Tips for Success
*Actively facilitate, offer assistance, and constantly monitor each group’s performance.
*Include structured modeling and instruction (in the form of a presentation with visuals for each station).
*Maintain class structure: Continue with daily warm-ups or bell work at the beginning of each class. Review the expectations each day you conduct stations.
*Limit numbers in groups to four students per station.
*With eight stations, up to 32 students are engaged simultaneously.
*Ensure each student has a role at each station, or that the station instructions are conducive to the active engagement of all student members.
*Set a timer (with a countdown of the last minute to indicate “time’s almost up”)
*Label centers in order of rotation.
*Use all of your resources: make poster-size activities on the wall, write/draw station on the chalkboard or white board, use mini-white boards if you have them, make foldables out of poster board, and have groups share one computer if you have limited classroom computers. Also, use colorful paper, activities with markers, props, and games.
*Balance the stations: Incorporate a range of activities and skills for each round of station to cover many skills and learning styles.
*Make sure students stay focused by giving them feedback and evaluation on their station performance each day of stations.(When you check their work, jot down a brief overview of student performance, and deliver a performance report as a whole class the next time class convenes).
*Instructions will be taped to station (table or desk). You may want to color code these for easy distinguishing.
Option 1: Tape two envelopes at each station (one containing the handout, one for turning in the handout).
Option 2: Students carry around a zippered plastic bag to keep their tracking materials. They will turn this bag in at the end of each station day.
*Exit Tickets: Give students the opportunity to write down what worked/didn’t and how centers may be improved. Use this feedback to adapt instruction for each class/station activity as needed.