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independent reading project choice board

How to Use an Independent Reading Choice Board in the Classroom

If you’re looking for a way to shake up your independent reading time , try using a choice board! Independent reading choice boards offer students a variety of engaging activities to do during their reading time, and they’re a great way to differentiate instruction. Keep reading to find out how choice boards can enhance your reading block!

independent reading choice board

Need an independent reading solution NOW? Check out my Reading Response Journal Menus and find everything you need to keep students engaged and on task during independent reading.

It’s important to hold students accountable for their independent reading time. However, this becomes difficult when students aren’t sure how to communicate their understanding of what they read through writing. That’s where choice boards come in! Your students will be excited to choose the activity they are most interested in, and will stay engaged by having a clearly outlined task.

Here are some tips for using a choice board in your classroom:

Make Sure All Students Have Access to the Choice Board

Make “I don’t know what to do” a thing of the past by having students keep a copy of the choice board in their reading folder (put it in a plastic sleeve for extra protection), or create a designated area in your classroom where students will work on the choice board activities.

Choose Developmentally Appropriate Activities

This is going to change class by class and year by year, or even student by student! Your class may be ready to produce written responses about reading without prompting, or they may need graphic organizers for scaffolding. Make sure the activities on the choice board meet the needs of your current learners.

independent reading choice board

Give Students Time to Complete the Activities on the Choice Board

My preferred method was to have everything due at the end of the week. If the choice board tasks were more response-based, students might have 4 responses to turn in before Friday. For a project-based choice board, students might have to complete one Must Do and one May Do activity within the alotted time.

Allow Students to Share Their Activities

It is incredibly beneficial for students to share their choice board activities with their peers. This might look like two or three students displaying their work using a document camera, a few students reading their responses before heading to lunch, or simply displaying 3D projects around the room for students to peruse when they get a chance. Sharing helps students build confidence in their work. In addition, many students need examples when they begin new tasks, and what better place to get examples than from their own classmates?

independent reading choice board

A Choice Board System Done for You

Looking for a way to keep students engaged and on task during independent reading all year long? Check out my Reading Response Menus! Save your valuable time and energy with a done-for-you differentiated system for independent reading work that can be used in a variety of different ways. Your class will love choosing their own activities to demonstrate their reading comprehension!

What are your favorite independent reading activities?

Happy Teaching!

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  • Novel Study

Literacy Choice Boards

By Mary Montero

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Literacy choice boards increase comprehension and accountability during novel studies. These work with ANY book and work for assessment too.

When I first started using novel studies , I felt like I had to have elaborate packets of text-specific comprehension questions for each book we read. I was concerned about comprehension, accountability, and assessment. However, time and experience has taught me that students really thrive on choice and that there are ways to still provide rigorous reading practice without novel-specific activities. Enter, literacy choice boards!

Literacy choice boards increase comprehension and accountability during novel studies. These work with ANY book and work for assessment too.

How Literacy Choice Boards Work

Each choice board has a variety of activities that appeal to different learning styles. As a teacher, I determine how many activities students need to complete from each board and if there are any requirements. For example, sometimes I might ask students to select one activity from each column or row. 

Then students complete the activities in their reading journals during independent reading time. These activities can also become great discussion points during reading groups or centers when students share their journals. The work provides me valuable information about students’ comprehension and can also be used as assessments if needed.

Ready-To-Use Literacy Choice Boards

If you’re just starting out, differentiated choice boards are a great choice. My students always have these in their reading journals. The boards include dozens of prompts for responding to text and can be used for independent responses or literature circles. They meet many different learning styles and cover Bloom’s Taxonomy too. 

Novel Study Choice Board Picture 168033

I also have two free choice boards for incorporating writing and vocabulary into your novel study. Each one has 9 different and creative ways to respond to almost any novel. 

You can download all four literacy choice boards for FREE here!

When you want your students to practice specific reading skills with their novel, I recommend using skill-based novel study choice boards . There are 33 different options here to practice fiction and nonfiction skills, including 5 specific genre related boards.

Reading Skills Choice Boards 7109775 2

More Ways To Respond To Text

If you need even more options, my students also love these reading response task cards . I use these to engage students in thoughtful discussions and written responses about their reading all year long. The goal of these cards is to move your students beyond basic, literal understanding of what they are reading and branch out into inferential, critical thinking. Plus just like choice boards, they work with almost any book!

Reading Skills Response Task Cards 4412283

Mary Montero

I’m so glad you are here. I’m a current gifted and talented teacher in a small town in Colorado, and I’ve been in education since 2009. My passion (other than my family and cookies) is for making teachers’ lives easier and classrooms more engaging.

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Engaging both middle school and high school learners!

independent reading project choice board

Independent Reading: Choice Board Edition

The challenge(s).

How many times has a student responded with “I don’t like reading” when you introduce independent reading or reading in general?

This has been one of the biggest hurdles when I have attempted to bring independent reading into my classroom. Even after spending hours reading YA novels to be in the know and have oodles of recommendations, I have many students who still wouldn’t read.

Last year, it became even more of a struggle. We juggled asynchronous learning, online learning, hybrid learning, and a disconnect from students.

Our freshmen were the most difficult of the crew. We learned quickly that many did not have the stamina to read a book alone at home. In addition, many did not have easy access to books for a variety of reasons. Between the COVID craziness and the lack of access to novels, we started to brainstorm alternative options.

independent reading project choice board

The biggest question I have been asked by non-educators is why I put so much effort into helping my student find joy in reading. There are so many reasons!

I have found in my classroom, offering independent reading makes students more confident about reading and helps them find their reading niche in a safe environment. I allow students to try books and put them down if they don’t like them. It also helps students find their preferred topics and way to read.

Many students have found that by using audiobooks, they can read and understand more, but had not been given the chance to try it out. This is a big deal for students who do not qualify for an IEP or 504 plan because they do not always get the opportunity to try this reading style out.

Sure, not all students love to read. I do not want to force reading on students. I do not want to make them hate it more. But, I do want to encourage them to try a variety of ways to take in information because no matter what their post-grad plans are, they will need to read a variety of text types and write to communicate. I want students to become strong communicators and readers of the world.

This mentality is what brought me to the idea of a choice board for independent reading.

independent reading project choice board

I had seen choice boards work in elementary and middle school settings but had not seen it applied well in high school English classrooms. I decided to take a stab at it and created a choice board for independent reading. It gives students the choice to read a book and complete a reading journal or to complete a certain number of journal entries using the choice board with reading, listening and watching options. The options can include reading the news, reading short stories, listening to podcasts, or watching CNN10 (who doesn’t love Carl Azuz?). Suddenly students were taking in news, poetry, short stories, and podcasts like free candy on Halloween night. They had a choice in what they were focusing on and our students who struggled with finishing a novel were able to complete the assignment by the end of the quarter. In addition, they were writing clear and solid paragraphs in response to the text that they took in. Does this sound like something that could be a hit in your class? Click here to check out a freebie example of a choice board that I use in my class! Create a copy of it and make it your own by adding in podcasts and reading options that resonate with your students!

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Samantha in Secondary

7 Independent Reading Assessments for High School English

November 6, 2020 by Samantha H.

As a high school English teacher, a robust independent reading program has always been a staple of my classroom and coming up with unique independent reading assessments to make sure students have actually read was always a difficult task. Allowing students to have a say in their reading is an incredibly motivating tool. Students are much more likely to be engaged in class if they are interested in the text. This leaves teachers with a problem. If we are letting students choose their own novels, how do we know they actually read ? Here are some ideas for assessing choice reading for your secondary students!

independent reading project choice board

#1: One Pagers

independent-reading-activities

One Pagers are a popular form of independent reading assessment because they allow students to be creative and no two are alike. This makes it very hard for students to fabricate their knowledge because most of the included activities require students to analyze what they have read. This can include choosing theme songs for characters, illustrating a scene from the novel, or picking quotes that show the theme. The sky is the limit when coming up with the activities for your students to complete to fill their page.

One Pagers can easily be adapted for distance, 1:1, or hybrid learning if that is how you are teaching as well.

For more information about One Pagers, click here to see an in-depth blog post on the topic.

For a ready-made template with instructions, examples, and rubrics ready to go, click here to see my resource.

one-pager-project

#2: Response to Literature Activities

independent reading project choice board

Response to Literature activities make powerful independent reading assessments because they have students engaging with the text before, during, and after reading. The possibilities are endless as far as coming up with ideas that can work for any novel. Here are just a few:

  • Before Reading : Set context, activate prior knowledge, make predictions, develop questions, study the time period, investigate the author, etc.
  • During Reading : These activities can include anything from doodle notetaking , close reading , and more. AdLit has an impressive list of ideas on their website as well.
  • After Reading : Use this blog post for 7 great ideas!

I created a resource for my own students and decided it was worth listing in my shop and sharing with all of you. Independent Reading Activities for Any Novel includes a variety of activities that allow students to demonstrate their learning. The activities are split into the three categories: before, during, and after reading. There are ten activities total and they’re completely done which means NO prep for you.

activities-for-independent-reading

#3: Book Flat Lays

independent reading project choice board

One of my more recent favorite independent reading assessments has been Book Flat Lays. You’ve probably seen these on social media and I thought they were so clever that I decided to bring them into my classroom. This type of reading project requires students to think critically about elements in the novel and stage a photo of the book with props that show different aspects of the book. Again, this is another project that is very hard to fake, so if a student didn’t read, it’s almost always very clear.

For a full blog post on Book Flat Lays, click here to read through my entire process. This project is always a crowd pleaser and one that students talk about long after the cameras are put away.

book-flat-lay-project

#4: Literary Field Trips

book-assessments

One of my favorite ideas for independent reading assessments is to have your students create a literary field trip. This works especially well if your students are reading historical fiction or books that are based on a real place. (It even works for nonfiction as well!)

The gist of the project is that students research various places from a text. So, if students were reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah , they could make a list of locations in South Africa to research and create their field trip on. It’s a really clever way to incorporate multiple skills into one project.

To check out my pre-made version with everything you need to introduce this project today, click here .

book-assessment

#5: Literary Quote Books

independent reading project choice board

I got the idea for Literary Quote Books while scrolling social media one evening. I thought, “What if we have students choose the most meaningful quotes from any novel they’ve read and curate a book out of them then explain how they connect to the theme?” This was the basis for the idea, but it took off from there.

Truly, this can be a really flexible project for all types of learners. Students who are more artistic can draw a quote book out. Students who like to create digitally can use a program like Canva to design their quotes. (You could even have them create a social media carousel with them.) I’ve even had students who wanted to create and stage photos of the quotes or make them on large pieces of paper.

The possibilities really are endless with this idea. Since it incorporates close reading and theme analysis, the rigor is there no matter how the information is presented.

To check out my full resource, click here or the image below.

independent reading project choice board

#6: Mood Boards

independent reading project choice board

A  Mood Board  is a visual representation of carefully selected images that seek to elicit an emotional response from a viewer. Creating a mood board to represent a book requires a lot of analysis and critical thinking from our students.

I love having students put together mood boards because, again, it combines a lot of 21st century skills like spatial design, technology use, close reading, etc.

Check out my full blog post on Mood Boards here and see my ready-to-go resource in my shop right here .

choice-reading-projects

#7: Independent Reading Choice Board

independent reading project choice board

Just like choice reading, students love a good choice board to pick their own assessment. I have an editable Independent Reading Choice Board already done for you. Subscribe to my newsletter below and the template will be delivered straight to your inbox!

Get the Bundle and SAVE!

Download my full Independent Reading Unit Bundle and save 20% on ONE FULL INDEPENDENT READING UNIT . From start to finish, this unit is fully stocked with engaging activities and everything you need to run an organized, meaningful choice reading unit. Check it out here !

independent-reading-unit

Giving students the gift of engaging literature makes for lifelong readers. I hope you’ll consider giving your students choice in their reading picks. I know that any of these assessments will help you manage the task in an authentic, engaging way.

Happy teaching!

independent reading project choice board

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English Teacher Vault delivers engaging English lessons to secondary teachers.

3 Outstanding Ways To Use Choice Boards For ELA

Using choice boards in ELA (English Language Arts) is not a new concept, but for many teachers it might seem new because it has not become common practice in many schools.  Whether you learned about choice boards in college or the concept is brand new, you’ll find this post incredibly helpful to give you more inspiration for how to use choice boards with your high school English students.

What Are Choice Boards?

Choice boards are a way for you to give your students choices about any number of things in your high school English classroom. They are typically digital, and they allow your students to choose either what they will learn about, how they will learn about that subject, or how they will showcase their learning.

The research is well-documented that when you give students choice, they have more buy-in; they are more eager and invested in their learning. 

This makes sense if we pause to think about it because in our own lives as adults, we are always more motivated when we’ve chosen what we are going to learn about or how we are going to go about learning that thing. Consider for instance that you want to learn how to plant a garden this year. Some people might buy a book from the library, others might start listening to gardening podcasts, and others might pay for a course. Still others may ask a neighbor or find a mentor. 

We all learn differently and we are all interested in different things. Choice boards are a way to make space for this in our classrooms. 

One book that is incredibly helpful in understanding the why and the how regarding student choice is the book The Shift To Student Led by Katie Novak and Cat Tucker. Find this book here , it’s outstanding. 

What The Research Says About Choice Boards

In The Shift To Student Led , the authors suggest that we give students regular opportunities to choose either what they’re learning or how they are going about that learning; they suggest we give students choice daily . 

Similarly, in his book, The Highly Engaged Classroom, researcher Brian Marzano explains that “choice in the classroom has been linked to increased in student effort, task performance, and subsequent learning.” You can read more about his findings here .

There are a ton of studies out there on this, and it doesn’t take long to be convinced that giving your students choice is critical. For instance, a study by Cordova and Lepper titled “Intrinsic Motivation and the Process of Learning: Beneficial Effects of Contextualization, Personalization, and Choice,” found that when students have autonomy and the ability to make choices in their learning process, they are much more engaged, motivated, and often perform better academically.”

So we know that student choice matters–A LOT. But how do we go about giving students choice? Enter, the choice board. 

How To Use Choice Boards In The Secondary ELA Classroom

Choice boards are easy-to-navigate, and once students get used to using them, they can become a regular part of our classroom; a part that students look forward to. Here are 3 simple ways you can start using them right away. 

1.) Use Choice Boards to Begin A Unit

Starting a unit with a choice board can be a great way to hook your students into big concepts that you’ll be learning about. 

For instance, if you are beginning a poetry unit, instead of starting the lesson with direct instruction about what poetry is, give them a choice board that has a variety of poems on the choice board. Some of these poems may be ones that they read, others could be poems they listen to, and still others may be poems they can see performed on Youtube (i.e. spoken word poems). 

BONUS: scroll to the bottom of this post for a free poetry choice board that you can download and use with your own students. 

Students can toggle back and forth between different types of poems, choosing where they will linger. 

As students listen to and read the poems they’ve selected, they can fill out an “observation handout” like the one we provide at the bottom of this blog post. 

By doing this, students will start to form their own working definition of what poetry is. They will start to make connections on their own as they read, watch, or listen to a variety of poems. 

By starting your unit this way, students are self-directed, independent, and in control of the pace at which they are taking in content as well as what content they are taking in. 

Don’t forget to grab that free poetry choice board at the bottom of this post! 

2.) Use Choice Boards For Independent Reading Options

Independent reading can feel daunting and overwhelming when you have students that aren’t exactly jazzed about books. 

It’s incredibly hard for some students to find a book that they want to read and stick with it because they have years of experience avoiding reading. 

A key to fostering a classroom where students partake in independent reading or SSR on the regular involves them finding books they are interested in reading. 

Again, let’s consider how a choice board could help. 

Create a choice board with 9 different reading selections on it. Include on the choice board a variety of types of books–nonfiction, fiction, dystopian fiction, romance, YA, novel in prose, etc. 

You can find first chapters read aloud by authors on Youtube. And although it takes a bit of work to put this together on the front end, ultimately it will pay off tremendously int the time you save walking students through how to choose a book that interests them. 

Another way to do this is by putting the work of creating the choice boards in the hands of the students. In her article Strategies to Make Choice Boards More Efficient , Katie Novak explains how you can instruct your students individually or in small groups to find one concept to put on the choice board. In this case, that would mean that partners could each find one chapter read aloud by an author on youtube and put that on the class choice board. 

Side note–the book pictured above is an outstanding resource for learning how to use more choice boards in your classroom!

Many times students are faster and more efficient at finding great information that we are, so we might as well use that to our advantage when we can! 

Once you have created the choice board for independent reading, give students a handout or a one pager where they can jot down what stood out to them from the first chapter they listened to. 

Anytime students finish a book for independent reading, direct them back to that choice board (or create more choice boards as they year goes on), and allow them time on their own to choose books by listening to curated first chapters on the choice boards. 

3.) Use Choice Boards For Grammar Instruction

Grammar instruction can be tricky in the high school English classroom because many of our students come to us with wildly different skill sets in this realm. 

Some students have strong grammar knowledge, while others don’t know what a subject and a verb are. You can grab our FREE unit on teaching parts of speech here to get a general idea of where your students are. (Link)

The choice board can be incredibly helpful for allowing students to focus on what they need to learn if they are in different places. 

Here’s how you can set this up: create a choice board that has 4 different grammar concepts on it and allow students to access the lesson that they need the most. For instance, you might put on the choice board a lesson on fragments, another lesson on comma usage, another lesson on sentence types, and a final lesson on subjects and predicates. 

Students can then go through the slideshow for this grammar concept on their own filling out their guided notes handout. 

At the end of the lesson, they can write a quick write response that requires them to to showcase their understanding of the concept. These quick write responses can be super easy to grade if you just have students highlight a sentence or two in the response that shows their knowledge of the concept (we have over 50 of these already made in the English Teacher Vault). 

This grammar choice board plan might sound overwhelming if you don’t have grammar lessons already created in a way to simply link them to a choice board, which is why we’ve created two entire grammar curriculums that you could use filled with no-prep lessons that students can easily navigate on their own. You can find more information about what we’ve got in the English Teacher Vault here .

Whether you are introducing a new unit, helping your students find books they love, or teaching the grammar concepts that your students need the most, choice boards are a fantastic way to give your students agency over their learning. 

Not excited about creating all these resources? We’ve got over 200 resources in the English Teacher Vault that you can use today to get started teaching grammar, poetry, writing, and novels. Find out more when you click the link below. 

Related Reading

The Shift To Student Led by Catlin R. Tucker and Katie Novak

The Importance of Student Choice Across All Grade Levels by Stephen Merrill and Sarah Gonser

Using Choice Boards To Boost Student Engagement

Tips From Dr. Marazano on Engagment

Strategies To Make Student Choice Boards More Efficient by Kative Novak

Your Free Resource To Start Using Choice Boards Today!

Grab this Poetry Choice Board (PDF),  and give it a try in your classroom! Here’s the link to a google slides version.  

Get our whole no-prep poetry unit when you join the English Teacher Vault! 

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The Literary Maven

November 25, 2015

  • Using Choice Boards to Differentiate in the Classroom

Meet your students' varying needs with motivating student through choice by using choice boards in the classroom to differentiate during novel units, homework assignments, author studies, and other units of study.

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independent reading project choice board

Love this idea. I use choice boards often - with vocabulary activities (red, yellow, green: depending on how they perceive their own knowledge of the words), after short story readings (writing choices: analytical, informative/expository, narrative)... The list goes on!

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15 Fun Ways to Freshen Up Your Independent Reading Activities

Inside: Is your choice reading program feeling stale? Are the independent reading activities falling flat? We can engage students and keep book love fresh by weaving in new ideas from time to time!   

Independent reading programs can be the life of your English Language Arts classroom party. Books truly can be magical for students and teachers to share together and to read independently. When inspiring stories are ubiquitous in our classrooms, vibrant discussions help to strengthen the overall community and culture.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into independent reading or looking for ways to freshen up your existing approach, you’ll find lots of ideas here! If you’ve been around my blog or my Instagram account for long, you probably already know my strong distaste for reading logs and accelerated reader. Compliance-driven accountability tools create a negative space between students, books, and teachers.

In this post, you won’t find unnecessary strategies that frustrate or bore readers. Instead, you’ll find over a dozen fresh ideas for bringing healthy discussion and community to your independent reading program.

Previously, I’ve written about assignments we can use to assess students’ progress with reading literature standards when it comes to their independent reading books. But, beyond standards assessment, I find little to no value in layers of accountability that feel like work just so we can “make sure” students are reading.

If we establish a positive reading culture , students will read. Let’s check out the activities. Keep in mind, you won’t find predictable, structured bell-ringer type approaches here. I like to keep it fresh because that’s my style. Also, variety drives away boredom and unleashes creativity.

For the purpose of clarification, independent reading refers to when students are reading a book of their own choosing . They may be using an audiobook or even sharing the book with parents, but students are reading the book either in class or at home because it’s a book they have chosen to read. Typically, this work is a meaningful extension of additional required classroom texts.

1:  ENTRANCE QUESTIONS

Entrance questions can be a fun way to open up thinking. We can pose these questions when students walk into class or after independent reading time. The purpose of an entrance question is to get students talking about their books, which contributes to a social reading environment. Indirectly, students will be getting ideas of books they may want to read in the future, and those who are answering the questions will be reflecting on what they are currently reading.

Consider these possible examples:

  • Find the most important word from the last 2 pages you read. Why is it important to the story?
  • What is the setting of your book? Does the protagonist enjoy living in this setting? How do you know? How does the setting cause limitations or provide freedom for the characters?

Entrance questions provide a thin layer of accountability. Students who are not reading their books will have a difficult time coming up with authentic answers to the prompts.

You can find more entrance prompts like this here .

Reading prompt bell ringers

2:  SKILL APPLICATION

One of the best ways we can bridge the gap between whole class texts and independent reading activities is to ask students to apply the skills we are teaching in a whole-group setting to their choice reading books.

For example, if you teach students a five sentence summary strategy using a short whole-class text, ask them to apply their summarizing skills to their independent reading book. Analyzing figurative language as a class? Why not extend that practice to independent reading? Making inferences about characters? Same thing.

I like to use scaffolding tools like graphic organizers and bookmarks to make a seamless connection between whole-class texts and independent reading books. I recommend modeling with the same tools students will be using on their own.

Reluctant readers will be more likely to invest in their independent reading books if they feel the books are an important part of their learning process.

Reading strategy bookmarks are a great way for students to deepen their comprehension and analysis by writing about what they have read #ReadingStrategies #ReadingRoutines

3:  READING CONFERENCES

Reading conferences are opportunities to get to know readers. During a true reading conference, the teacher sits with each student to have quick conversations about how students are approaching their independent reading books. We can ask students summary questions, inference questions, analysis questions, and more.

Reading conferences are another opportunity to bridge the lessons and skills we are working on as a whole class with the books students are reading on their own. Many secondary teachers stray away from reading conferences because we have so many students and a short amount of time to meet with them.

I’ve used five-minute reading conferences during independent reading time. This means I am able to conference with two students each day, and it takes me two to three weeks to make it through the whole student roster. That’s okay! Meeting with students one-on-one allows us to differentiate the reading skills and strategies we want them to work on, and it helps to build relationships with them.

Plus, if we can tell they aren’t really engaging with their book, we can use this time to help them find a book they will enjoy more.

Independent reading alternatives to the reading log

If you aren’t ready to embrace the one-on-one reading conferences approach, give small group conferences a try! Meet with three to four students at a time to discuss a reading strategy (predicting, inferring, visualizing). We can talk about how dialogue impacts pace or how the author uses figurative language to engage readers.

4: BOOK CHECK-INS

In Reading in the Wild, Donalyn Miller recommends a status of the class, which is where we touch base with each student to inquire about their reading progress. When I say your name, share out what page you’re on and something interesting about your reading! We can do this while conferring one-on-one, when taking attendance, as we circulate the room during independent reading, or in small group format when sharing about our reading.

However, Pernille Ripp recommends a second option for reading checks, which is asking students to sign in at the beginning of each class by updating the current page number of their independent reading book. We can streamline this process with a digital or print whole class book check-in sheet that can later be analyzed for trends (pictured below).

At the end of a week or month, we can ask students to total the number of pages they have read and submit that number via a Google Form. This is data we can use to reflect on as a class.

Alternatives to the reading log for independent reading #IndependentReading

5: CASUAL BOOK TALKS

What are people typically really excited to do after reading something super good? Tell others, of course! That’s why informal book talks are an engaging way to open up authentic social reading situations.

After independent reading time, ask for volunteers to share something exciting, moving, or humorous from what they’ve read, a favorite line or passage, or an impressive example of author’s style. I consider these informal book talks, but I don’t recommend titling them as such to students because it increases the formality.

Just ask who wants to share, and let a few voices shine. To make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate, keep track of who has already shared. When you run out of volunteers and still have students who haven’t shared, ask them questions about their book.

“Jaclyn, I see you are reading ___. What happened in your reading today?” 

“Nathan, what’s your favorite part of the book you are currently reading?”

The expectation to share our reading is a gentle reminder to students:  You need to be reading. It will be your turn soon.  This layer of accountability is one I’m comfortable with because sharing good books is an authentic reading practice.

6:  READING SPRINTS

Here’s another after-independent reading activity, and this one engages the whole class! Reading sprints are when students answer a standards-aligned question about their book directly following reading time. They jot their thoughts on a sticky note and then share it on the board.

As a teacher, there are multiple ways we can lead short or long on-the-spot discussions about literature skills using these sticky note collections. Students’ responses to questions will give us insights as to what skills we need to hone.

Reading sprints keep the spirit of community reading alive in our class and allow us to tie independent reading to whole-class reading lessons seamlessly!

How to run reading sprints with middle and high school students #ReadingSprints #IndependentReading #MiddleSchoolELA

7:  READING RATE GOALS

In 180 Days , Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle recommend having students set their own reading goals based on their reading rates. To do this, have students read for ten minutes. They should record the page they begin on and the page they end on. With that number, they will multiply by 6 to find the number of pages they can read per hour. Then, students should set a goal for the number of pages they want to read in a week.

Gallagher and Kittle suggest teachers could grade students upon whether or not they meet their self-determined goal, but my own preference is to avoid grading with independent reading as much as possible. There have been plenty of times I haven’t met my own goals for finishing a book or reading as much as I should have in a month, and I’ve needed to give myself some grace.

Of course, text complexity plays a role in students’ reading rates, and they need to be taught to set goals that are appropriate for the text they are reading. Students can also set goals for engagement, environment, stamina, and variety of reading.

8:  FIRST PAGE SNEAK PEAKS

Hooking students on good books is the first step toward a thriving independent reading program. Over the years, I’ve noticed the most engaging books often have high-interest first pages.

So…let’s take advantage of some sneak peaks! Either with physical books or digitally, have students read the first page, record their thoughts, share their thinking with a small group.

This activity is not necessarily an alternative to a reading log, but it is excellent for building our “to read” lists and promoting a positive reading culture.

High interest first lines of literature

9:  VIEWING PARTIES

Viewing parties have recently become popular because they enable groups of people to watch videos together even when they’re apart. When it comes to independent reading, why not host trailer viewing parties? Students can enjoy the trailers as they sit in our classrooms, or they can watch remotely.

Viewing parties are yet another way to share amazing book recommendations with others. Students can recommend book trailers they think their peers would enjoy, and teachers can generate book trailer lists based on weekly or monthly themes.

Why not host monthly viewing parties as a way to recap First Chapter Friday books (here’s a list from a friend !) you have previewed or other excerpts you’ve shared? They’re a friendly reminder that those books are still available for the reading!

Get new books on students’ radar by finding authors who are reading excerpts from their own books. Or, invite authors on Twitter like Jennifer Nielson to host a virtual book reading or Q and A with your class.

10:  GENRE EXPOSURE

I first began introducing literary genres slowly throughout the year when I read The Book Whisperer years ago. Over time, I saw the value of this approach. While older students generally already have a specific taste for certain genres, exposing them to a variety of them throughout the year helped students to expand their palettes.

Some specific ideas…

Introduce new genres with a brief set of notes. ( You can find mine here .) Discuss common characteristics of that genre. Read excerpts from those genres…first pages, first chapters, high-interest passages, and back covers. You can also hold a genre sorting activity to get more books in students’ hands.

11:  COLLECTIVE READING WALLS

After students finish a book, have them fill out a book spine and add it to your classroom decor! This simple activity gives both teachers and students a visual for community reading volume. The trickiest part of using the book spine strategy is remembering to have students fill them out! So, I recommend building in a regular space for this to happen.

Choose a day of the week, and write it into your lesson plans for that day! On a bi-weekly or monthly basis, give students 5 to 10 minutes to complete their book spines in class and add them to the wall if you desire.

Book spines for tracking independent reading and creating a community of readers #ChoiceReading #BookSpines #IndependentReading #EnglishTeacher

12:  READING LADDERS

Reading ladders are my absolute favorite alternative to the reading log! They still allow space for students to record what they’ve read. But they feel less intrusive. Plus, reading ladders are convenient for discussing book diet, reading volume, and reading identity.

With a reading ladder, you start with a bookshelf. Then, choose how you want to label each shelf. I often choose to label shelves with words like “just right,” “entertaining,” “challenging,” “easy,” and “frustrating.” This labeling system helps readers to identify the complexity of books they are reading. We always discuss how it’s okay to read a picture book that is easy. And, it’s okay to read a classic that is challenging! The key is to know what you are reading and why.

Here are my my print and digital reading ladders.

Help students develop an awareness of what they enjoy reading with My Reading Ladder #middleschoolela #reading

13:  READING DISPLAYS

Another way we can make reading a visible part of our classrooms is through bookish displays. It’s hard for students to forget about reading when they are surrounded by high-interest novels! Reading displays are a non-invasive way to track collective reading.

Display novels you want to draw attention to at the front of your classroom or face-out on your library shelves. Consider having students contribute to a class bulletin board. Here are some bookish bulletin board ideas I’ve created using social media concepts.

Bookflix reading bulletin board kit and student activity #ClassroomDecorations #MiddleSchoolELA

14:  READING CHALLENGES

Engage readers with challenges to get them reading more often! Try challenges with unexpected twists. Read under a homemade fort, in a hammock, or on vacation. Expand your genre diet by dipping your toes into something new. Recommend books to a friend or read something recommended by a coach!

Format reading challenges into a tic-tac-toe choice board or BINGO board and have them submit their titles whenever they finish a certain number of novels.

You can also work with students to create individual or whole-class challenges to read a certain number of pages each week or month. Students can fill out a simple Google Form at the end of the time period to indicate how many pages they read.

Reading challenges choice board; independent reading activities for middle school ELA #MSELA #Reading

15:  READING JOURNALS

After reading, we can ask students to write about what they’ve read. Connecting reading and writing is a healthy habit that encourages reflection and creativity. When students see literature from an author’s point of view or when they approach their own writing to apply the literature techniques they’ve analyzed, students are empowered!

Reading journals (whether recorded digitally or in a reader’s notebook) are one way to build in standards-aligned accountability. We can hit both reading and writing standards! Here are two sets of writing journals you can use to get started with journaling about reading:  Set 1 and Set 2 .

Want to prioritize the questions but cut the writing? Readers naturally discuss what they are reading with others! Promote a book club type culture ( even when students are all reading different books! ) by keeping high-interest discussion prompts or more basic comprehension-style questions handy.

Reader response journal prompts for any novel

The KEY:   Every good idea is only good in moderation.

As with reading logs, any and all of these tools could be used in a way that negatively impacts our readers…including using them too often or treating them as “I gotchas.” It’s ongoing work and reflection to identify whether what we are asking of students is drawing them closer to reading and further on their reading journeys or whether it is doing the opposite.

If we really want to know whether our students are reading, all we need it do is watch them. Are they devouring books? Sharing their favorite parts? Carrying books with them? Flipping pages with eyes tracking during independent reading time? These are authentic indications of reading. Best of all, they don’t add anything to our plates, and they won’t turn our readers away from books.

meaningful activities for choice reading; alternatives to the reading log

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7 Choice Board Examples to Bring Into Your Classroom

independent reading project choice board

Choice boards give students the freedom to decide on learning activities that interest them and they're perfect for learning in-class or at a distance.

In this post we'll explore what choice boards are, how to make a choice board, some example choice boards and more! Let's dive in.

What is a choice board?

Choice boards are graphic organizers that empower your students to take an active role in their learning by choosing the activity or activities that they are going to complete. These boards can be physical or digital and include different activities around a particular subject area for students to complete in a given timeframe. While as the teacher you select all the possible activities, your students are given the choice to pick from the list to decide how they want to continue engaging with the lesson. 

How to make a choice board

There is no one right or wrong way to make a choice board and thankfully there are a ton of great examples to help inspire your creativity. That being said, here are a few guiding principles to help get you started:

  • Determine the purpose of your choice board
  • Align your choice board with specific learning outcomes
  • Select activities for your choice board that fit your learning outcomes
  • Determine your choice board rules including the number of activities to be completed and if there are any must-do activities
  • Select your choice board layout and style
  • Put your board together

It’s also important after using a choice board to make time to reflect afterward to see if there are any changes or improvements you want to make for the next time you use a choice board in your classroom.

Choice board examples

There are a lot of ways to set up a choice board for remote learning, depending on how creative you want to be and how much time you have.

Below are 7 choice board examples ranging from short and simple to ultimate creativity.

7 choice board examples for virtual learning

Bitmoji Virtual Classroom

"Most teachers I know use Google Slides to make choice boards. There are lots of fun templates out there", says Carrie Willis, Technology/STEAM Director from Redlands, CA., "plus, it is fun to add bitmojis to the boards!"

Virtual classroom choice board example

Google Slides are a great option for choice board examples when you want to get creative. If you're not familiar with Google Slides, they work just like Powerpoint, but are all online, so you can easily share it with your class. Google Slides allow complete freedom to get creative with your theme and add your own backgrounds, images, and add links to anywhere.

Virtual Makerspace Choice Board

virtual makerspace board

"I like Google Slides because it's directed while also giving students freedom. It's very contained and students can't click out to something else," said Ms. Miller. Read Ms. Miller's tips for creating a virtual makerspace choice board here .

Tic Tac Toe Choice Board

TicTacToe is a great choice board template to use

How to make a choice board with Google Slides

Step 1. outline your ideas.

Get started by mapping your ideas on paper. Think about what theme or learning goals you want your board to center on.

Step 2. Decide what activities you want to include.

Try to include a mix of activities that your kids are familiar with, but also some new items too. You can always change it up later.

Step 3. Sketch it on paper

Think about the way you want to organize information. The way your board is organized helps students find an activity to meet their learning goals quickly. Here are some ideas:

  • Activity type - robotics, coding, drawing, building
  • Learning concept - counting, reading, science
  • Theme - outside, animals, oceans, space, family
  • "Virtual classroom" with activities are organized like they would be in a real room

Step 4. Make the Choice Board Slide

When you're ready, set up a slide with the same layout that you sketched on paper. Add text boxes to label each of the areas or activities. To add a text box, go to "Insert" then "Text box". I used a table to make my tic-tac-toe board.

independent reading project choice board

Give your students direction by adding images they're used to seeing. They'll know what to expect when they click on the activity if they see the app icon, character, or book cover they already know.

add images to your choice board

PRO TIP! You can search for images to add to your choice board directly inside Google Slides.

independent reading project choice board

Finally, add links to each of your activities by selecting the images, then clicking the insert link button on the menu.

independent reading project choice board

When you're finished, you can share the link to your slides with your class, or you can save the slide as a PDF and all the links will be clickable.

All About Dinosaurs Seesaw Choice Board

Seesaw is a great place to add your choice board so that you can easily collect student responses and your kids can easily interact with the activities.

This super fun choice board is all about dinosaurs

Seesaw's Community library has tons of choice board examples for you to choose from. The example above focuses on dinosaurs and allows students to decide what part of the dinosaur they want to learn about, as well as what activity they want to do. Then, students are required to label each part of the dinosaur to demonstrate their knowledge, all within the Seesaw activity.

How to embed links in a Seesaw activity

In my tic-tac-toe example from Google Slides, I could export the final design as a PDF, then upload it to Seesaw and all the links would still work for my students to click on. See how here . See more Seesaw choice bard examples that include links here .

Kodable Bingo Seesaw Choice Board

Bingo choice board example

Bingo is another style of choice board that is easy to use with your students. Samantha Selikoff, technology teacher in New Jersey shared her design for Kodable Bingo earlier this summer. Using the Seesaw activity creator, it is easy to create the bingo design for kids to complete on their own.

Step 1. Create the bingo board in Word, Google Docs, or any editing tool you're comfortable with. Perhaps give Google Slides a try!

independent reading project choice board

Step 2 Take a screenshot and add it to your Seesaw activity using the image upload option.

independent reading project choice board

Step 3 Add dauber shapes for students to add to their completed board.

independent reading project choice board

Change the color and transparency by using the styling tools below the shape. Duplicate the shape 10-15 times.

independent reading project choice board

Symbaloo Choice Board

If you're looking for a simple solution to direct student learning.  Symbaloo is a fast and easy way to set up choice boards for remote learning this school year.

independent reading project choice board

The no-frills interface uses a simple grid, but also allows customizations like backgrounds and custom colors.  You can add links to all your relevant activities as bookmarks or shortcuts for your class.

independent reading project choice board

It is important to think about how you want to organize the information on your choice board so that it is easy for a student to figure out where to go. Both teachers chose to include sections for each of their classes in the above examples, while also including a section that links to the "approved" activities directly.

Learn more about using Symbaloo for your remote learning choice boards in their instructional video here .

Choice board template

As you can see from the examples above, there are a lot of choices for you to make for your own choice board! Thankfully there are a lot of great choice board templates available online for you to help you get started faster.

Here are a few online resources that provide choice board templates:

  • Slides Mania offers free Google Slides templates
  • Teachers Pay Teachers has over 1,600 choice board templates to choose from starting at $1
  • Elkhart Community Schools has also curated templates for spreadsheets and google docs

Frequently asked questions about choice boards

What are the benefits of using choice boards in the classroom.

Using choice boards in the classroom offers several benefits including:

  • Increasing student engagement
  • Promoting differentiated instruction
  • Improving student motivation
  • Promoting creativity and problem-solving skills

How many choices should be on a choice board?

The number of choices you give on a choice board should give students the opportunity to feel like they have a choice in their activity without overwhelming them with too many options. This will depend on the type of choice board you are using as well. For example, a tic-tac-toe choice board will have nine choices while a bingo choice board will have 25 options available. When in doubt, use less choices to start and see how students respond before adding in additional options.

How do you implement choice boards in the classroom?

Just like with any classroom activity, choice boards should be implemented by clearly explaining guidelines and expectations for students to follow. This includes the activity options, the timeframe allowed, and any other specific requirements including cleanup or turn in responsibilities. After the activity starts be sure to monitor progress and support any students who need assistance. Finally, once your choice board activity is done give students (and yourself) a chance to reflect on activity.

Choice boards are a great classroom resource for you to empower your students to take an active role in their own learning. Plus, they are so much fun for everyone! If you’re looking for more fun and educational classroom activities try out Kodable’s free educator plan to help your students learn the basics of computer programming. It also makes for a great choice board activity!

Kodable has everything you need to teach kids to code!

In just a few minutes a day, kids can learn all about the fundamentals of Computer Science - and so much more! With lessons ranging from zero to JavaScript, Kodable equips children for a digital future.

Tanya G Marshall-The Butterfly Teacher-transforming learning for all students

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Home » Blog Posts » Literacy Centers » How I Use Choice Boards to Run Literacy Centers

How I Use Choice Boards to Run Literacy Centers

Frustrated by all the work it takes to “group” students for centers? Yeah, I was too! This post shares details on how to use choice boards to run literacy centers for upper elementary classrooms.

A FREE planning guide for literacy centers is included.

independent reading project choice board

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the  full disclosure here. *

This post is a part of a series on helpful content geared toward literacy instruction in upper elementary classrooms. Here are the other posts to checkout once you’ve read all of this post:

  • Why You Need to Have Literacy Centers in Your Upper Elementary Classroom
  • 4th Grade Literacy Centers
  • Free Literacy Center Apps
  • Teaching Strategies for Reading Comprehension in Upper Elementary Classrooms*
  • Ideas to Help Older Students Who Struggle with Spelling*
  • Read Alouds for Upper Elementary Students*
  • 10 Best Novel Studies for 4th & 5th Grade Students*
  • 8 Clever Ways to Get Students Writing More*

Posts with * beside their titles have free downloads available!

Why Use Choice Boards for Centers?

When it comes to managing  literacy centers  in my classroom, I feel like I’ve tried it all!

  • Fixed Groups
  • Animal Groups
  • Color-Coded Groups
  • Flexible Grouping

But I still struggled to manage my small group rotations and centers with these systems.

With lots of research I found out about choice boards, which are also called learning menus.

I did tons of procedures training with my students and found that this flexible grouping system with choice boards is the BEST system for me!

My students learn to move around the classroom and choose centers independently.

So they are more motivated to stay on task and complete their center work!

Using Choice Boards for my Literacy Centers gives my students ownership of their work and this system makes it SUPER easy for me to differentiate instruction.

Literacy Center Choice Boards also keeps my students from interrupting me about what to do next while I’m working with a small group or with an individual student at my teacher table.

independent reading project choice board

What Are Choice Boards?

As mentioned above, choice boards are sometimes called learning menus.

I have also heard them called:

  • Learning Tic-Tac-Toe Boards
  • Activity Boards
  • Choice Maps
  • Menu Boards

A choice board is a piece of paper with a board or grid of squares on it that has options for students to choose from.

Some choice board templates have a grid of 9-squares. My learning menus for 3rd and 4th Grade literacy centers have only 6-squares.

I have learned that too many choices overwhelms my students, so I decreased the number of squares.

independent reading project choice board

With my students, I prefer giving them guided choices, so I shade two of the choice board squares. Then I train my students to complete those squares FIRST.

Having literacy activities on a menu board eliminates the need for any center rotation charts.

Plus, with choice boards, students are more motivated when they have a choice. T hey tend to stay engaged and on-task longer.

How to Launch Literacy Centers with Choice Boards

Before I give students their choice boards with the literacy games and activities that they can choose from, I gather data from assessment on their strengths and weaknesses.

Then I compare their skills to the standards and objectives of our school ELA curriculum, which is aligned to Common Core.

This information is important because it will help guide my instruction, and it will help me choose the right reading stations and literacy materials.

I also DO NOT assume students will understand how to move through our literacy stations independently just because they have a learning menu with options!

It takes several weeks of scaffolded, persistent, and patient training for students to use their choice boards correctly.

independent reading project choice board

Steps for Setting Up Your Literacy Center Choice Boards

  • Each student gets a paper with six to nine squares depending on their assessment results. You DO NOT have to make a separate choice board for every single student. (MORE details on this below.)
  • I train my students to complete the two darker shaded boxes first! I f you are familiar with “Must Do & May Do,” this is their MUST DO.
  • Then they can move on to choose another literacy activity that isn’t shaded on their choice board. MAY DO.
  • ALL blocks must be completed by the end of the week.
  • If a student finishes a choice board early, I always have Extension Literacy Activites ready for my 4th graders.
  • If a student needs more time, they aren’t rushed to finish the center when their group is.

Having these options naturally leads to easy opportunities for differentiation.

Do Choice Boards Fit with Guided Reading?

YES, they do!

I have a small group or an individual student with me while the other students are independently moving around the room with their choice boards.

The BEST part about using choice boards for my literacy centers is that students are not interrupting my guided reading group!

Using this system for managing literacy centers means that students definitely know what to do next when they finish a reading station or activity.

Since they are choosing activities based on a set of pre-determined options that I put on their menu boards, they can complete their center work without me.

How to Manage Your Literacy Centers

Giving students choices does not lead to chaos and disorder if they are given the right procedures training.

In fact, they’ll be more motivated to stay engaged and participate in center work when they are allowed to choose.

Upper elementary students who aren’t used to having choices will especially need lots of scaffolded training.

Don’t let this scare you! I spend the first 4-6 weeks of school carefully guiding my kiddos through my center expectations.

Then I spend time around long holiday breaks reviewing my expectations with students.

My favorite resource for procedures training is Harry Wong’s First Days of School. Not only does it help me establish my literacy center procedures, but it helps me get ALL my classroom routines set-up during those first weeks of school.

F.A.Q’s About Choice Boards and Literacy Centers

How do you make sure there aren’t too many students choosing the same centers?

I create 4 or 5 choice board templates. These templates have certain centers shaded. I train my students to complete the shaded centers first. For example, if I have 20 students total–I may give 4 of them a choice board with Grammar Games shaded first. A different set of 4 students will have the Technology Center shaded first, etc.

This controls the amount of students who are allowed in a literacy center at one time.

What happens when your students are absent and cannot complete all their literacy centers choice board?

Every Friday in my classroom, I have a block of time called “Catch-Up” Time. All my students have red ‘catch-up’ folders with incomplete assignments. Any student who hasn’t completed their choice board options get the chance to complete them during this time.

What types of literacy activities do you put on your students’ choice boards?

Here are just a few options I use:

  • Technology Center (we have 4 desktop computers in my classroom)
  • iPad Center (students play literacy games on apps and listen to audiobooks on Kindle Unlimited or Epic )
  • Word Work and Spelling Games
  • Reading Games
  • Non-Fiction Reading Practice Center

Literacy Center Activities

I have full-year sets of literacy center activities for 3rd graders and 4th graders . Click either picture below for more details on them.

independent reading project choice board

You can also get more ideas for literacy centers with this FREE download. Please be sure to enter an email address that allows outside email addresses so that you can also grab the FREE literacy center planning guide.

The Butterfly Teacher

6 Responses

Hi! I just found your website and am loving all the ideas. I am stuck when it comes to small groups! I love the idea of choice boards though. Do you set up the choice boards based on their needs (one group of students gets this board and another group gets a different board)? How do you keep them from fighting and arguing over centers? If this was something I was going to set up mid-year (or refresh my current setup) how would you suggest launching?

Hi Angela, Great questions! Yes, I create groups of choice boards based on academic needs. I also keep behavior in mind by keeping unproductive students away from each other. I have plenty of options available, which keeps them from fighting over the centers. I would launch it by modeling your expectations, then starting with a few centers to practice the routine. After a few weeks and some tweaks, your students will love using choice boards. Thanks for stopping by our site for teaching ideas. 🙂

Hi Tanya, Thanks for all this info! Just a few questions to help me: 1. once students do their two shaded centers how do you prevent kids just running to the next center and having all of them talking arguing about who they want to partner with? I picture too many going to one center . Is there a limit of # of students allowed in each center? 2. Are you the one who resets the timer for the next center ? 3. Do you check or collect either the choice board template sheet and the work they did in centers ? I never had time so I always felt I had no idea how they did .

Hi Pina, 1) I do not give all of my students the same choice board options. That keeps them from trying to go to the same centers. 2) I use pre-set timer that is displayed on our Smartboard. It starts over with each slide. 3) I only check the completed choice board and select centers. I do not check every center and I do not grade them.

Hope this helps!

I am eager to try this but I have questions- For the centers that don’t require a finished product- like independent reading, computer or listen to reading, do you use a timer to regulate how much time they are allowed to be there? How long is your literacy block and how many “centers” do your kids typically get to each day? Thanks!

Karen, Great questions! “…do you use a timer to regulate how much time they are allowed to be there?” I keep a general timer for all centers that helps everyone stay on track with the time. So this fixed time applies to everyone. The amount of time changes each school year because it depends on the total literacy block my principal allows.

” How long is your literacy block…” In the 4 years that I’ve used this system, my full literacy block has fallen between 60-95 minutes.

“…how many “centers” do your kids typically get to each day?” Typically they get in 2 each day.

If you have more questions, I have an entire guide book on launching literacy centers that breaks down all these details and more. You can access it here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Launching-Literacy-Centers-Guide-Literacy-Centers-ebook-4453561

Thanks Karen!

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11 Choice Board Templates You Can Use Tomorrow in Your Classroom

February 16, 2022.

Choice Boards are an amazing learner-centered practice you can use to engage your students, provide choice, and easily differentiate instruction.

Rather than start from scratch, we’ve pulled together our favorite choice board templates created by amazing educators.

All you have to do is click the link to access the template, make your own copy, and start customizing. Let’s dive in!

independent reading project choice board

  • What is a Choice Board?
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Template #1: 9 Square Design your Own Digital Choice Board
  • Template #2: Creative Book Trailers Ideas
  • Template #3: Geography Fun Choice Board
  • Template #4: Digital Breakout
  • Template #5: Digital Menu for Student Creation

Template #6: Choose Your Own Adventure (Slides & Forms)

  • Template #7: Show What You Know
  • Template #8: Genius Hour
  • Template #9: Fortnite Digital Choice Board
  • Template #10: Design Your Own Choice Board
  • Template #11: Flexible Choice Board 

What is a Choice Board? 

A choice board, also known as a learning menu, is a great way to differentiate learning for students and allow them to demonstrate mastery at the end of a unit as well.

Choice boards can be created in various formats, but a simple way to think of them is as a graphic organizer. 

independent reading project choice board

Credit: Tom Spall

With digital tools, you can take static, paper format activities and bring them to life.

Choice boards also help to engage students, give them choice in the way they learn, and create a more interactive learning experience. 

Choice boards are pretty easy to create and the best part is you can be creative in how and where you build it, so it’s customized to your students’ needs. 

Below you’ll find eleven plug and play templates you can use right away in your classroom.

It might seem a bit daunting to start from scratch so all you need to do is make a copy of the template and start customizing.

independent reading project choice board

If you’re new to choice boards, here are a few guides to get you started: 

  • The Ultimate Guide to Choice Boards and Learning Menus
  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Choice Boards

Below you’ll find tons of choice board templates created by amazing educators that you can use across multiple grade bands and content areas. All you have to do is click on the link and you’ll get your very own copy to use in your classroom.

Template #1: 9 Square Design your Own Digital Choice Board – Catlin Tucker

>>> Click here to access the template (this link will prompt you to make your own copy)

This choice board template is created by Catlin Tucker and it follows the classic 9 square model.

This allows students to follow a tic-tac-toe approach where they can complete any three activities in a row on this board.

With this format, you can organize a column by a specific topic, skill, or standard.

The best part about this template is that it gives you the structure to easily design your own choice board, but you can really make it your own. 

independent reading project choice board

Elementary 9 Square Template

  • Kindergarten Tic-Tac-Toe Choice Board – Math and ELA – A.J. Juliani

Template #2: Creative Book Trailers Ideas – #BISDwired team

  >>>Click here to access the template

This choice board template was created by the #BISDwired team and it shows you how you can create a choice board that uses several different types of tech tools and platforms to create an engaging experience for all students.

This choice board includes a project-based learning element and focuses on book trailers, but you can use this format for any content area. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #3: Geography Fun Choice Board – Shannon Miller

>>> Click here to access the template

This one is for all of the elementary geography teachers! Shannon Miller has created a great choice board with BrainPop videos, games, maps, and more that students can interact with to learn about geography. 

You can make a copy at the link above and use it right away in your classroom or switch it up and add in your own resources and activities for students to complete. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #4: Digital Breakout – Lauren Hawkins

>>> Click here to access the directions on how to create this .

You can also use a choice board to create a breakout activity for your students where they work together or on their own to solve tasks and problems to move to the next step and complete the activity.

This is a fun way to engage your students and increase collaboration!

Lauren has put together an amazing resource with all of the directions, templates, and how-to videos at the link listed above. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #5: Digital Menu for Student Creation – Tom Spall

This choice board combines multiple tech tools and platforms to provide choice with different activities that range from low tech – to high tech options.

This also allows students to build upon skills like communication and creativity, as well as develop new tech skills. 

independent reading project choice board

***For the Google Slides Templates make sure you present the slides for the links to work

  • The Secret Villiage – Created by Nathan Gildart
  • Math Sample #1 (Friends Theme) – Created by Nathan Gildart
  • Math Sample #2 – Created by Nathan Gildart
  • The Lost Baby Tiger Template – Slyvia Duckworth
  • Left Home Alone –  Created by Nathan Gildart
  • The Online Adventures of Mousy and Mickey – Created by Nathan Gildart
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Template – Created by Nathan Gildar

A choose your own adventure choice board is a great way to give yourself a break from presenting or delivering a lesson.

With this choice board, you can give students voice and choice in how they learn and they can go at their own pace to complete the lesson asynchronously.

We’ve linked some of our favorite choice board templates above for you to get started with.

independent reading project choice board

Template #7: Show What You Know – Lisa Highfill

>>> Click here to access the templates

This type of choice board is pretty self-explanatory, but the templates linked above allow students to express themselves and choose to demonstrate their learning in the way that works best for them.

This choice board format also provides students the opportunity to use different types of technology to build new skills or refine current ones.

independent reading project choice board

Template #8: Genius Hour – Christine Perkins

Genius hour is an amazing learner centered strategy that allows students to focus on projects of their choosing for one hour each week.

Genius hour is always a hit with students and it can help them identify hidden skills, develop their skills and find topics they’re passionate about.

Sometimes these boards can take longer to create so this is why we’ve pulled together a template you can use right away or copy and customize for your classroom. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #9: Fortnite Digital Choice Board – Tom Spall

This is a fun template that students get really excited about!

They can create a project in the format of their choosing and this template also fosters collaboration.

You can use this template for any unit, project, or content area by customizing the options students can choose from. You can make a copy of this template and add in projects or activities that are aligned to your rubric. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #10: Design Your Own Choice Board – Nick LaFave

This is a simple choice board template you can follow and all you have to do is add in images and text.

The template linked above will prompt you to make your own copy and you can customize it to fit your needs. 

independent reading project choice board

Template #11: Flexible Choice Board – Knikole Taylor

An amazing educator, Knikole Taylor has designed this template to help you quickly and easily create a choice board for any subject area.

You can use this template time and time again. The link above will prompt you to make a copy. 

independent reading project choice board

So…What Do You Think Of These Choice Board Templates?

Now we want to hear from you.

Leave a comment and share your favorite choice board template that isn’t in this post or which template you’re going to use first!

Looking for more resources?

  • 20+ Insanely Actionable Teacher Resources You Can Use Today
  • Free Blended Learning Workshops
  • How a Technology Integration Specialist Used the Pandemic as a Way to Invite Change

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Russia's Khabarovsk refinery resumes gasoline production, but shortages persist

Gas oline production at Russia's Far East Khabarovsk refinery resumed, deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin said, but there were still long queues at local   gas   stations, according to local citizens.

The Khabarovsk region has experienced   gas oline shortages following unplanned maintenance at the refinery which is owned by Independent Petroleum Company (IPC). Two Khabarovsk citizens said private dealers were offering   gas oline at double the retail price.

According to energy ministry data, isomeric and reforming units have been down at the refinery since Jan. 16.

The refinery usually produces around 1,800 tonnes of   gas oline per day, the energy ministry data shows, and traders said it would have to run at maximum capacity for at least one month to balance the market.

The Khabarovsk government and refinery director Igor Bystrov confirmed   gas oline production had resumed. IPC, headed by Eduard Khudainatov, the former CEO of Russian   oil   giant Rosneft and a close ally of Rosneft's current president Igor Sechin, did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The shortage of Far East supply contributed to a jump in Russian   gas oline prices in January, traders said, with the hike prompting Russian   oil   companies to increase   refining   throughput this month.

Gas oline prices in the Khaborovsk region rose faster than anywhere else in the country in January, according to Reuters calculations based on SPIMEX exchange data. They have increased by roughly 10,000 roubles per tonne ($132.1) so far this year.

Khabarovsk, about 6,110 km (3,800 miles) east of Moscow, is the site of long-running anti-Kremlin protests against President Vladimir Putin's handling of a regional political crisis, which have been further fueled by the recent sentencing of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. (Reporting by Maxim Nazarov and Olga Yagova, writing by Olga Yagova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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Protests Swell in Russia’s Far East in a Stark New Challenge to Putin

Demonstrations in the city of Khabarovsk drew tens of thousands for the third straight weekend. The anger, fueled by the arrest of a popular governor, has little precedent in modern Russia.

independent reading project choice board

By Anton Troianovski

KHABAROVSK, Russia — Watching the passing masses of protesters chanting “Freedom!” and “Putin resign!” while passing drivers honked, applauded and offered high-fives, a sidewalk vendor selling little cucumbers and plastic cups of forest raspberries said she would join in, too, if she did not have to work.

“There will be a revolution,” the vendor, Irina Lukasheva, 56, predicted. “What did our grandfathers fight for? Not for poverty or for the oligarchs sitting over there in the Kremlin.”

The protests in Khabarovsk, a city 4,000 miles east of Moscow, drew tens of thousands of people for a three-mile march through central streets for the third straight week on Saturday . Residents were rallying in support of a popular governor arrested and spirited to Moscow this month — but their remarkable outpouring of anger, which has little precedent in post-Soviet Russia, has emerged as stark testimony to the discontent that President Vladimir V. Putin faces across the country.

Mr. Putin won a tightly scripted referendum less than four weeks ago that rewrote the Constitution to allow him to stay in office until 2036. But the vote, seen as fraudulent by critics and many analysts, provided little but a fig leaf for public disenchantment with corruption, stifled freedoms and stagnant incomes made worse by the pandemic .

“When a person lives not knowing how things are supposed to be, he thinks things are good,” said Artyom Aksyonov, 31, who is in the transportation business and who was handing out water from the trunk of his car to protesters under the baking sun in Lenin Square, on the protest route. “But when you open your eyes to the truth, you realize things were not good. This was all an illusion.”

Across Russia, fear of being detained by the police and the seeming hopelessness of effecting change has largely kept people off the streets. Many Russians also say that whatever Mr. Putin’s faults, the alternative could be worse or lead to greater chaos. For the most part, anti-Kremlin protests have been limited to a few thousand people in Moscow and other big cities, where the authorities usually crack down harshly.

Partly as a result, Mr. Putin remains firmly in control. And independent polling shows he still enjoys a 60 percent approval rating, though the figure has been falling.

But the events in Khabarovsk have shown that the well of discontent is such that minor events can ignite a firestorm. The weekend crowds have been so large that the police have not tried to control them — even though the protesters did not have a permit, let alone a clear leader or organizer.

And with Russians switching en masse from television, which is controlled by the government, to the largely uncensored internet to get their news, the state can easily lose its grip on the narrative.

Khabarovsk, a city of 600,000 close to the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Chinese border, had not seen any protests of much significance since the early 1990s. That changed after July 9, when a SWAT team dragged the governor, Sergei I. Furgal , out of his car and whisked him to Moscow on 15-year-old murder accusations.

Khabarovsk social media forums erupted in indignation over an arrest that looked like a Kremlin move to eliminate a young and well-liked politician who had upset an ally of Mr. Putin in the regional election in 2018.

Tens of thousands spontaneously poured into the streets on July 11 as residents called for protests online, and they re-emerged in greater numbers on July 18. Smaller-scale marches through the city continued daily.

Russian journalists who have been following the protests since the beginning said Saturday’s crowds were the biggest yet. Opposition activists estimated that 50,000 to 100,000 had turned out . City officials said that about 6,500 people had attended , clearly an undercount.

As they have on previous weekends, the protesters gathered in the central Lenin Square by the headquarters of the regional government. They marched down a main street, blocking traffic, and made a three-mile loop through the city center before returning to the square. Police officers walked along casually on the sidewalk, without interfering.

The crowd, some of whom wore face masks stenciled with Mr. Furgal’s name, looked like a cross section of the city, including working-class and middle-class residents, pensioners and young people. The most concrete demand in their chants was that Mr. Furgal face trial in Khabarovsk rather than in Moscow, but they did not shy away from challenging Mr. Putin directly. They shouted “Shame on the Kremlin!”, “Russia, wake up!” and “We are the ones in power!”

Mr. Putin last Monday appointed a 39-year-old politician from outside the region, Mikhail V. Degtyarev, as the acting governor of the Khabarovsk region, angering residents further. Asked whether he would meet with the protesters, Mr. Degtyarev told reporters that he had better things to do than talk to people “screaming outside the windows.”

The Kremlin appears determined to wait the protests out. The regional authorities have warned that they could worsen the spread of the pandemic, announcing on Saturday a sharp rise in coronavirus infections and noting that medical equipment and personnel had arrived from Moscow to aid local hospitals.

One of the protesters, Vadim Serzhantov, a 35-year-old railway company employee, said he had held little interest in politics until recently. The arrest of Mr. Furgal, whom residents praise for populist moves such as cutting back on officials’ perks, was a turning point, Mr. Serzhantov said.

“To be honest, I used to not care at all,” Mr. Serzhantov said. “But this is lawlessness.”

Anton Troianovski has been a Moscow correspondent for The New York Times since September 2019. He was previously Moscow bureau chief of The Washington Post and spent nine years with The Wall Street Journal in Berlin and New York. More about Anton Troianovski

IMAGES

  1. Independent Reading Choice Board by Shelby Crouse

    independent reading project choice board

  2. Independent Reading Activities Grade 2

    independent reading project choice board

  3. Choice Boards

    independent reading project choice board

  4. 16 independent reading projects! Perfect to motivate your students to

    independent reading project choice board

  5. Independent Reading Book Choice Board by ReadingwithLobdell

    independent reading project choice board

  6. Independent Reading Choice Board by Summer's Middle School Corner

    independent reading project choice board

VIDEO

  1. Independent Reading Project

  2. Interview/Podcast With Mom, English Independent Reading Project

  3. Reading Workshop Part 8 (Independent Reading)

  4. The Pilot's Wife

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Use an Independent Reading Choice Board in the Classroom

    Give Students Time to Complete the Activities on the Choice Board. My preferred method was to have everything due at the end of the week. If the choice board tasks were more response-based, students might have 4 responses to turn in before Friday. For a project-based choice board, students might have to complete one Must Do and one May Do ...

  2. Literacy Choice Boards

    The boards include dozens of prompts for responding to text and can be used for independent responses or literature circles. They meet many different learning styles and cover Bloom's Taxonomy too. I also have two free choice boards for incorporating writing and vocabulary into your novel study. Each one has 9 different and creative ways to ...

  3. Independent Reading: Choice Board Edition

    I decided to take a stab at it and created a choice board for independent reading. It gives students the choice to read a book and complete a reading journal or to complete a certain number of journal entries using the choice board with reading, listening and watching options. The options can include reading the news, reading short stories ...

  4. 36 Choice Board Prompts for Fiction and Non-Fiction Texts

    Describe your picture using at least three complete sentences. Compare yourself to one of the characters in the text. Include two similarities and two differences. First, describe the main problem presented in the text. Next, describe how the problem is resolved. Explain the mood of the text. List three words from the text that support your ...

  5. PDF INDEPENDENT READING PROJECT OPTIONS SHEET

    15. Create a board game based on your book. Design and build the board, as well as any playing pieces, cards, spinners or dice, or other objects needed to play. Type up a set of instructions for how to play (and win) the game. Projects involving writing: 16. Write a magazine or newspaper-type review (critiquing and discussing) on your novel.

  6. 7 Independent Reading Assessments for High School English

    This project is always a crowd pleaser and one that students talk about long after the cameras are put away. #4: Literary Field Trips ... Just like choice reading, students love a good choice board to pick their own assessment. I have an editable Independent Reading Choice Board already done for you. Subscribe to my newsletter below and the ...

  7. 3 Outstanding Ways To Use Choice Boards For ELA

    Here are 3 simple ways you can start using them right away. 1.) Use Choice Boards to Begin A Unit. Starting a unit with a choice board can be a great way to hook your students into big concepts that you'll be learning about. For instance, if you are beginning a poetry unit, instead of starting the lesson with direct instruction about what ...

  8. Using Choice Boards to Differentiate in the Classroom

    The choice boards were broken down into four columns of questions/activities marked "knowledge & comprehension," "application & analysis," "synthesis," "and "evaluation." As the column titles suggest, different questions/activities were different levels of difficulty. For this type of choice board, I assign a certain number of choices per column.

  9. Independent Reading Choice Board

    Wondering how to provide meaningful projects in response to independent reading? Check out this Digital Choice Board for Independent Reading. Simply share in Google Classroom and your secondary ELA students can choose one of six standards-based, engaging reading projects as a culminating activity.

  10. Independent Reading Choice Board (Teacher-Made)

    Provide multiple means of choice for your students with our Independent Reading Choice Board. Print and distribute for independent reading engagement, or, use our digital version. Students can choose three choices from among nine to engage with reading and provide evidence of learning. This resource addresses the following standards: CCSS RL.3.10, RL.4.10, RL.5.10, TEKS ELAR 3.5, 4.5, 5.5 ...

  11. Independent Reading Project Choice Board by English Edu with Emily

    This choice board gives students six different options to choose from, and each assignment has specific requirements and a rubric to guide them. ... and provide a variety o... Independent Reading Project Choice Board. View Preview. Previous Next; View Preview. English Edu with Emily. 3 Followers. Follow. Grade Levels. 5 th - 12 th, Homeschool ...

  12. Independent Reading Project Choiceboard by Meownificent Creations

    This project works as an independent reading project, but can also be modified to be the culminating assessment for a whole-class book. Each project can be scored based on this classwork/homework rubric. Total Pages. 8 pages. Answer Key. N/A. Teaching Duration. N/A. Report this resource to TPT.

  13. 15 Fun Ways to Freshen Up Your Independent Reading Activities

    2: SKILL APPLICATION. One of the best ways we can bridge the gap between whole class texts and independent reading activities is to ask students to apply the skills we are teaching in a whole-group setting to their choice reading books. For example, if you teach students a five sentence summary strategy using a short whole-class text, ask them ...

  14. 7 Choice Board Examples to Bring Into Your Classroom

    Bingo is another style of choice board that is easy to use with your students. Samantha Selikoff, technology teacher in New Jersey shared her design for Kodable Bingo earlier this summer. Using the Seesaw activity creator, it is easy to create the bingo design for kids to complete on their own. Step 1.

  15. How I Use Choice Boards to Run Literacy Centers

    Menu Boards. A choice board is a piece of paper with a board or grid of squares on it that has options for students to choose from. Some choice board templates have a grid of 9-squares. My learning menus for 3rd and 4th Grade literacy centers have only 6-squares.

  16. 11 Choice Board Templates You Can Use Tomorrow in Your Classroom

    Template #1: 9 Square Design your Own Digital Choice Board. Template #2: Creative Book Trailers Ideas. Template #3: Geography Fun Choice Board. Template #4: Digital Breakout. Template #5: Digital Menu for Student Creation. Template #6: Choose Your Own Adventure (Slides & Forms) Template #7: Show What You Know. Template #8: Genius Hour.

  17. Independent Reading Choice Board Activities for ANY Story or Book

    Reading comprehension activities, elements of fiction graphic organizers, and reading choice boards - everything needed for your students to analyze any short story or novel! The reading choice boards and graphic organizers are designed for both independent reading assignments or reading comprehens. 5. Products. $26.99 $28.24 Save $1.25.

  18. Khabarovsk

    Khabarovsk (Russian: Хабаровск [xɐˈbarəfsk] ⓘ) is the largest city and the administrative centre of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the China-Russia border, at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, about 800 kilometers (500 mi) north of Vladivostok.As of the 2021 Russian census, it had a population of 617,441.

  19. Khabarovsk Krai

    Khabarovsk Krai (Russian: Хабаровский край, romanized: Khabarovskiy kray, IPA: [xɐˈbarəfskʲɪj kraj]) is a federal subject (a krai) of Russia.It is located in the Russian Far East and is administratively part of the Far Eastern Federal District.The administrative centre of the krai is the city of Khabarovsk, which is home to roughly half of the krai's population and the ...

  20. Russia's Khabarovsk refinery resumes gasoline production, but shortages

    The Khabarovsk region has experienced gas oline shortages following unplanned maintenance at the refinery which is owned by Independent Petroleum Company (IPC). Two Khabarovsk citizens said private dealers were offering gas oline at double the retail price. According to energy ministry data, isomeric and reforming units have been down at the ...

  21. Project Choice Board for Any Novel Middle School Novel Study ...

    This PDF includes two choice boards with 8 final project choices on each board, for a total of 16 project options. ... This is great for literature circles, novel studies, independent reading, book clubs, and/or summer reading. Included in this resource: Two pages of Choice Boards (PDF) A Rubric (PDF) Students will enjoy having a choice in how ...

  22. Protests Swell in Russia's Far East in a Stark New Challenge to Putin

    Demonstrations in the city of Khabarovsk drew tens of thousands for the third straight weekend. The anger, fueled by the arrest of a popular governor, has little precedent in modern Russia.

  23. Results for independent reading choice boards

    Independent Reading Choice Board Project - This year-long reading project gives children an opportunity to share their comprehension and understanding of the books they read independently both at school and at home. Students will be given a project menu with four levels ranging in difficulty from simple to complex: silver (1 pt), gold (2 pts), platinum (3 pts), and diamond (4 pts).