Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL podcast

Brent Warner
Developing Innovation in English as a Second or Other Language

Ixchell Reyes
Differentiating Instruction with Choice Boards

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 70. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m Ixchell Reyes

Brent Warner
Hey hey hey, so Ixchell, it’s not even October but I think we’re in Halloween. Although I will say I’ve been seeing Halloween decorations since August.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, that’s accurate. (laughter) My sister texted me the other day. Hey, I saw these Disney Halloween decorations at Marshalls or Home Goods? Can you go and check to see if they’re still like them there at yours? Like – it’s the beginning of August, man.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it’s been it’s been out. And and normally I get all rage on like the early Christmas stuff. But I’m I’m all about early Halloween. Let’s let’s do give me two months of Halloween. Give me three months.

Ixchell Reyes
I can’t. I love Halloween.

Brent Warner
There’s no… you love it meaning you want more or?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, I don’t get I don’t get sick of Halloween. Yeah, like I could get sick of Christmas music.

Brent Warner
Oh yeah, for sure. They don’t have enough Halloween music out there. It’s like a

Ixchell Reyes
The monster mash and

Brent Warner
Rob Zombie Dragula (starts singing) you know that song? I don’t remember how it goes, but something like that. Seems like a Halloween song right. Welcome to my singing career. I’ll be doing backup vocals for Rob Zombie in the next Halloween movie.

Ixchell Reyes
After Pool Boy, Brent. We’ve got singing Brent, rock star Brent.

Brent Warner
So… everything okay otherwise? You livin? Feeling alive?

Ixchell Reyes
I’m living. I’m alive (laughter) if not, you’re talking to my spirit.

Brent Warner
Well zombie Ixchell is another another thing. We’re getting ready for Halloween. And you know, you don’t have to be a zombie. You could be a witch or you could be a ghost spirit. Or you could be a vampire or all these different things. All I’m saying, Ixchell, you have choices,

Ixchell Reyes
choices.

Brent Warner
Today, we’re talking about choice board. So see how well I did that transition? Let’s jump over. So

Ixchell Reyes
what are choice boards? Brent, you and I were talking about how this is essentially another way to differentiate instruction. choice boards. I think there’s a couple other names for them. In elementary school, sometimes they call them the May dues and the must dues or the can dues. There’s like the three or option boards. And there’s another one I can’t think of it. But choice boards offer different ways to assess students. So there’s a variety of, of activities students can complete.

Brent Warner
Well, very first, let’s start off with like the beginning idea choice, the total beginner right? What is an actual choice board? Like what do you what is this concept?

Ixchell Reyes
That board? Digital, maybe? Well, the idea is a variety of options that students can go to selected by the teacher. And then students can choose what activity from that board or however the teacher presents it, whether it’s on a piece of paper, or digitally on a website, or however method they choose to present the options. Students will go in and choose how they want to accomplish the activity or what activities they want to accomplish first, or in what order they want to accomplish

Brent Warner
them. Right. So it’s like, hey, let’s say I’m giving you a prompt, right? And it’s like I want you to

Ixchell Reyes
activity menu. Yeah, that’s what I was in case I like a menu.

Brent Warner
There you go. So you say something like I’m going to tell you no, I want you to tell me about you know, the your first experience playing soccer, right? And it’s like, okay, great. This I can do that. But like, how am I supposed to do it? And so then what the the choice board does, regardless of how it’s laid out, and we’ll talk more about the layouts and later things but it gives students the choice on like, hey, what, how do I want to do this? Is it going to be through like a video is going to be through writing something up? Is it going to be through kind of putting on a play or making you know, a diorama or whatever else that might be? diorama and so, so this is this is what we’re getting to this. This is this concept of a choice board and some people have done tons So these things and some, some teachers have never played with them before. They’re just like, Oh, it’s you know, it’s it’s never been in their, in their wheelhouse. So today we’re going to talk a bit about those. And you were starting to get into some of the points of like, what’s the value of them? And how does it work for differentiated?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. So as you were mentioning, that offers a variety, right, a variety of activities to choose from. And then students have freedom. So when students are picking their own activities, or picking the order in which they’re going to accomplish it, or what method they’re going to use to express that idea or answer, then they’re more likely to feel confident about what they’re answering, or writing, they’re more likely to be creative. Yeah, yeah. Plus, it eliminates I think, for teachers, it eliminates the, the need to grade various of the same activity. So if you’re, if you had 50 students, and they’re all writing a paragraph about their favorite sport, that’s gonna get pretty difficult to, you know, not, you’re gonna get the same, you’re gonna be bored, right, you’re gonna burn out pretty quickly. But if you’re now listening to descriptions that students are recording, or narrating or paragraphs or a dialogue, that that’s, that’s different. Plus the students can shine.

Brent Warner
Yeah, yeah. And we’ll talk about that. I think there’s to me, there’s kind of two sides to that, right. And we will talk about that in a minute. But, but yes, I do agree that can be can kind of keep your brain as a teacher refreshed in certain ways. So. So other things that are valuable number one, is, if you just start going out on the internet, and searching for choice boards, you’re gonna have tons of different templates available, lots of different things to get you started. So you don’t really have to be the person to build everything out yourself, you can already work with things that exist out there. And some people have even built choice boards where it’s like, okay, let’s say for example, it’s on a Google Slides, right? And then the student clicks on it, like, so let’s say they’re going to click on, you know, a flip, flip grid thing flip side, now flip, flip by Microsoft, which is much harder to say, Now flip, by my flip, make a flip anyways, so they click on that thing. And then it’ll take them to the slide that tells them what the expectation of doing a flip video is, even though it’s not doesn’t matter what the prompt is, it’ll be like, whatever that is. So lots of different templates that are already built out there for you. It’s certainly more accessible, right? For a lot of different types of learners. So, you know, kind of regardless, like you can, when you have that choice, that by definition opens up access, right? And so it can work for online learners, it can work for in person learners. You know,

Ixchell Reyes
special abilities, learners. Oh, yeah. Or all that shy students.

Brent Warner
Yeah, shy students, for sure. Like, they don’t want to necessarily, like, sometimes, you know, it’s like, hey, when I can work on something privately by myself, I’m going to crush it, I have this whole hobby that I do on the side. And by the way, though, that’s going to be tied in with it, right? So there’s all sorts of cool things. When when those students have a chance to kind of shine in the way that they like. And then, you know, just also to point out that some students, often not often, sorry, might still want to have more traditional assessments, right? So sometimes it’s like, Hey, we’re gonna do this fun thing. And students like, can I just write an essay? Sure, that can be one of the choices, right? So that kind of depending on how you’re thinking about it, those students might might also like that, as well. So you saw one of the articles that I had found when we were kind of doing this. This research was, it was actually about like elementary school kids in the UN, they call it the tag program, which is talented and gifted. When I was growing up, it was called Gate. Gate. Yeah. So we’re, I don’t know if that was a California thing or not, or whatever. But it was called gifted and talented education. Right. And I think that was four. But anyways, so they call it the same they call the tag is same thing. And it was really interesting, because it was it was about like, hey, these students have like, need more challenge or they’re at different levels. But I really started thinking about our English language learners in our classes. And how many of us have different level students in the same class, right, like their English skills are really like much stronger developed or really kind of at the beginning. Oftentimes, we’re in like an intermediate class and it’s like you’re supposed to be intermediate, but man, you are still a beginner. Or the other way around is like, why are you still in this class? You should be moving on and moving out, but you’re still kind of hanging out in this level, right. So so this was written about the the Gifted and Talented Students I’m going, I want to kind of twist that around into just the idea of having a, you know, mixed level class. So, basically, inside of this article by Carrie in Hyde Condor, it was called one size may not fit all, but the right teaching strategies might. And so she basically said that there was a research that claims that instruction in mainstream classrooms often lacked challenges for some of the gifted students. So we might consider that like that the higher level students, since it sometimes covers a relatively narrow range of topics, minimal exploration of concepts, recurring drill, and practice and repetition of concepts. Because of this, the more advanced students might benefit from being placed together in a gifted setting. So they’re saying the gifted students should be exciting and gifted setting, but we don’t always have the chance to do that. So instead, we’re saying, Well, what can we give the students who don’t have that opportunity to be placed in the more advanced class or choose not to? And so it says, so how do teachers address the needs of these more advanced students when it’s not really an option to put them into the next level class where they choose not to? And and the majority of the class requires that the concepts that we’re working on get repeated regularly, right. So I was really thinking, oh, yeah, this would be a great way to kind of try to capture more students, and so that the some of them don’t get bored. And also so that some of them don’t get frustrated that like, the class is too advanced for them, and they can’t catch up, right? So. So you can really work different levels, different language levels in the same class using choice boards to kind of try to better accommodate or cast the net a little bit wider.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. And in one of the articles that I found, the title is choice and learning, differentiating instruction in the college classroom. This was a Damion Williams article, published in 2020. This took a look at different types of instruction, and with sorry, different types of assessment for early childhood teacher candidates who were who had to be assessed on morphology phonemic, awareness and phonics. And so I have a couple of quotes and then their findings. So a few quotes from the article, one of them said, student choice and student agency provides students a way to self regulate, as well as to reflect on their own growth as a learner in a metacognitive context. And they, they were referring to a choice board as a place where students could do as you said, things according to their level activities according to their level, and then having the student analysis that Oh, I was actually pretty successful when I use that strategy, or I didn’t realize how successful I could be if I hadn’t had all these choices. So metacognition is one area that that choice boards support. And then there’s a couple other quotes here. When used by instructors, this teaching strategy promotes engagement, facilitate facilitates motivation, and help students make the connection with what is being taught in the classroom to the things they value outside of the class. And you and I just had an episode on how important it is to personalize instruction. And and making sure that students understand that we that the teachers are listening, and they care about them, and about the content. And so a choice board offers that, because the teacher is probably also thinking about what modes students might prefer to us when when they are showing you their mastery. And then finally, differentiating instruction places students at the core of the instructional planning process, awareness and training and differentiation, differentiating instruction are effective ways for creating instructional change in the classroom. And that was all about choice boards. Now, after these teachers use several assessments, they were asked particularly about the choice boards, and they were asked what they enjoyed about them, what made them frustrated. And so their responses were mostly that they had enjoyed the choice board because it allowed for creativity and for exploration of new items. So again, metacognition and then also students reported that they wished that they had had some input into what activities went into the choice board. So that’s just another way of like, okay, well, if there’s a if the students in your class love drawing pictures and recording with voiceovers, let let them come up with one additional way of assessing something. Right, right. And then some, and I think that this is probably true. I think in like, for example, I get overwhelmed with choices. And so those students here said that some students said There were too many choices. So again, it can, it could be overwhelming for some students. So that’s we’ve got to carefully think of what we’re selecting, so that it doesn’t become overwhelming that it shuts creativity down.

Brent Warner
Okay, so I like that, because that ties into the last little bit that that I wanted to talk about here, which is some of the problems with differentiated instruction. So number one, I like that idea, hey, there, I mean, I don’t like students complained that there potentially too many choices, or that they didn’t necessarily have the input. And the teacher decided everything down. A couple other things inside of there, kind of going back to one of your previous like, the opposite side of your, your previous comment about like, hey, we get some variety as teachers in grading, it can also be like, wait a second, which one of these are you doing? And now I have to kind of think, as a teacher in a different modality or a different response to that. And so sometimes, it’s really easy to kind of just get in the habit of like, okay, I’m grading and this one thing, and I’m just gonna get in the way those items. Yeah, right. And so, so that can can be more work, right. So it could be good, it could be rough, depending on what’s going on. And then I also wanted to point out these ideas that you’re talking about with the, you know, the students having too many choices, or maybe having choice overwhelm. So, Matt Miller, the great Matt Miller, who was on the show on Episode 31, actually has a really cool article about differentiated instruction as well. And choice boards, and he what he calls progressive choice boards. And he’s got quite a lot of things going on inside of that article, all of his articles are pretty long and robust, but we’ll put it in the show notes. But basically, what he kind of says is, the idea is that the choice board starts off, and it’s just one activity, and then it’s got like question marks on all the other squares. And then as you go, like a week later, two weeks later, you added new type of activity. And so the students can choose between the two. And then another week later, the third and then two weeks later, the fourth. And so then over the course of the semester, they have more and more ways of doing these activities, and you as a teacher have enough time to introduce them to the digital skills to get used to them. Which I really like. I think that does make sense. Because if you just say, here’s, here’s nine different technology tools, or 25, different technology tools that you can use to do this thing, the students are gonna go Wait, what I’m gonna

Ixchell Reyes
write the paragraph Oh, just write the paragraph. I really want to read the paragraph. Maybe that will work.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so. So I like that idea of kind of slowly opening them up. But then I think also in that you could have, you could start having the conversations with the students and saying, Hey, you guys, now this weekend, it’s going to be your job to find some sort of resource that we can use to add to the the, to the choice board as a way to do activities, right.

Ixchell Reyes
I love that idea of a progressive choice board. Yeah. So like, because it also makes students curious if they see like, I’m imagining, okay, if they know that this is our choice board, and they know that there’s a question mark, it sort of piques their interest as to like, what is that thing we’re gonna get to do? Like, that’s what I would think as a student?

Brent Warner
Yeah, like, oh, well, we figured this one out, like, we got this one. And like, I wonder what the next one’s gonna be. It’s, it’s actually, you know, what it is an advent calendar of activities. So, yeah, wrong season, a couple months early, but but I’m gonna, I’m gonna tie it in with that as well. So yeah, lots of different interesting choices there. And we’ll look at some ways to build it and things that you can do inside of them. All right. So thank you for listening to the show. This is not the end. But this is our little commercial in the middle. If you’re looking for consultation, or training at your institution, Ixchell and I are opening up limited slots for ourselves. So if you want to work with either of us, or both of us, to help your team, develop better ways to interact with your students, send us a message and we’ll see if what we’re, what we’re doing can fit in with what your needs are there. You can, like I said, work with one or both of us. And depending on your needs and our availability, we would love to talk to you about it. So please go back to DIESOL.org. And we would love to talk about some of the details.

Ixchell Reyes
So how do you build a basic choice board? And I think typically, it’s a grid? No, it’s a three by three or a five by five. And each square has a type of activity for the students to complete.

Brent Warner
Yeah. So pretty straightforward. You can do that on, like you said on a piece of paper, and you could just say like, Hey, here’s the thing. And if you do it on paper, too, you could sometimes I’ve seen teachers do like QR codes and each of the squares and so just scan this One scan the one that you want to do, and then maybe it’s techie and moves into your phone at that point, or sometimes it can be like, the mystery one, right? Like, hey, I’m just gonna scan, I don’t know what it’s going to be right. So like, I mean, really, your creativity can go all over the place here. But I was also playing with this idea Ixchell of, for language learners, right? We could do things like having the horizontal rows, and the vertical columns serve different purposes, right? So for example, the horizontal rows could be different modalities, right? So hey, one, this one’s kind of like a writing style one. The you know, the top row is for writing. middle row is for making videos. And the bottom row is for, you know, audio, for example, right. And then the horizontal rows can be about skills, right? So it could be like, Okay, you’re going to be showing the verb tenses. If you’re going to choose this, this horizontal side is the vertical row. And you’re going to be showing me use of articles, if you’re doing the middle, middle column, and then you know, whatever else it is for the right column. And so you could actually have it so it’s like, okay, you have to choose different ones. But if you’re going to choose this one, then you’re going to be talking about, you know, you’re going to be using audio to tell me about verb tenses, right, and if you choose this one, then you’re going to be using whatever it is, and then, and you can even have suggestions of different types of ones, tools that can fit inside of there, of course, so again, I want to be real careful, because I always worry that it’s like the, you know, the only the way that you present it is the only way that it can be done, which, of course is not, you know, we always want to make that open, it’s like this should be the jumping board to different possible things. And different ways of approaching but I also was then thinking about, you could make a vertical column for like a hobby column, right. And so you could say, Hey, you’re going to show me your understanding of this concept of your hobby through, you know, through writing or through audio, or through video, or whatever else it is, and so they could get their hobby column, or it could be hobby, horizontal, right. And it could be telling me, you know, use your hobby to explain verb tenses or you know, whatever else it is so, or finally, and I’m giving too many ideas. But finally, the last one is, you can make the, if it’s a five by five bingo style, you can make that middle star be that right? Like, you know, tie, this is just a free one. It’s your hobby based one. And you’re going to show something related to your hobby and the prompt together at the same time. So. So those are just some ways to get started thinking about how you might choose to lay out your choice board.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and there’s just so many tools that you can use to build these, you don’t have to go learn a brand new one. There’s so many that you probably that many of our teachers are probably used to you can build one in Google Slides, you can build one with Docs, with you know, with the tables and Docs, you can use a web page, Google Sites, I imagine or whatever else Symbaloo, which is actually still around remember

Brent Warner
Symbaloo I was thinking about that one. So simple. Symbaloo is awesome. Remember, when we actually I think I first learned about that when we were working in college.

Ixchell Reyes
It was I in college, I just remember, I must have still been a student and starting to teach.

Brent Warner
It’s definitely like one of the early kind of edtech tools that people were playing around with and talking about, and I haven’t heard much about it lately. But we did go in and check in it’s it’s still they’re still alive. So Symbaloo. I mean, and it was funny, because we’re talking about this pre show. And it’s like, oh, yeah, like Symbaloo is exactly it is a choice board, like it’s already built out as a choice board. Basically, if you don’t remember Symbaloo? Or if you haven’t, haven’t gone to it for a while. It’s it’s just

Ixchell Reyes
the first time you’re hearing about it. Because

Brent Warner
Because Because he didn’t get into edtech and, like 15 years ago. So yeah, it’s basically just different grids. And you can choose what goes into every little grid spot. And then you can kind of create custom icons and each of those and you can kind of click to whatever it is. So a lot of teachers back in the day used it as kind of a mark marks for things like quick access to something. Yeah, go to this website. If you’re wanting to find this type of thing, go to this website, if you’re looking for that, and so pretty straightforward, but you could do that same thing with the tools. So it’s like, Hey, you’re gonna click on this one that will take you to Padlet or if you’re gonna take this one, it’ll take you to whatever So, so yeah. Symbaloo and there are some other ones. What else did you find there?

Ixchell Reyes
There’s genially and I think that was one of your suggestions I haven’t used generally.

Brent Warner
Yeah, I haven’t. I haven’t played with it a lot yet, but I remember one of our listeners. I think it was Amelia has had suggested it early on. And then I went looked at it. And there’s all sorts of cool stuff. And then I think also in Matt’s article, he was also genuinely just using Gmail. Yeah, it’s real pretty right?

Ixchell Reyes
Then, of course, there’s wakelet, and Padlet. And actually, I wanted to circle back to wakelet. Because earlier we were talking about, I was just thinking, Oh, you could totally do on with wakelet. And I realized I’m already doing that, because right now I’m pulling students in to come see me for academic probation. And so what I’ve built out is like, it’s a choice board, it looks exactly like a choice board. And it’s just like what you–

Brent Warner
Do you want the paddle, or do you want the whip?? (laughter). What are the academic probation choices?

Ixchell Reyes
Well, it’s called academic probation, I call it it’s your personalized path to academic progress and success. Probation just sounds, but that’s what it’s called. It’s academic probation. (laughter)

Brent Warner
So sorry, go ahead.

Ixchell Reyes
They there’s horizontal modalities, and then vertical, not vertical skills. But verdict. No, sorry. Sorry, one of the what, when one direction or another, you’ve got

Brent Warner
Which one’s you’re diagonal one? That’s the real question.

Ixchell Reyes
Wakelet hasn’t gotten that far yet.

Brent Warner
Am I interrupting your train of thought here?

Ixchell Reyes
So, so again, I’ll tell the students Hey, we, I’ve noted it, you know, I looked at their record, and it looks here, like based on your scores, and based on what your teachers are saying about your performance, you need help with, you need more help with verb tenses, and then they tell me what area they feel they’re weak. And they’ll say, like, oh, listening, or idioms. Okay. So let’s look at now at this grid, let’s look at some activities that you might want to what you might want to study from, or you might want to accomplish, or you might want to try out on your own. And if you don’t like it, there’s a few others under the same rule that do the same thing. But it’s a different type of tool. And I just realized, that’s exactly what I’m doing. It’s like a It’s a choice board, but it’s for their own after class, practice or study,

Brent Warner
Independent Differentiated Instruction.

Ixchell Reyes
And that’s, and I always tell them, come back and tell me which ones you like, because I want to collect, you know, for different countries what they prefer, because I think I’ll probably be seeing a pattern and not the ones who, who don’t get enough in the classroom of video and audio, especially for some of our students, they are not allowed to have their phones, so they can’t listen to music. Well, that’s a chance for them to listen to videos, which is not music, but they’re listening to videos that are curated that I’ve carefully selected, that means those areas that they need to enhance, so they’ll come back and tell me Oh, I really liked this one, or oh, I have one that you could add. And now, again, that’s like student student input.

Brent Warner
That’s great. So So if any of your students are listening, and they can’t listen to music, (singing Dragula)

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, I remember now! Yeah, I remember that song now!

Brent Warner
Now you remember it?

Ixchell Reyes
Now that you’re hitting all of the notes… (laughter)

Brent Warner
All right. So definitely lots of different sources on there. The you know, and again, like, it’s so open, it’s so flexible, that you can really do it, whatever you like, I was also thinking like, you could, you could write it up on a whiteboard, and just have students throw sticky darts at like, you know, like the little sticky darts or the the suction cup darts at the whiteboard. And like, you could do so many fun ways to have them try to interact with different ways. And so they, maybe they’re like, Oh, I really want to do the video. And like they’re trying to hit the right spot, you know,

Ixchell Reyes
and you don’t – like you said, it could just be on post it notes, right? You’re just making your eye or you can have the students choose from a group of post it notes where you’ve already placed activities, and they’re just going up there to put what they want to work on for the day. Yeah, it’s as simple as that.

Brent Warner
Absolutely. So, so then, kind of the last bit here is like the different types of activities. So again, I mean, just the easiest way to say it is anything, any any activity you could choose, right, but you might want to kind of think it through just a little bit in terms of like, Hey, what is the prompt? What am I asking students to actually do? And do do these tools fit those needs, but again, you could say like, so many different modalities, so many different approaches to completing an assignment and especially for our language learners, to show that they understand that the language that we’re working on in the class could be endless, but I’m going to start off with another kind of an oldie but a goodie I think it went away for a little while and now it’s back is inkl writer I don’t know if you remember this one Ixchell

Ixchell Reyes
No, remind me! Refresh my old old old mind.

Brent Warner
You’re old mind. It’s – we’re gonna dust off the cobwebs in the in the haunted house of your brain.

Ixchell Reyes
My shriveled up brain. (laughter)

Brent Warner
It’s so inkle writer is pretty cool. Basically what it does, it lets you kind of automatically and quickly write interactive stories. So choose your own adventure style ones. And you can write like a paragraph, and then you just drag and drop the next paragraph underneath it. But it can split off into two, right? So choose your own adventure style, Hey, what are you going to do? Are you going to go through the door, you’re going to walk up the hallway, right? And so then you then they would write the two different possible variations on what happens there. So that could be a way to get students writing or to think about creative possibilities. Sometimes teachers do those, those types of things, it’s like, you’re going to write an alternate ending to the story that we read in class, right? Those types of things. And so these can be really cool. It doesn’t have to be super long for everyone. They could write like one or two sentences and say, like, you know, you’re in a forest clearing and you see a cabin in front of you. And you see, to the left, where do you go right? Go to the lake, go to the cabin, right. And so, that would be you know, inkle, writer i n k l e, w r i, t er, we’ll have a link in the show notes. But that’s one possibility for students to on the choice board on how they might want to interact with what you’re having them do.

Ixchell Reyes
You can of course, create your own Kahoot quizzes or add puzzle suit. I mean, students can create one as well, if they’re willing to, you know, quiz each other or show their comprehension. It can go either way. Yeah.

Brent Warner
Yeah, like, I like that idea. So making their own quizzes is good. They can also do things like thin slides. So if your slides, if you’re into the edge of protocols, right, just saying, Hey, you’re gonna make a single slide here, again, you can go back to, I think we talked about John Woods did an episode on crypto is here. So. So thin slides is a great one that, you know, it’s it’s kind of quick and to the point, so like, so it might be like a faster one for them to do and to kind of quickly get into it. And then, if they’re expected to do multiple on a day, that might be a good kickoff one or a starter one. And so you can also choose to organize them, by the way, you know, based on how long it takes. So like top row is shorter, middle, middle rows a little longer. bottom row is like the longest right, like expectations, and they can kind of move their way through so. So 10 slides might be a good fit for that.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, so you can also have students make a comic. And there’s plenty of ways you can do it just by having them draw it out. Or you could use apps like PowToon, or there’s a few others, even just using Adobe express to build that comic.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it’ll be expressed in Canva. Both have actual comics built right into it. So you can just click in to start adding your own stuff. It could be as simple as just pulling out your phone and recording yourself explaining how to do something, right. So it could just be make a quick video. It doesn’t have to get super fancy, right? It could just be straight up, point the camera at your table and start working right. Yep, that’s it. Yeah. So really, that can be an easy choice for it. And then

Ixchell Reyes
flip formerly flip grid, it’s getting hard to train my brain just to say flip, it’s used to two syllables, grid flip.

Brent Warner
Sorry Ann. Ann Kozma, who joined us in another previous episode, sorry, I’m gonna – Flipgrid is definitely the better name. Sorry Ann.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, flip, flip just has added so many features, the ability to have your subtitles, the ability to hide them the ability to respond with another flip. So it’s, for those of you who don’t know, flip, it’s a video recording app. But you can all again, it’s got all of the things that a teacher would want integrated just into that video, making platform, all within one platform, and it’s very easy to use, very easy to learn. And now they’ve got a lot of safety precautions so that everything stays within your class on this, you want to make it public.

Brent Warner
It’s all it’s and it gets better flips.

Ixchell Reyes
My student flipped me.

Brent Warner
So another one I was thinking of is like Newsela articles at different levels. And yeah, could actually just choose the same article and put it into a grid and just say, okay, easiest level, mid level, high level, or if you’re doing a five level, you know, a lot, most of the news ELA articles are at five levels anyways, so you could just kind of link them there. And then the other thing that I was thinking there is because you can get different perspectives on similar stories or you know, like, you could have, like one row of stories be this, you know, this is the one story but then the second column could maybe be you know, if the first one is about like Martin Luther King, maybe the second one is about just understanding the general civil rights movement. And then the next one could be about like, you know, some With a problem, you know, racism problems in modern day America, right? All sorts of different things. And so you could, you could just line those up without a lot of extra work, but making it easy for the students to see which ones they’re going to be accessing or choosing.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and infographics are another way that you can help your students show their understanding. I particularly like infographics because students never realize how exciting it is to start with one at first, it may seem overwhelming, because they have to figure out what do we want to put on there, what what icon do we want it to represent? Whatever idea and then it just becomes something that they’re really invested in. And and you get all sorts of different types of infographics with either text and pictures or just pictures. And of course, you can also add explanations, if that’s something that they want to go back and record and explain. But then you can also display them in the classroom, and that just reinforces part of what they’ve already mastered. Yeah,

Brent Warner
yeah, for sure. So infographics are great, right? Like you really do get amazing depth of thought with them. Keep taking them back. I’m going back to Thinglink.

Ixchell Reyes
Dang, Link, oh my gosh, we might as well add Pearl trees and something drops. They call it some ringing. raindrop. Io. Oh, yeah. That one?

Brent Warner
I think I do remember that. So Thinglink? If you don’t remember, this is the one where it’s like a

Ixchell Reyes
Thinglink! Thing-a-ling-a-link!

Brent Warner
Hey, I’m the one who’s supposed to be rudely interrupting you, not the other way.

Ixchell Reyes
Karma has no deadline.

Brent Warner
Oh, is that right? All right, I’ll remember that as well. So Thinglink was, was that is, you know, you post a picture. And then you can, you can basically make little hotspots on the picture all over in different places. And then those hotspots can open up, you know, like a YouTube video or a little bit of a text comment or whatever else it is all sorts of interactive ways to kind of work with it. So so that might be a choice for you as well.

Ixchell Reyes
And then you can always, always always design posters and Adobe Express or Canva. And I think those two tools can lend themselves to many other areas. It would be amazing if one day you could embed audio. I don’t know how that would work.

Brent Warner
Well it does work in Adobe Express because you can do like the Spark video thing.

Ixchell Reyes
So yes, you can you can yes, you can, which is actually

Brent Warner
a great one. And I think we’ve talked about that maybe like a year or two ago which is just such a cool feature. And it seems like slightly de emphasized with the new Adobe Express but it is pretty great. And and yeah, students can record only their voice on the single slide and then keep you know, then do this next slide and then record their voice on that one so they can kind of practice and make sure their audio sounds good and then when they click play it all plays together. So those are a number of choices. Again, just the starting point for everybody. It’s not a it’s not definitive by any means it is literally endless possibilities here but that is some some ways you can get started putting in some activities into your choice sports.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, it is time for our fun finds and seeing as San Antonio never gets cold enough you constantly have to stay hydrated and we also don’t have a very good recycling program. Which sucks because I see a lot of plastic waste and one of my fun fines recently are the ello water bottles. They’re just the clear, BPA free it’s a pretty affordable it’s a 28 ounce water bottle that you can get either directly through their website or on Amazon but they stay clean and clear you know we also have a lot of the pods are hard water has a lot of mineral deposits so everything turns kind of whitish but these last clean a pretty long time. The silicone straw or whatever material is made out of it doesn’t mold very fast which can also be an issue but I have I bought two and I get compliments first I get compliments on them all the time which is awesome

and second of all it’s got it’s one of those where you like he’s interrupting this is karma interruption karma. You press a button and it flips open. Had to refill it and you close the lid and there’s a little switch so that if it topples over you don’t spill your water which if you use a water bottle often, you know that that can happen multiple times a day when you knock it over by at a low water bottles it really does goes a long way to make sure that you’re hydrating because it’s not just it’s not your 12 ounce limited with limited quantity, but it’s a 28 ounce and so you’re get you’re in taking a lot of water and that’s my fun find.

Brent Warner
Great so since we were talking about Halloween earlier mine is I found this thing on Twitter this this thread on Twitter that was I thought was pretty cool. So for Halloween every year I do like a horror movie every day you know to watch it and keep myself caught up with everything

Ixchell Reyes
That’s how he found out about shrunken heads last year.

Brent Warner
It is! So so I did find a little while back this one it Twitter thread by this person named Bria Celeste and it was her handle is at @55mmBae – 55 millimeter Bae, I guess. And but anyway, she started this thread called Black survivors in horror, and I just kind of liked it because you know, like that, that whole stereotype. It’s like, oh, the black person dies first right all the time. And like they never survived, but she went and like found all these movies. And it’s like this list of like, black survivors in horror. And so I’m like, okay, cool. Like maybe I’ll watch those as my list for for this year’s Halloween and just kind of that that will be my theme this time around. And then what she did was there was a huge contribution people were all on there like adding stuff and then she made it an actual collection on letterboxd, which is that kind of like the the service that tracks you can use to track the movies that you’ve watched, but you can also put collections together inside of there. So so she did this whole collection on letterboxed and so you can go see all the movies and there’s you know, big, I mean, there’s still not as many movies as there should be, but like, but, but there’s a big enough collection on there that you can go in there and watch and check it out. So that is my October 2022 theme is kind of fun, a different way of approaching it black survivors in horror.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, thank you for supporting the show. You can leave us a shout out with a review on Apple podcasts. Or if you’re giving us a shout out any other way tag us on social media.

Brent Warner
That’s right. We do have a patreon if you want to support the show. You’re welcome to go check that out and you can buy us a coffee as well. And for episodes and show notes you can check out DIESOL.org/70 That’s the number seven zero. And of course you can listen to us at voice at Canada that’s v-o-i-c-e-d.ca You can find us on Twitter. The show is available at @DIESOLpod and I am at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m Ixchell at @Ixy_pixy that’s I x y underscore p i x y. In Pashto thank you is manana manana for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast.

Brent Warner
Thanks, everybody. Have a good one.

What are choice boards? How can we differentiate instruction for multiple skill levels and in different modalities? Do choice boards support creativity and engagement? In this episode, we share research on differentiating instruction with choice boards and give some tools and ideas to start building your own.

Articles

Tools and Activities

Fun Finds 

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