After several emails about my charts, stations, etc...I have decided to put together a few posts based on work stations. I just thought this would be easiest for everyone! There have been several (wonderful) online book reviews that bloggers have put together and I strongly encourage you to check those out as well! Here are just a few ideas and what works best for ME.
The books are great in that they break down stations, how to set them up, and how to keep them on going throughout the year. I have found that students can become bored easily with the task, so changing little things like the pens they use or markers they color with can help a great deal!
I may choose poetry, listening, library, tongue twisters, and punch prints one week...but the next week do writing/word work, newspaper knowledge, poetry, listening, and library. I change them so students are still excited about going and interested in what the station has to offer. When I say my stations vary depending on theme, I mean....take my Zoo Unit for example. My lesson plans for that week in stations may look like this...
Poetry - Students will recite the zoo poem, cut and glue in their poetry journal, highlight words they know, and illustrate.
Listening - Students will listen to The Smelliest Day at the Zoo and complete a story report.
Library - Students will review fiction and non fiction zoo books. They may read to self, read to friend, or read to a book buddy. Students will discuss and complete a library story report.
Tongue Twister - Students will recite a zoo tongue twister and record on tongue twister page. Students will illustrate the twister and highlight the similar sounds.
Punch Prints - Students will read, trace, and punch the weekly sight words/zoo vocabulary.
I know this can seem like a LOT, but really it isn't. The story reports in library and listening are the same each week, but the books they read and listen to change. Does all that make sense? The tongue twisters are recorded on a sentence strip and changed each week but the tongue twister recording page stays the same. Really...it is minimal up keep! :)
Now, in order to be able to SUCCESSFULLY operate small groups while your students are rotating throughout work stations, you must have a chart that students can read and understand. This eliminates students interrupting you and asking where they're suppose to be or where they are to go next. If they have questions about anything, they see their team captain. If the captain doesn't know, they see another captain...and so on. The old rule goes, "See 3 before you see me!" So, only after they've pretty much exhausted all of their options are they allowed to interrupt my small group time.
This is another great method! I do all that I can to ensure my small group time is meaningful and engaging to my students participating. This, of course, means little interruptions can occur!
This is only the tip of the ice berg but hopefully I answered some of your questions! Are you ready to get started? Have I convinced you to start work stations this year? ha Here is a freebie to help you organize your charts. There is a set for those of you who have your tables by colors (red table, yellow table, blue table, etc) and a set for those who use money (penny table, nickel table, dime, etc). Simply click on the images to download from google docs. Enjoy!