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Explanation:

This lesson is designed to implement a differentiated learning task that caters to different students’
interests and learning profiles; this is achieved through the use of a choice board. Reinken (2011)
states that a choice board is a ‘graphic organiser that allows students to choose how they will learn
a concept.’ The choice board used in this lesson is comprised of 6 boxes, each with a different
activity. Students must choose and complete two boxes and therefore two activities from the choice
board. All of the tasks within the choice board are designed to achieve the same learning outcomes.
Students will be able to identify structures and features of their special places through mapping and
labelling. Students will begin to understand that different places have different features through
comparing and contrasting to each other’s work and identifying both similarities and differences.

Neal (2013) highlights that using a choice board allows the teacher to enhance student engagement
and promote students' interests by incorporating a variety of learning preferences. Riener &
Willingham (2010) discuss that students can understand and process information faster when the
subject matter is of interest to them personally. It is important to note that students at the age of F-1
are still discovering and developing their interests. Therefore, the choice board provides students
with an assortment of activities that provides them with the opportunity to discover and explore
their interests while promoting engagement with their learning and learning processes. (Collins &
Amabile, 1999).

Tomlinson & Allan (2000) state that through ‘helping students discover and pursue their interests
and passions, we can maximise their engagement with learning, their productivity, and their
individual talents’ (p. 20). Implementing a choice board allows students to express their learning
through a variety of different modes. A choice board gives students ownership over their learning
and allows them to channel their strengths across different topic areas. Such topic areas include;
- Mathematics: Through mapping and using scales.
- English: Through producing a written piece, writing labels and delivering an oral presentation.
- Visual Art: Constructing a poster or 3D model, painting, drawing.
- Media Art: Using electronic programs such as Artweaver or Minecraft.
- Technology: Using electronic programs.

A choice board provides students with a vast amount of activities; therefore, its introduction is an
essential component to ensuring it is successfully implemented during the lesson. Wong (2011)

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discusses that the introduction to the choice board should be very clear so that all students
understand the objectives of the lesson as well as what each activity entails. The teacher must go
through each activity individually and explicitly in order for students to understand the choice
board and make their decisions.

The choice board has incorporated some bright colour to engage students and attract their attention
(without being too colourful/bright and therefore overwhelming). The font used is simple and clear
and therefore easy to read. Images have been used on the choice board to prompt students, acting as
a visual cue. Each task is clearly explained to the students followed by an example. At this time the
teacher can clarify any concerns and answer any questions. Thumbs up/middle/down is a strategy
that can be used for the teacher to see if students have an understanding of each task. Once all
students understand all of the activities they may begin selecting and commencing their first
activity.

The activities have not been chosen randomly but rather specifically to accommodate the diversity
of students’ interests and abilities within that class. Through teacher observations and
understanding of each student as an individual, it has been identified that some have a keen interest
in Minecraft and already understand how to use the program. The computer program Artweaver
and an alternative that is slightly more basic Paint, have been used previously in the classroom and
therefore students are already familiar with how to operate these programs.

Other strategies implemented within the classroom include Self, Neighbour, Other, Teacher
(S.N.O.T) (Activated Education, 2014). Using S.N.O.T encourages students to explore alternative
avenues when asking questions, such as asking a peer, using classroom resources, rather than
automatically asking the teacher first. The S.N.O.T strategy allows students to develop their social
interaction skills and develop their learner initiative. S.N.O.T also enables some students to become
peer mentors within the classroom.

Another strategy used is the ‘5 Ls’ (Looking, Listening, Lips still, Hands in Laps, & Legs crossed). The
5 Ls is used when students are in a whole class setting on the floor and links to the personal and
social general capabilities within the Australian Curriculum. Using the 5 Ls prompts students to be
active participants in their learning and to develop their self-efficacy skills.

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References
Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2018). Foundation Year
Content Descriptions: Geography (ACHASSK014). Retrieved from
https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-
sciences/hass/?year=12096&strand=Inquiry+and+skills&strand=Knowledge+and+Understanding
&capability=ignore&capability=Literacy&capability=Numeracy&capability=Information+and+Com
munication+Technology+%28ICT%29+Capability&capability=Critical+and+Creative+Thinking&cap
ability=Personal+and+Social+Capability&capability=Ethical+Understanding&capability=Intercultur
al+Understanding&priority=ignore&priority=Aboriginal+and+Torres+Strait+Islander+Histories+an
d+Cultures&priority=Asia+and+Australia’s+Engagement+with+Asia&priority=Sustainability&elabo
rations=true&elaborations=false&scotterms=false&isFirstPageLoad=false

Activated Education. SNOT: A Simple Strategy For Getting Help Your Students Will Remember. Ms
Martin's Learning Resources. N.P. (2014). Retrieved from
http://mrsmartinlearns.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/snot-simple-strategy-for-getting-help.html

Collins, M. & T. Amabile (1999). Motivation and creativity. In R.J. Sternberg, Handbook of Creativity.
New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 297-312.

Neal, M. (2013). Choice Board. Teaching with simplicity. [Web blog post]. Retrieved from
http://www.teachingwithsimplicity.com/2013/07/choice-board.html

Reinken, C. (2011). How to Use Choice Boards to Differentiate Learning. [Web blog post]. Retrieved
from https://www.theartofed.com/2012/07/11/how-to-use-choice-boards-to-differentiate-
learning

Riener, C., & Willingham, D. (2010). The Myth of Learning Styles. Change: The Magazine Of Higher
Learning, 42(5), 32-35. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2010.503139

Tomlinson, C. A., & Allan, S. D. (2000). Leadership for differentiating schools and classrooms.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Whitton, D., Sinclair, C., Barker, K., Nanlohy, P., & Nosworthy, M. (2004). Learning for teaching:
Teaching for learning. Southbank, Vic: Thomson Social Science Press.

Wong, H. & Wong, R. (2011). Learning Objectives: The Heart Of Every Lesson. Teachers Net. 15(1).
Retrieved from http://www.teachers.net/wong/MAR11/

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Appendix 1: Choice Chart

Name: ____________
‘My Special Place’
Pick two tasks from the boxes below. Colour the boxes when finished

Write about your special Create a poster of your Use a computer program (like
place. special place. Artweaver or Paint) to create
your special place

Describe your special place; What does it look


like? Where is it? When do you go there?
How does it make you feel?

Create a 3D model of your Use Minecraft to create a Paint your special place.
special place. replica of your special place.

Using resources of your choice. Such


as Lego, Playdoh, cardboard.

An oral presentation to the Draw and label a Use your imagination to


class describing your special picture/diagram of your create and label features of
place and its key features. special place. your special place in any form
you like

FREE CHOICE!

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Appendix 2: Pre-Assessment

Name: ________________

What ways do you enjoy learning the most?

What tasks and activities would you like to do more in the


classroom?

Any other comments or questions?

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Appendix 3 – Exit Card

EXIT CARD
Name:

Topic/Lesson:

Things I learned today;


3
-

Things I found interesting


2
-

Question I still have


1
-

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Appendix 4 – Traffic Lights

I don’t get it!


I need help understanding

I think I understanding..
But I need a little support.

I understand!
I’m happy to try on my own.