Okay, so we didn't quite get to spend as much time actually doing stations as I would have liked, but that's okay. The first day is always a bit slow-ish because so much teacher-talk and instruction is required. And there are a LOT of questions from the kids about how these all work: do we all get a turn at each station? Yes. What happens if we are assigned to a station we've already been to? You do it again, they're designed to be open ended that way. What if I'm finished my station before the 12 minutes are up? You tidy up the station and return to your seat and read. So many good questions and between those, the instructions, the set-ups and the what-ifs, it takes time!
We got through just one rotation and that's a-okay. We'll try stations again soon and this time, I'm sure we'll be able to increase the number of rounds because all the hard work has been done.
Work stations are such an effective way for students to practice their academic and collaborative skills. Working together with others on a task is what good learning communities are all about. Some of the stations are old school (e.g. let's practice our spelling skills or read to each other) and some are off the charts, we couldn't have imagined this when we were kids ourselves (e.g. let's be guest tweeters for Mrs. M).
Have a look at the photos below and you'll see what I mean. Everyone is on task and yet everyone is working on something different and purposeful. Stations are a great way to review and consolidate learning all while building a warm and enriching classroom environment.