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Unleash the Creative Beasts: Choice Boards - Where Assessments Get Wacky!

Updated: Jun 13

Click the link or the play button below to listen to the podcast version of this post:

Hey there, Secondary ELA Teachers!

As we embark on the never-ending quest of engaging our students and grading their papers (cue the dramatic music), it's time to spice things up a bit! Forget the same old, same old summative assessments - it's time to dive into the wild world of choice boards!

In this blog post, we'll explore how these magical boards can transform your classroom into a circus of creativity while still assessing your students' grasp of the subject matter. Let's get ready to unleash the creative beasts!

1. Ownership and Engagement: No More Zombie Students!

Picture this: students eagerly raising their hands, brimming with excitement about their upcoming assessments. Sounds like an urban legend, doesn't it? Well, that's the power of choice boards! When students have a say in how they show off their knowledge, it's like waking the dead (in a good way, of course). These boards offer a smorgasbord of options that cater to their interests, strengths, and personal quirks. Suddenly, your classroom becomes a vibrant hub of engaged learners who can't wait to tackle their projects and show off their knowledge and skills.

2. Differentiating Instruction: Unlocking Hidden Talents (and Clown Noses)

We all know that no two students are the same. It's like herding cats, but with teenagers. Enter choice boards! They're like the Swiss Army knife of assessments, accommodating every learning style and ability under the sun. With options ranging from writing, visual arts, drama, technology, speaking, research, and maybe even interpretive dance (the possibilities are endless), you'll be tapping into hidden talents left and right. Who knows, you might discover the next Shakespeare or Picasso in the process!

3. Creativity and Critical Thinking: Where the Zany Ideas Come to Life

Brace yourself for the unleashing of pure imagination! Choice boards offer students the chance to break free from the shackles of traditional assessments and dive headfirst into the realm of the absurd and the ingenious. Want to see a graphic novel interpretation of Macbeth or a hip-hop ode to Hamlet? How about a puppet show starring the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird? With choice boards, the sky's the limit, and critical thinking takes on a whole new level of fun and madness.

4. Real-World Relevance: From Classroom Capers to Global Giggles

Let's face it, Shakespeare might not always seem like the coolest dude to our students. But fear not, brave teacher! Choice boards can bridge the gap between "dusty old books" and the "real" world. By offering options that relate to current events or personal experiences, you'll show your students that English class isn't just about drowsy lectures—it's about discovering connections between their lives and the world around them. Suddenly, they'll be giggling and cackling their way through your lessons!

5. Collaboration and Peer Learning: When Classmates Become Co-Conspirators

Why not turn assessments into a group adventure? Choice boards can include collaborative projects that transform your students into a team of literary superheroes. Working together, they'll learn to navigate the treacherous waters of teamwork, communication, and compromise. Who knows, they might even become lifelong friends or co-authors of the next great novel. Watch out, world!


So, dear ELA teachers, it's time to unleash your inner circus ringmaster and let choice boards run rampant in your classroom. With their power to ignite student ownership, differentiate instruction, and inspire mind-boggling creativity, you'll create a learning environment that's as entertaining as a three-ring circus (minus the elephant droppings, of course).

So, tighten your suspenders, don your oversized top hat, and join us on this adventure.

Let's bring the laughter, the madness, and the unforgettable learning experiences to our students.

Remember, life is too short to be serious all the time. Embrace the wild and wacky world of choice boards!

Yours in humor and education,

Becky Zerr


Check out the free choice board example in our Vocab Vigor starter pack here:

Do you use choice boards in your ELA classroom?

  • 0%Yes, all the time!

  • 0%Yes, sometimes.

  • 0%Eh, not very often if at all.

  • 0%No, I tried thNo, I tried them and they just weren’t for me.

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