Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Choice Boards With Symbaloo

A Digitally Created Choice Board with Online Resources

Sherry Franklin | Published: October 5th, 2023 by K20 Center


Choice Boards

Choice Boards are an accessible and customizable way to bring differentiated instruction into any classroom. Themed activity grids can be designed with activities of varying difficulty levels and point values for students to choose from. They can stimulate students' personal interests and preferences for greater engagement and active learning.

Choice Boards

Symbaloo is a website bookmarking platform that helps you organize and save links in one place. You can create multiple tabs, or webmixes, that can be shared and used collaboratively.




Hello and welcome to this Tech-Integrated Strategy tutorial. Whether you’re teaching online or in a face-to-face setting, learning in the modern classroom often benefits from the digital mediation of educational activities. 

In this video, you’ll learn how to implement the Choice Board instructional strategy using the Symbaloo tech tool.

Choice Board is located on the K20 LEARN site under the Instructional Strategies tab. This strategy provides students with a themed activity grid. This grid enables students to make a personal preference of how they want to learn or practice a particular concept.

Symbaloo is a web-based tool that enables users to create tabs or webmixes that can be shared and used collaboratively. This makes it a great option for facilitating collaborative activities where students need to access or share multiple online resources. You can find the Symbaloo card on the K20 LEARN site under the Tech Tools tab. 

In the How-To section, you’ll receive hands-on instructions explaining how to set up a Choice Board activity using Symbaloo.

How-To Guide

In this how-to video, we will show you how to set up and create a Choice Board using Symbaloo.

Step 1: First, navigate to Select “Sign up!” in the top right corner of your screen.

Step 2: Select “Get Started” under Personal. This will give you a free account where your webmixes will be shareable.

Step 3: Choose the method that works best for you or enter your email address and information to create an account. Then select “Register Now!”

Step 4: You will receive an email from Symbaloo. In order to continue and have Symbaloos that are shareable, you will need to go into your email account and select “Click here to verify email.”

Step 5: When you first create your account, Symbaloo will give you some pre-created webmixes. To delete any webmix you do not need, select that webmix from the tabs at the top of the screen. 

Step 6: Then select the “x” on the right side of the tab.

Step 7: For this example, we will model elementary science. The purpose behind this choice board is to aid students in finding research for animal habitats. To create a new webmix, select the “+” at the end of the tab row.

Step 8: Next, you will need to title your webmix. For this example, type the title “Animal Habitats” in the “Name” box.

Step 9: Then, select “?Add.” This will create a blank webmix. 

Step 10: You will see a pop-up box that asks: “How are you planning to use webmix?” Select “Classroom.”

Step 11: Select “?Submit.”

Step 12: At the top of your screen select “? Edit Webmix.”

Step 13: Select “Webmix Background.”

Step 14: Select the toggle button by “Set custom Background.”

Step 15: Select the background that works best with your theme.

Step 16: Select the “x” at the top right to close the settings box.

Step 17: Hover over the first tile where you want to add a resource. You will see the words “add a tile.” Select that tile. 

Step 18: You will need to have preselected your resources to add to the webmix. Navigate to the website you would like to use for the webmix. Select and copy the web address in the web bar. Navigate back to your Symbaloo page.

Step 19: Paste your web address into the “Enter a URL or search query” box.

Step 20: Select “?Add Tile.”  It is recommended that as you add tiles, you group them by type. Try to add several different types of tiles. For example, videos, articles, drawing tools, games, etc. This will give your students a wider selection of options.

Step 21: Continue adding tiles until you have added all the information that needs to be accessible. To help students navigate the webmix easier, you will want to create Webmix Markers. At the top of your screen select “? Edit Webmix.”

Step 22: Then select “Webmix Markers.”

Step 23: Select “+ Add Marker to Webmix.”

Step 24: Follow the directions on the screen. Click and drag your mouse over all the tiles you want to put in a group.

Step 25: Select your desired color.

Step 26: Select “< Back to settings overview.”

Step 27: Select “Collaborate on Webmix.”

Step 28: Select “Allow others access.” This changes the webmix from “Sharing turned off” to “Public.”

Step 29: If you would like a colleague or peer to work on the webmix with you, then you can select “Add Collaborators.” 

Step 30: Type your collaborator’s name and email.

Step 31: Select “send invitation.”

Step 32: Select the “x” in the top corner of the box to go back to the webmix.

Step 33: Select “Share options” at the top of the webmix.

Step 34: This enables you to copy a link or add a link to Google Classroom. Choose the best method for your students. To share the link, select “link.”

In the Facilitation portion of this tutorial, you will learn how to implement this strategy in your classroom.


By using Symbaloo to provide your students with a Choice Board, you give students voice and choice in their learning.

When using Symbaloo, you have a few options for how to carry out this activity. You may have a Symbaloo already created, as demonstrated in the How To, or you can allow older students to create their own Symbaloos to share resources with their peers. 

To view a Symbaloo, students do not need to create an account. You may have students access a Symbaloo through Google Classroom or by providing them with a link. If students are creating their own Symbaloos, then they will need to create a Symbaloo account using their school emails as shown in the How-To video.

For younger students, demonstrate how a Symbaloo board works and how to navigate back to the Symbaloo once they have opened a tile to explore. If you have older students who are creating their own Symbaloo webmix, consider showing them the How-To video. 

Emphasize that this is a Choice Board, and they will not visit every resource or use every tile, but they need to choose the resources that work best for what they want to study and how they learn.

If you have nonreaders or ELL students in your class, consider adding some resources that will read the content to them or have easier reading levels.

In the next video, we will discuss Use Cases to give you some ideas for how to use Choice Board with Symbaloo in other grades and content areas.

Use Cases

Using Choice Board with Symbaloo is a great way to engage students in their own learning. They are provided the opportunity to learn in a way that best fits their learning style.

While our discussion has previously focused on a science example, Choice Board with Symbaloo is an activity that can be implemented in any classroom or content area.

For example, in an English Language Arts classroom, you can have a Choice Board that provides students with different tech tools to complete an end of unit project.

In a Social Studies classroom, you can have students create a Symbaloo with new articles demonstrating a specific topic. In Science, you can provide the students with a variety of virtual lab sites to use for conducting research.

These are just a few examples of the many applications for using Choice Board with Symbaloo. No matter which grade level or content area you’re teaching, this Tech-Integrated Strategy has a variety of possibilities.


Choice Board is an instructional strategy that can be used in the classroom to provide students with voice and choice on what they are learning or how they are showing what they learned.

Symbaloo is a free online tool that allows its users to create a webmix of multiple online resources.

Symbaloo makes it easy for teachers  to share safe resources digitally, so using it with Choice Board is a great option for actively engaging students in their own learning.


Do students need an account to access Symbaloo?

No. Students can access Symbaloo with a link or through Google Classroom and do not need an account. If students are creating their own Symbaloo, then they will need to register and sign up for an account.

I updated my webmix. How do students see the updates?

Each time you edit a webmix, you need to reselect the “Share Webmix” button. This will allow students to see all updates.

What types of resources can be linked to a Symbaloo?

Any online resources can be added to a Symbaloo. You can link all google docs, forms, slides shows, websites, videos, etc.

Consider visiting Symbaloo’s FAQ website.

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