, skill-building choice boards in your elementary classroom.

FREE Blank Fillable & Custom Choice Board

All ages, all grades where you need 9 grid choice board. Start loving learning again!