TnT 84 Why station rotations can positively impact your teaching practice

A lot of teachers have different strategies for cooperative learning or to facilitate more engaging learning experiences. One that most know of and not enough try is station rotations. I’d seen these done with various teachers and even dipped my toe in a bit, but I wanted to know more about how to do them effectively. So I invited my friend, Laura Kebart from languageartsteachers.com, who is an expert on making stations fit within the context of your class. We go into what stations are, why we should use them, how to group students, how to create an assignment that lends itself to stations, how to make them work in a 45-minute period, classroom management, AND grading.

Where you can find Laura:

languageartsteachers.com

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Kim  

I’m super excited about this episode because not only do I want to learn more about stations, I want to try to convince you to give them a shot as well. I’m always looking for ways for students to stay engaged and to create deeper learning experiences for them. And I think stations are really going to change up how I do things. 

 

Kim  

Well, thank you, Laura, so much for being on the podcast. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

 

Laura  

Oh my gosh, I’m so happy to be here. Kim, happy to talk to you and we’re ready to go. Yeah.

 

Kim  

So about a year ago, actually, you were on the podcast. And you know, we have you back with For those who haven’t heard that episode that you were on, could you tell my listeners more about what you do?

 

Laura  

Oh, sure, yes. So I serve middle school English language arts teachers by providing full curriculum and instructional coaching. So that involves embedding, reading, writing, speaking, listening all those skills into the lessons, and I work with teachers all across the country at this point who either have no resources, or they have too many resources and lots of flexibility. And you know, teachers who were told Oh, just teach the standard, you’ll be fine. Well, what does that mean? 

 

Laura  

And so I provide those resources and that instructional coaching to them and I do it in a way that’s completely realistic. I really take the whole teacher into account when I’m providing advice or instructional coaching in other words, what’s your what’s going on with your family at home? What do you like to do on the weekends? What’s happening in your life outside of school, so that I’m always providing information and resources that make sense for them where they are. 

 

Laura  

So I will never tell a teacher you need to put together this whole project, it’s going to, you know, you ever been to those workshops and conferences and you think, wait, if I was actually going to do that, that would take hours every night, right? And, you know, so I just I never offer that kind of advice. So I serve in a very realistic way. The teachers you know, who are in our membership, so I serve these teachers through membership so that I can provide consistent support and resources every month all year long.

 

Kim  

And what’s great about that is I’ve always recommended to my listeners, especially when they’re starting out to not create their own lessons, because it just it takes a long time, number one and number two, you kind of don’t really know what’s going to work. I think that it’s better to you use other people’s lessons that are vetted and that have worked in the past, you know, they’ve worked out all the kinks. 

 

And with a subscription service like yours for middle school, la Teachers, that overwhelm of Okay, am I covering all of the standards? Am I, you know, doing everything that I’m supposed to do? And then they still have to grade? And then they still have to answer parent emails. 

 

So when you use somebody else’s resources, it just takes one more step in this step that takes up a lot of time. And I think it also helps eliminate that Sunday fear, where what am I going to do tomorrow? Well, if you are using your service, it’s like here, this is what you’re going to do for the next month. You know, it’s already planned out and they don’t have to worry, that’s one less thing for them to worry about.

 

Laura  

Yeah, it’s true and it opens up so much bandwidth, to be able to actually build relationships with your students. So instead of thinking about all the things you’ve got to do, and the random Random resources online and you know, spread out all over the place. You’re trying to kind of Frankenstein your plans together, or you have no resources and you’re trying to invent something scratch that takes so much emotional and mental bandwidth. And then you’re doubting yourself, Is this enough? And, you know, we’re Teachers, it’ll never be enough. 

 

Laura  

So we put that pressure on ourselves. But you know, to have that part, taken off your plate opens up so many more possibilities to just get to know your kids and to build those relationships. And, you know, rather than focusing on what is going to happen the next day in class, because now you’re out of lesson plans, or you don’t have anyone to ask about it, so right. I really enjoy serving in that way.

 

Kim  

Now, the reason why I brought you back this time, is because I want to know more about stations. I’ve heard of other teachers using stations. I tried it in the beginning of the year, and it was really cool. My students were into it, but I still kind of feel like I could be better about it. I don’t know, I was a little bit overwhelmed with it, it was actually super exhausting. So for those of us that either have never used stations or maybe we’ve only dabbled Can you explain how they work?

 

Laura  

To answer that question, so much of what we think about stations comes from seeing how they’re supposed to look after months and months and months of prep time. Or it’s like seeing the final product and not understanding what it takes to get there. And nobody really talks about what it takes to get there. So I know for me, I’ve been through you know, so many workshops and professional developments just like everyone else, and you know, stations, this is what you’re doing and they show you what it’s supposed to look like, but there’s nothing about how to get there. 

 

Laura  

So people who have never used stations, what it is is stations allow students to work for a very specific amount of time. On a very focused piece of content, and then they rotate to another type of work, they can physically get up and go to another table where that next assignment is already there for them. Or if you have a large class or a wonky class, and you don’t want them giving up, because we’ve all been there, um, sometimes the students stay seated and the work itself can rotate. 

 

Laura  

So the point is that students have a very specific amount of time to work on a very focused piece of content. And that’s what makes it so different from just group work. You think well, how’s it different from group work, but group were kind of has a, I don’t know, kind of a connotation that there’s no real star, there’s no real and everyone’s kind of working together and you end up with the one kid who writes in the other, just kind of sit there and you know, gets out of hand. So stations are a lot more strategic is what it is, and it allows for differentiation, which we can get into later. But that’s really the way to think about it is that it’s a special civic amount of time, the students are working on a very specific assignment.

 

Kim  

Okay, so it sounds like you’re more of a proponent for stations compared to just regular group work.

 

Laura  

In most cases, it depends on what you want to happen. So if you want to use stations in other words, if you want your students to slow down, you know you’ve got these fast workers, right? I’m done after five seconds. If you want students to really focus on one thing at a time, give their best effort. If you want your students to not feel overwhelmed. If you want your students to feel successful with just one thing at a time, then that stations now group work there’s nothing wrong with group work. 

 

Laura  

But if your intention is I just need my kids to work together in groups because I’ve got a splitting headache and it’s Friday and it’s 240. Go for it. That’s fine. You know, or if it really is a group project, and you need your students working in groups on the project, that may be a different situation, but stations are just a lot more strategic. And they really allow the teacher to differentiate without doing a whole lot of extra work. So group work is not going to have much differentiation involved. Not typically, you know, and I don’t want to say never, because I know there’s someone out there who will argue, and that’s not the point. It’s just that stations are very, very strategic, whereas group work is a lot more open.

 

Kim  

Okay, so then what do I need to take into consideration in terms of like the classroom layout and how I split up the students to make stations more efficient and make them work better?

 

Laura  

Yeah, and you know, this is going to depend on your group of students, it’s going to depend on the time of day, you may have to approach stations a little bit differently, let’s say after lunch, then maybe before lunch, but it’s you know, you have to think about how many minutes you have in your class period. You’ve got to think about the behaviors in each class, the student dynamics, really looking at which students work well together, which ones don’t. 

 

Laura  

And so, you know, it’s interesting, because we may have listeners right now who are thinking, well wait a second, it should depend on reading level, it should depend on, you know, Lexile or, well, yes, we’re going to get to that as we go. But when you’re just getting started with stations, none of those other things matter. If your students are not working, if they’re not working the way they should, if they’re not getting along with each other, those other pieces don’t matter. So when we’re starting out, we need to consider how much time we actually have for stations per day. And which students work well together and which ones should never be together because that’s just the reality. Right?

 

Kim  

And then is there a better layout for the physical movement that you’ve seen like? Should everyone be at opposite corners of the room or

 

Laura  

Do you know what I mean? I do yeah, I know what you’re saying. And again, that’s going to depend on your students. As you get to know your students throughout the year. You’ll know which ones are okay. Kind of back in a corner working and you know which ones you would never have. Okay over there on that part of the room. When we’re getting started with stations, though, I do want everyone sitting in a chair. Now if you know flexible seating, that’s different, but I need to see all of my students I need to be able to see what they’re doing. I want everything out in the open. 

 

Laura  

And then as we move through the year as I get used to the stations, as the students are getting used to the stations as they’re working up to my standards, then I can start to be more flexible. Yes, you three can go and sit on the pillows over there. Yes, it’s fine for you to go over, you know what I mean? But starting out, I’m I recommend being a little bit more strict about it. 

 

Laura  

You just want to make sure that Visually you can see and hear your students and get to them quickly as you’re going through those initial setup, you know, set up procedures for training them on stations. And I mean, we can talk about how to train your students for stations too. But okay, yeah, but for the layout, I really want my students to have space to work, and I need to be able to see and hear what’s going on.

 

Kim  

Right. And so now if I decide that, you know, I haven’t figured out in my head, like how the layout is going to be and who can go where what should I consider when I’m creating an assignment for stations?

 

Laura  

Oh, my gosh, that’s a great question. So well, first of all, whatever the assignment is at that station, is it the type of assignment the students have actually done before in your class? So Well, yes, they’ve done vote. Yes, we do vocabulary every week, okay. But is this a totally different way? that they’re using the vocabulary because if so, That’s it’s going to bring up some questions. And so the point of stations is that ultimately you need to get your kids to the point where they can work independently the other institutions, but you know what I mean, they can work independently, without having to ask the teacher a question every two seconds, it really needs to be an assignment that they’ve done before, or that’s very, very similar to what they’ve done before. 

 

Laura  

So when you’re getting started with stations, give them something to do that is very similar to what you’ve done before. So maybe, maybe it’s annotations. Let’s say you’ve been working on poetry annotations. So you know that they can do it whole class, you feel confident that they can handle it. They’ve done it before they’ve seen the work before. So give them a very similar assignment. Something that’s been done before that’s really important. Do they know what their work is supposed to look like? So again, if it’s a similar, you know, if it’s an assignment that similar to what they’ve done before, then they know what their work is supposed to look like if you’re giving them something new. thinking, Oh, well, they’re working together, they can figure it out. They may or may not figure it out. And they may or may not use that as a perfect excuse to not really put forth their best effort because they can always fall back on the well, we weren’t sure what to do. And we know they know that sometimes, you know, it’s just it’s so much easier when you’re starting out with stations if you do. 

 

Laura  

If you provide an assignment that is similar to what they’ve done before, they need to know what their work is supposed to look like as well, which goes back to your expectations, right? So you know, and when we’re creating an assignment for stations, it’s, it’s important that students know what to do when they’re done. So let’s say you’ve got a short 45-minute class. And let’s say you plan on having students do you know, to 20-minute rotations, maybe that’s all you can do that day, right? Um, students need to know what to do when time is up, so or they need to know what to do if they look up and they see your timers. And they’ve still got four minutes. That’s something else to consider as well. 

 

Laura  

So if you’re creating an assignment for stations and you know, they’re only going to have 20 minutes, is the assignment going to be too long? Is it maybe not long enough? Or do you have procedures in place? So the students know what to do next? Or where do they put their work? How do they submitted to you. So those are definitely some things to consider when you’re setting up an assignment for stations. And on that note, when you’re first starting out with stations, I recommend actually giving all of your I’m going to use the word groups here. I recommend giving all of your groups the same assignment because when you’re first training your students, it’s not even about the assignment. It’s about making sure they know what to do without you. Making sure that they know what to do if they finish a little bit early, or what to do. If you know the timer goes off, and they’re not done yet, what the quality of work looks like and so you That’s the other thing too, that is so much easier for teachers starting out with stations. 

 

Laura  

It’s like we’re taught that we need, you know, eight stations in the room and every station is something different. And that’s how we get started, oh my gosh, no. Start with however many groups you need. And just give them all the same assignment because we’re not ready for differentiation yet. We’re not ready to let the kids complete and figure out everything on their own. It’s just a step. It’s a step to figure out who should never be sitting together. Are they completing the assignment with the same level of quality that they would if they were not in a station?

 

Kim  

So that answers my next call. That leads me to my next question is classroom management because, you know, you did mention like some students can and cannot handle it. And of course, that’s the reality. There’s got to be some trust built into there, but it In my mind, it kind of sounds chaotic. And how can I make sure that everyone is actually working when it appears to be complete chaos?

 

Laura  

Yes. And I know what you’re talking about. Yes, complete chaos. And this is the fear that causes many teachers to either give up very quickly on stations or don’t even try them because they don’t even want to go there. And I get that, like, why would you want more chaos to your classroom than what’s already there? So, okay, one tool, I guess that really helps ensure that all students are working, rather than doing what something they’re supposed to be doing, which brings chaos is really using your teacher station strategically. 

 

Laura  

The teacher station is it’s literally just you may be sitting down at a table, not your teacher desk unless your teacher desk is a table but it’s you as a teacher sitting down at a table with a small group of students in front of you. Maybe the goal is you want to do a mini-lesson with them. Maybe you want to extend the lesson for your more advanced students. Maybe you want to just make sure you know you’re closing some gaps, whatever the purpose is of the teacher station when you’re first starting out, you can use the teacher station very strategically to help ensure that your students are actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing. So here’s the deal. 

 

Laura  

Once you feel confident that your students are completing the assignment you gave them and stations, they know what to do if they finished early, they know what to do if you know time is up, and there’s so much done. The quality of work is about where it should be. You can start using the teacher station as a classroom management tool. And so the way this works is you sit down at your teacher station and this is good. You want your students to see that sometimes you sit down and sometimes you’re up, keep them on their toes. 

 

Laura  

So when You sit down your teacher station, the first time you do this, don’t just pull up a group. Well, I need to pull my low group because I need No, don’t do that. Because what happens is now I’m not saying you don’t ever do that I’m saying this is all, in the beginning, this we’re starting out or you know. So instead of pulling one group of students to come and sit with you, so you can reteach or whatever, pull a student from each station over to you. Because what this does is you pull a whole group to you, what are all the other groups in the class thinking for about the next five or 10 minutes? You know, like, oh, we’re off the hook. Okay. She called group a good writer work, you know, but when, when you’re training your students when you’re wanting to hold them accountable for their work. There’s nothing wrong with pulling one kid from each group, pulling it from this group pulling it from that group. Call her names out, have them come to you. And when they come to you, they bring their work with them. Because this is not group work where there’s like one paper for each kid or you know, they’re working in stations, they’re working together, they’re allowed to talk with each other. But ultimately, they’re responsible for their own work. 

 

Laura  

And so when you call their names, they bring those papers to you. Or if you’re, you know, or your one to one device, whatever your situation is, but they have to bring their work to you. And so they sit down with you. And you’re just looking at the work. The point is not to create it. The point is, not to reteach something. The point is not to go in deep with something right now, the point is to get your kids get used to you calling names. They’re getting used to you holding them accountable, they know that you’re going to be looking at their work. And this is just a quick check. 

 

Laura  

And in the beginning, they’re not sitting down with you for 20 minutes. Right now. We’re still in the early stages of training our students for stations So you call, you know, four or five kids over to you. They’re all from different groups in the classroom. They come to you. And maybe you’re just checking in. Maybe you’re just looking at Oh, I noticed you skipped number two. Are you doing okay with that? That’s great, that’s a great checkpoint. Just checking. Hey, I noticed You’re almost done. And we have 14 minutes left in her station. Oh, why do you think you went so quickly? You know, or it’s not a gotcha. It’s not you’re not looking for anything to get them on. It’s just to let kids know that you are always looking, you’re always checking and they have to bring their work to you. 

 

Laura  

Oh, I noticed you don’t have anything on your paper. Tony, what’s going on? You’re not accusing them you’re not, you know, you’re just opening up that dialogue. And so, you know, listeners might now think, well wait a second, but what if we are at the point where each station is doing something different? That’s okay. You can still do this because you’re just checking in. You’re just checking in with them. This whole thing could be three, four or five minutes. That’s it, you send them back to their stations, and then maybe you call another four or five kids. 

 

Laura  

And the beauty of this too, is that when we’re talking about training our students for stations, if your students are in the station, and maybe there’s a mistake, maybe there’s a typo on your instruction sheet. Maybe they truly cannot figure something out and they’re stuck. Well, if they know that anyone from their group could be called it anytime, then they know that they’ll be able to come to you and ask a question like, well, I’m really stuck on number two. I don’t even think number two is right. I think we read this. I think mister mister mister herb is so and so. Made a mistake. Well, okay, so I’m gonna jot that down on a sticky note the next time she calls someone from our table, take that question to her. Okay, yeah. So you just turn your students into problem solvers. They can skip whatever is holding them up, they can move on. And you as a teacher doing these quick check-ins, it gives you a chance to address or questions as well, that’s really good for relationship building too.

 

Kim  

And you do get a chance to see their work and, you know, mini-conference with them to which there’s that already, you’re setting that expectation that they’re going to show you their work, and you’re going to talk to them about it.

 

Laura  

Exactly. And, you know, on that note, if you pull, you know, maybe four or five kids from random groups over to you, and if you see a red flag with one of the ones you called, it’s okay. Just you can do the check-in, send the others back. And then you can do a quick reteach or get them back on track or you know, whatever the situation is. So, you know, it just, it allows for flexibility as you and the students are figuring out this concept, this concept of stations in the classroom, you’re not locking yourself into where my kids had better be a because I’ve got to sit down with this group of students for 20 minutes because we need to do this guided reading activity or I need to get their minutes in. Yes, there’s a lot of pressure to do that. But realistically, you will be able to do that if you’re putting these other pieces in place first.

 

Kim  

Okay, so then when they’re coming, and I’m checking all of their work and have you ever experienced where students are sort of like reluctant to show you their work because they get anything done or while you’re working with the groups, other people are being off task?

 

Laura  

Absolutely. I mean, their kids, it does happen, for sure. And here’s the thing, these strategies will make a huge difference in those kids who are on the fence like they could go this way or they could go that way. But when they know you’re checking, it’s going to help them choose the right direction to go. And now are you gonna have some kids who no matter what you do, are still going to be off task. Yes, but it’s going to be much fewer and it gives you a chance to actually see you.

 

Laura  

You know, because if you’re checking in with kids and you start to notice, okay, it’s the same kid over and over or you know, in some cases, let’s be realistic, it’s the same kids over and over, you’re able to document that. And so you can have a clipboard sitting next to you and they don’t need to see what you’re writing, you know, let you know, let them wonder what you’re writing. It doesn’t matter. But, but you can start just very quickly jotting down notes about how often it happens. Who’s not working consistently like over I’m not talking about one kid one day doesn’t feel good isn’t working. I’m talking about when you start to notice those red flags over and over and over. You are covering yourself because now you’ve got documentation that proves that you’ve been checking in with your students because of course if this goes to a point where the parent says all they do is working groups, you Don’t ever check on them. That is not true. And you have documentation to back it up.

 

Kim  

Oh, that’s good. Yeah. Now how about grading? Do you grade everything that they do in the stations? Because I’ve seen the stations where there’s a different assignment for each station. And I couldn’t even get through all the grading Laura there were like eight stations, which means that times 176.

 

Laura  

No, yeah, whatever that number is no way. Okay, so two things here. First of all, if you need eight stations in your classroom, because let’s say you have that many kids, right like you’ve gotten 30-35 kids you need a station because you don’t want 10 Kids each station That’s ridiculous. If you eight stations, your classroom that does not mean that you need eight different assignments. If you could, you could have four assignments and maybe you have like, there to station to station Bs, you know what I mean to station sees. So right there that cuts the word coat and half. 

 

Laura  

The other thing too, is that you can take a regular assignment, let’s just use the example of a terribly boring 10 question worksheet, I now use the W word which everyone frowns upon. But let’s just say you have a terribly boring 10 question worksheet. Well, for stations, I mean, you can cut, cut that worksheet into five parts or cut that worksheet into four parts. And maybe each station ends up with two questions. Let’s say you only have 15 or 20 minutes for a station. Okay, we’ll let them as a station choose which of those two questions they’re going to answer. I guarantee you will get such a better answer when they’re only responding to one question. And they’ve got 15 or 20 minutes to do it. 

 

Laura  

On better be a fantastic question, especially if you’ve been working on Short answer writing if you’ve been working on, you know, restating the question from the prompt, pulling in a quote, embedding it, adding in some commentaries and text evidence to support that can easily be that one question could easily turn into a 15 or 20 minute assignment. And the focus that they’re going to put in on that question is going to be so much deeper. 

 

Laura  

So right there, we’re not talking about creating eight different activities. That’s, that’s insane. That’s the stuff that Teachers fear, I’m going to be up all night long creating these eight different station activities, because I was told I have to do station, you know, you can take something you already have and just split it up, break it apart, cut it up, and let students really just focus in on one or two things and the quality of work is going to be so much better, because they’re not looking at a worksheet with 10 questions that they are just going to throw any answer down at all to get through it. Okay, I’m done. 10 questions. Great. I’m done. It’s going to be a lot more focused. That’s the first thing. 

 

Laura  

And then the second part of that is, what was the second part of the grading? That’s right. Here’s the thing, when you’re pulling kids up to you, when you’re doing these quick little check-ins, just these five minute little check-ins, you know, you can tell so much about what a student understands, just by talking with them. So if you’re worried that your students are they’re just, they’re just all copying each other. Yeah, I agree. They have their own work, but it’s really not their work. They’re just copying each other. Okay? Well, when they come to you, make them hand their papers to you. And just you know, so they can’t look at them again, but and just just talk about what’s going on. 

 

Laura  

So just look at their paper, look at the questions and just one at a time. Just ask them. If they can explain it back to you. They’ve got it right. And if they’ve got it, could you record a grade? Right there? Oh, good point. Yeah, right there. Have a clipboard sitting there, how your laptop up and just put a note in there. Especially if your standards-based, I mean, if they’ve got it, they’ve got it. If they don’t have it, and you know, they need more practice. Could you give them a temporary grade? Could you give them a little grade and progress? Could you just jot something down next to their name on your roster? So that you know, okay, well, he’s got about 75% of it. And maybe that’s not the real grade. But you know, he’s got about 75% of it. 

 

Laura  

So right there, okay, I’m gonna call him back up. I’m gonna give him a little, you know, a little something to think about. And then I’m gonna call him back up later in class or call him back up tomorrow, and I’m going to look for him to improve upon that. 75% Okay, and then this kid, okay. Wow. I mean, he barely wrote anything on his paper, but wow, we just had a pretty good discussion and two or three minutes. He’s got it. Um, I’m going to encourage him to go back and write it down. But in my grade book, I’m, I’m giving him full credit. He got it. Right. He got it. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s how I handle a lot of the grading. It takes so much pressure off of you. was a teacher to bring home all these stacks of papers. And it’s really good, authentic in time feedback for your kids now they don’t need to know what you’re writing down. If you’re doing this all the time, they’re used to it, they’re using you miss this. So as I was always writing stuff down, I don’t know what she’s doing.

 

Laura  

You know, because I don’t want to, I don’t want to give a kid you know, a perfect score in the first 10 minutes of class and then he goes off and thinks he’s done for the day. But at the same time, I need to record for myself that oh my gosh, this kid has it and I’m probably going to need to extend him a little bit. So and there are other ways that you can handle you know, the grading issue if you know that something is just practice like you really just need them to practice. middle school kids still love stamps and stickers. 

 

Laura  

I mean, if you have a stamp collection not you know, like postage stamps and talking about you know, I have I have a stamp collection like Cookie Monster stamps a rainbow stamp a cupcake stamp but footballs to happen to just have a sitting there and you know, and just talk about Your kids, hey, show me what you like best about this particular paragraph you just wrote, oh, I really liked that I finally figured out how to use a quotation from this text. Great. How about a football stamp? I like that too. Good job. They’re not too old for that. They love it. So there are different ways to assess their different ways to interact with what your kids are doing. And behind the scenes off to the side, if you know they’ve got the concept, give them a grade, you know, just give them a grade and be done with it. Are you going to get through 100 kids in one day with all your classes? No. But I mean, my goodness, if you could get through half of them, right. What would that do to your grading load?

 

Kim  

And then I wouldn’t have to grade outside of school ever again.

 

Laura  

Yeah, and the the assessment is authentic. I mean, it’s meaningful to them. It’s certainly helpful to you, and right there in the moment. Do you know who’s struggling you Who you need to circle back with? And you know who’s writing for something else?

 

Kim  

Can you guys believe how much Laura just covered? I’ve already learned so much from just this conversation right now. And next week, she’s going to tell us how to train our kids for stations, and how to incorporate small group instruction. So here are my key takeaways from today’s conversation. 

 

First, stations aren’t just an alternative to or a fancy way of doing group work. At their simplest stations allow students to hone in on a specific skill and really show mastery of that. So rather than just having students sit and write a science lab, each part of that lab can be split up so that they can focus on one task and make sure it’s really really good. soon as they’re still doing their own work, but they’re working cooperatively through a task. 

 

Second, you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing stations. So even if you only have a 45 minutes period, you can benefit from them. Don’t focus so much on the number of rotations or stations with different activities. Instead, consider how you can split up groups, whether it be by personalities and or levels, and what you can have them accomplish before they switch tasks. You obviously have complete control over how long each station takes. So don’t get hung up on those details. 

 

Now, finally, stations don’t have to be a classroom management and grading nightmare. I originally thought that this is what it was going to be like from my one experience. But you know, Laura gave us some really good advice on how to monitor students with the teacher station, and I’m definitely going to steal her idea but streamlining the grading process with students so that they meet you at the station. So I’m a huge fan of that teacher station part. 

 

So next week I have the second part of this conversation or Laura goes into how to incorporate small group and structure And she breaks down How to Train Your students for stations. You don’t want to miss that. Now, remember, you don’t want to just dive into stations and see how it goes because you just might become overwhelmed and quit like I did. Laura has a systematic method for doing this at ease them into stations, and it’s definitely worth coming back for. Plus, if you come back next week, are you listening? She’s offering a freebie that you can use with your stations. So you can’t get that freebie download unless you come back next week. So of course, then be sure to look down at the device you’re listening on and hit subscribe. That way you won’t miss out on that episode or honestly any week’s episode. Thanks again for hanging out with me today and have a fabulous week.

 

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