Thursday, November 7, 2013

Plot Elements Choice Menu Pack for Differentiation and Extension for Sale!

***I am so very excited to have finally uploaded my first non-Halloween related product over on Teachers Pay Teachers!  It is on sale for 25% off until midnight tomorrow (November 7th) MST. ***

Choice Menus (I actually call them extension menus in my classroom) are a very essential part of teaching in a gifted cluster classroom...really any classroom.  Let's face it, all teachers need to differentiate for their kids since everyone works at a different level.  Whether it is learning styles, reading levels, or preference to showing what they know...students drool over choice menus because they get to CHOOSE how they show their teacher and everyone else what they have learned.  Not to mention, choice menus mean little to no prep for teachers.

This little beauty here is one of the very first choice menus I created back when I first was finishing up my gifted endorsement through my wonderful district.  It has since evolved a little into what I put together for other teachers to buy and enjoy in their classroom.  But all in all, I am seriously proud of a choice menu that I KNOW is top notch versus a lot of other menus I have found online.  If you want to fully implement choice menus and be confident in how they will challenge your students, it is essential to make sure choice menu items cover the gamete of Bloom's Taxonomy.  My Plot Elements Choice Menu ranges from synthesis to application.  By giving point values to the different levels of product choices, you can ensure students who do not choose the more challenging products have to choose several items in order to earn at least 100 points.  It all works itself out!

Image from
In my experience with using choice menus in the classroom, you have to really reiterate how the creative aspect of products shouldn't overshadow the skills being demonstrated.  Make sure your students understand the creative side of choice menus and products accentuate instead.  I have found many students get caught up in making something look pretty or cute instead of making sure they have covered all their bases in the rubric when it comes to the standards they are supposed to be demonstrating comprehension of.  Be wary and stay on top of them!

Since I'm a huge fan of using entrance and exit tickets when I pull in extension activities, I included a set with this choice pack!  Always give your students a rubric that explains down to finite detail what you expect them to show through each product they choose.  I have grown to love and my students are accustomed to also getting a score sheet and/or contract with their choice menus.  They keep this out next to them as they work so they can look back and forth in order to ensure they are on track.  This has all come about from experiencing too many moments when students turn in their finished products only to find out they didn't even meet all the requirements.  It took me several times to figure out how to get my students heads wrapped around it.  But don't be discouraged...once they get it, they are on a roll the rest of the year!

I wish I could show all kinds of awesome pictures of my students working on this particular choice menu, but I didn't get to use it this year as the beginning of my year was insane with getting my class to get a hold of their behaviors and my expectations.  I do have a picture from last year, but this was from the time when i wasn't taking pictures a whole lot.  Hopefully, I can come back next year and update with some great visuals!

Keep an eye out in the next month or so for other choice menu products I plan to put up.  Some of them are shorter and can be completed in less time in your classroom and require less stress with implementation.  I hope I am able to help other teachers feel confident in using them successfully in their classrooms!  Stand back and watch your students take's fun to see...and it's even more entertaining to sit back and watch their presentations...songs, cheers, singing telegrams, and more. Love it!

Buy it here in my little store and take it to your classroom...sit back and watch the learning take off to new levels and listen to the buzz of your students enjoying the challenge!