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Extend and Enrich Boardmaker Activities to Go

by Emily Strom December 14, 2018

Extend and Enrich Boardmaker Activities to Go

You’ve worked your way through a unit of Boardmaker Activities to Go, and you want more. Now, what do you do? It’s time to enrich and extend upon these units! Before you glaze over at yet another mention of the buzz-word duo “extend and enrich,” hear me out, there are distinct differences between the two words. Enrichment activities encourage students to dig deeper into what they are learning. Often, they are student directed, so the teacher creates learning opportunities depending on what piques the interest of their students. Extension activities extend upon and reinforce current learning. Both types of activities are wonderful ways to help maintain engagement and learning in the classroom. Today I’m going to give you REAL examples and ideas of ways to extend and enrich Boardmaker Activities to Go that you can use in your classroom! Let’s take a look…

Consider Other Levels

Boardmaker Activities to Go provides three levels of support. While each level is slightly different, they complement one another. Here are some ideas to make all the materials work for your students.

  • Independent Reading: Use any level book during independent reading time. Students can look at the pictures and explore the books on their own.
  • Shared Reading: Choose a book and do a shared reading with your student or group of students. Read more about shared reading strategies here.
  • Build Background Knowledge: Use level A and B books to activate background knowledge.

Use the Teacher Guide

Do you know that each Boardmaker Activity to Go unit includes a handy one-page teacher guide? The guide offers implementation ideas, and you'll also notice that we offer some fun suggestions on how to extend the unit using Boardmaker templates. Don’t have Boardmaker? Click here to learn more or with a little bit of imagination, you can create these activities using materials you have on hand. Below are my three favorite extension activities because you can use them with any unit, they are quick and easy to create, and students love them!

  • Sorting Activity: Sort examples and non-examples using the main concept of the unit.
  • Memory: Use target words from the books to create a fun matching game.
  • Poll: Think of a question and have students answer it. Then, compare the results.

Re-Read and Re-Read Again

Reading something more than once may not sound exciting for us, but it’s important for our students. Have you ever experienced a child watching the same movie over-and-over again? (If I hear Let it Go one more time, I may scream!) Or perhaps they want to read the same bedtime story for an entire month. There’s a reason for this. Repeated exposures to the same movie or book allow children to practice acquiring new knowledge. They also pick up on new things each time they watch or read the same thing repeatedly. So, it makes sense that we should do repeated readings with our students. Rather than just having students reread the book, give them a purpose for reading. Setting a purpose for reading helps students direct their focus on what’s important in the text. It is also a great way to help students make connections to what they are reading. You can set up specific purposes for reading depending on what you want your student to learn from the text. Here are some examples that would work with the “Healthy Choices” unit:

  • Read to think about what kinds of healthy snacks you might like to make.
  • Read to learn how to tell if a snack is healthy.
  • Read to decide if the food in this book is healthy.

If you want to learn more about re-reading, check out this blog here!

With a few tips and a little inspiration, you are now ready to keep your students engaged and learning! Don’t forget to check our Boardmaker Activities to Go pages here and here. We are adding new, free units each month!

Emily Strom
Emily Strom

Emily Strom, M.Ed is a special educator currently working on the Curriculum and Content team at Tobii Dynavox. Before working at Tobii Dynavox, Emily taught in the Chicago Public School system working with school-age students with a range of disabilities across varied school settings. Now, she lives and works in Boulder, Colorado and enjoys creating books while watching the wildlife outside her office window.


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