Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tried it Tuesday-Tic-Tac-Toe boards

I am linking up with Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried it Tuesday linky. If you haven't visited her blog before be sure to check it out for some new great ideas to use in your classroom.


As I have shared before, my school is working on a goal of differentiated instruction. One of the areas I differentiate more in this year was to give my students more personal choice. They have a lot of personal choice in reading and writing, but not so much in other areas. I wanted to grow in this area. I also wanted to find constructive activities that my students could work on when they finished their daily work in math class. After searching around on TPT I discovered some wonderful math tic-tac-toe boards. After using some that were premade I decided to try my hand at making them. Here is an example of a board that I made for my decimal unit. Most of the activities are free from TPT or from other freebies I found on various blogs. You can download it here.
 My students really enjoy doing them. They look forward to the different activities and options they have to choose from. I normally introduce the board when we are half way through the unit. I put the papers/manipulatives for each activity in labeled folders or bins on a side table so that the students can work without interrupting me as I work with students who may need extra support. Using tic-tac-toe boards has been a lifesaver. Giving the students free choice helps them stay on task which allows me to meet with students in small groups. It is an easy and wonderful way to differentiate.

Have you ever used tic-tac-toe boards in your classroom? What are some ways you differentiate? Don't forget to link up with Fourth Grade Flipper and share something new you have tried!


  1. Bethany, I just created my first tic-tac-toe board for Social Studies. I teach in a collaborative classroom, so I wanted to create something that would be more of a challenge for my advanced students. I plan on using it for early finishers as well as times when I'm working with small groups. I'm glad to hear it worked out for you. I'm really excited about using it with my kiddos!

    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

    1. I'm sure your kiddos will love it! You will have to let me know how it goes!

  2. I love choice boards. I started using them last year and my students love the choice they provide. I've used them in reading, math, and social studies. One thing I've struggled with is how to grade them. How do you manage the grading aspect of them?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Teacher of Scholars

    1. I am still working through grading them as well. I require that the students submit something for each activity that they complete so I can check that they actually did it, and that they understood what they were doing. I've made it out of 10...3 points for each activity and 1 point for completing all three activities. For the most part they all earn 9 or 10 points.
      Hope that helps, if you think of another way to grade them I'd love to hear it.

  3. Thanks for this. I think these boards are really good, but not just for in class. We have some teachers that do this for weekly homework, so they can pick and choose which activities they want to do. And you're right, giving them freedom to choose makes them feel a little better too.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  4. I agree! I give my students a lot of choice for ELA (thanks to Daily 5) but I could improve so much in this area in other subjects. Thank you for the inspiration and for linking up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper