Choices, Choices, Choices at JES

Choices, Choices, Choices at JES
Posted on 10/03/2019
Choices, Choices, Choices at JESChoices, Choices, Choices at JES

All students are faced with choices, but 1st grade students at Johnston Elementary love the challenge. Each morning after whole group math, first graders select an activity from the nine on their Choice Board to complete during small group/choice group time. The options are geared to his/her specific learning needs, interests, and abilities. Students decide which activity they are most comfortable completing first, and once they master it, they can move on to more challenging activities. The process is repeated during literacy time with a slight variation of fewer choices. In addition to providing student ownership, Choice Boards are a great way to differentiate instruction. The “boards” are developed by their teachers and are based on the state standards.
Choice Boards were introduced last school year after JES 1st grade teachers, Stephanie Fletcher, Carolyne Horton, and Erin Martinez attended a Personalized Learning workshop sponsored by the State Department of Education. They collaborated following the workshop and decided to implement the new learning strategy first in the math block and then in the literacy block during this current school year.
Students appear to love this type of learning activity. They were eager to share what they like most about Choice Boards. Gregory Bryant, “I can learn. I like math now”. “They are fun and help you learn. They teach you stuff. The computer choice is my favorite”, stated Akana Howard. Kentravius Merriweather, “Computer is my favorite because I like Moby Max.” Involving students in choosing how they learn is preparing them to become more engaged as they continue their education with the end result being a prepared high school graduate.

Students work with partners on center activities

Top to bottom: Akana Howard and Malachi Williams complete addition problems with the help of work mats and bean counters. Rominna Padilla and Kentravius Merriweather use play dough to assist in counting problems. Gregory Bryant and Amya Martin look over their Choice Board to make a daily selection.

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