This spring, many of us heard about choice boards and virtual music classrooms, as a way to engage students and give them choice during distance learning. In this blog post, I’ll detail sample activities that you can add to your choice board or virtual classroom. You can send these home as supplemental work this summer, or keep these in mind for the fall.
What are choice boards and virtual classrooms?
First, what are choice boards and virtual classrooms?
A choice board is a board you can create and send to students, to have them choose what they’d like to do. This allows students to have ownership of their learning in a structured way. Keep reading to download some free choice board templates!
A virtual classroom is a visual that could look like your music room (or a music room in general) and offers links for students to click and explore. You may have seen some people using Bitmojis with their virtual classrooms…but you don’t have to. For ready-made virtual music classroom templates, see this set. For more guidance on creating your own, see this tutorial.
What can you add?
The following is a list of websites, activities, and more, that you could either add to a choice board or virtual music classroom.
- Chrome Music Lab: This is one of my favorite music websites! You could send students to this link, which has all of the game choices, or you could send students to a specific game, such as the rhythm game. Students could explore and play, then they’d come back to the choice board or virtual music classroom and choose another!
- Incredibox: This is also one of my favorite music websites! This allows students to choose their own loops to create their own music. Students “dress” the men in shirts to create, and there are several different versions students can explore.
- Creatibility: This is a series of musical experiments that allow students to experience music in a different way. Just like Chrome Music Lab, students can choose from a selection of games with this link, or you could send them to a specific game, such as “Seeing music” (which may be my favorite! Great way to visualize music and do vocal exploration!)
- Nearpod “Time to Climb” quiz: The “Time to Climb” quiz inside Nearpod is SO cool! It allows students to choose a character, take a quiz, and climb a mountain with each correct answer. With distance learning this spring, my first grade daughter Macy would get so excited when she saw she’d been assigned a “Time to Climb” quiz! For information about how to create your own (which you could then assign a student-paced link to), watch this tutorial:
For information about how it works in student-paced mode, check out this video.
- Game in Google Slides: You could create a game in Google Slides, get a link by clicking “share,” then provide that link in your choice board or virtual music classroom. Looking for pre-made games? Check out these two; the first one is a freebie, and the second one is a bundle of games:
- Google Form: You could have students take a form as a quiz, with correct/ incorrect answers, about concepts they’ve been studying. You could also include a Google form to gather student feedback and preferences.
- Instruments of the Orchestra website: This is a very fun game for Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” A word of warning though—it uses Flash, so might not work on all computers.
- HyperDoc: I talked in this blog post about using HyperDocs to give students choices around a certain topic. If you want students to explore a specific topic, this could be a wonderful way to have students learn about that topic. If you are looking for sample HyperDocs, check out the blog post to download some for free!
Looking for ready-made choice boards? I created these two sets:
Wanting a template for creating your own choice board? Sign up for my email list below, to receive weekly music education templates, and to receive your own templates!
I hope this is helpful to you, as you create a virtual music classroom or choice board. Happy creating!