You Can Get with This or Get with That: Infusing This or That Choice Boards in the Classroom
Effective choice should offer (Katz & Assor, 2006):
- Autonomy - Do students have opportunities for choice, evaluation, and decision-making?
- Competence - Do students have an appropriate amount balance of rigor, relevance, and mastery?
- Connectedness - Do students feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment?
This or That Choice Board
One of my favorite tools for offering structured choice is the This or That Choice Board. Here is a sample Math This or That Choice Board that I created in Google Docs.
Would you like your own template? Click HERE!
What If I Don't Have Flexibility?
If you are like many teachers, a This or That Choice board can be the perfect solution for classrooms that don't have a lot of flexibility. For instance, you may not have much flexibility with the content, as students may have to solve multi-digit addition and subtraction problems. However, you could provide students with the autonomy to choose one problem or the other.
Another variation to this example is having a problem for students to solve in the first row and an opportunity to create their own word problem on the bottom row. In this example, I provide the answer to a word problem, but students have to develop a solution that makes sense.
This or That Choice Boards are also beneficial for providing students flexibility in the process of learning a new concept. Take, for instance, the following This or That Choice Board on Volume. Students will go through the board to meet the academic standard in their own way.
Remember, it is not the choice but the type of choice that matters most in the classroom. Effective choice provides students with opportunities to exercise autonomy, connectedness, and competence. Although choice is important, staying in the "sweet spot" of 2 to 9 choices is important, making a This or That Choice Boards extremely helpful!
Connectedness - Do students feel a sense of belonging and accomplishment?