Blog on Special Educational Needs - Asian College of Teachers

Choice Time In Special Education Classrooms: How To Create One For Yourself

23rd February 2024

Choice Time is not the place to provide homework to kids. Children ought to have the freedom to guide their play and, thus, their education. The learners find ways to use the resources that the instructor has thoughtfully placed in centers with provocative questions. As educators who have completed the Certificate in Autism course for teachers, you need to know what Choice Time is and how you can schedule it in your classroom. Read on for more.

 Why Is Choice Time Important?

Teachers make hundreds of decisions every day, therefore it matters.  But what if each choice needed to be thought through for several minutes or even hours?  You would never be able to go on to the next thing because it would be crippling. For him, that was kind of the situation.

Thus, here are a few reasons why Choice Time is important:

  • The ability to choose is a skill. Furthermore, a large portion of our kids lack this talent.  There are moments when they struggle to understand their options. Other times, they fear that if they make a decision, someone will believe that it is incorrect.  However, there is no wrong decision when it comes to numerous options, such as what you want to accomplish. Therefore, it is important to teach pupils how to choose what they enjoy to do, consume, and so on.
  • Students should experiment with different pastimes to discover alternative interests they could have.  For example, some children might only pick computers and never attempt anything else. Thus, if the computer broke, they would have nothing else to do.
  • Learners must comprehend that not all of the options they would want to have are available. For example, it could not be a choice if they want the computer and there is a student on each machine.  Choice time provides a safe environment in which we can help them learn to accept this setback.
  • Students must develop their self-advocacy skills.  Therefore, the first step in telling people what you need or want is learning to make decisions.

How To Include Choice Time In Your Classroom?

Take a look at these few ways to incorporate choice time in your classrooms:

1. Determine Your Goals

As with most things in the classroom, you should be very clear about the objectives of the exercise.  Are you attempting, for example, to provide the pupils with a chance to practice making menu choices?  Are you attempting to teach a student or pupils how to accept situations in which they have no control?

Some of your goals might include:

  • Learn to choose between various activities
  • Exposure to several play and leisure activities
  • Accept when something is not a choice
  • Make a different choice than other days

2. Decide On A Time Frame

Determine the duration of choice time for the kids.  It should only go on for as long as the pupils are willing to participate.  Make a choice time 10 minutes AT MOST if the majority of your children can only complete a task for that length of time without becoming restless.  If you want them to be somewhat autonomous at it, you could want to reduce it.

It could occasionally be necessary to extend the choice time to provide staff breaks.  In that scenario, you may ask students to select two options. Just be aware that to support that, you will require additional workers.

3. Decide If You Want To Allow Switching Or Not

Decide in advance on whether or not to let pupils switch between choice possibilities.  Next, ensure that your personnel is aware of that choice.

You should allow switching because:

  • Some activities cannot engage students for a long time
  • Students might get more opportunities to practice making choices
  • If a student faces difficulties accepting that a choice is not available they might choose the same some other time

You should not allow switching because:

  • Students moving around can be complicated to handle
  • Students will not stay engaged for long with leisure activities for long
  • Realistically there might not be enough time to carry out choices

Some Critical Elements For Choice Time

Here are some of the key elements of visuals you can use during your choice time:

  • Use visuals comparable to the schedules they use
  • If learners struggle with situations make sure it is visually clear
  • Allow switching only when you have time and make students come back to the choice board

Use Choice Time Responsibly

Since choice time is used to achieve the learning objectives of the students, teachers need to understand the gravity. Ensure that you have pursued a Certificate in Autism course for teachers to ensure your curriculum includes Choice Time. This is crucial because kids get the chance to play, discover, explore, interact with others, think creatively, think outside the box, play with a box, and just plain have fun!

We believe education should be accessible for everyone. That’s why we don’t charge for our blogs. Find the right course that will help you in your career with us, contact us at +6621056101. You can mail us at

Written By : Laura Taylor

Leave a Reply