Monthly Archives: August 2019

Planning for Choice Time

I’ve had some recent requests for me to share my Choice Time planning templates so I decided to post them here on my blog.
This is one that I wrote after a school director requested a “Choice Time rubric.” I was actually rather appalled by the idea of creating a rubric to rate children and/or teachers in relationship to Choice Time. I’m more interested in teachers and children becoming more reflective about their play, explorations and discoveries.

However, after a lot of thought, this is what I did come up with:

If you are planning to add a new center to Choice Time, this template may help to structure your planning. When you’re planning a center, be sure to have unstructured materials so that it is the children who are imposing their ideas on what will be happening at the center. Think of your job as structuring the center for unstructured investigations.

You can also add to this any way that you might add materials to the center to  enhance the inquiry work that you are doing in Social Studies, Science or Math.

This is a very easy way to observe children at centers, reflect on the observations and then, based on observations and reflections, plan instructional “next steps.” The only work during Choice Time is to spend a few minutes observing children at centers. Then put aside the observation sheet and return to it when you are not working with the children. Here’s a blank template and then one where the teacher made observations as children worked in the block center. What would you make of what was happening in the center? What might your next step be? Would you do a minilesson to address something that happened at the center? Add or take away materials?

Are any of these templates helpful? I would love to hear from you!