But sometimes there are specifics parts of the curriculum that I have to make sure they learn.
So, instead of me leading the learning, I thought how can I make sure they learn what I want them to learn, but still let them be in the "driver's seat"?
And so I thought about it.
I remembered that years ago, on my practicum, I designed beautiful stations to teach Ancient Rome. The kids loved them, and I really enjoyed that unit too. So at the beginning of the year, I suggested to my student teacher that she design her science unit using the stations method. She did and the kids loved it!
They spent one week per station in groups of about 5 and rotated for 5 weeks until they had completed them all. Stations can involve any type or work, or even better all kinds of work that incorporate different ways of learning. Anyway, long story short...they loved the stations and have asked:
"Can we do stations for our Japan unit?"
(they knew that Japan was coming up based on what the other 5/6 classes were doing).
Well, when my students come to me and ask me to learn something I am thrilled!
And so that is what we are doing. It takes some work prepping them all at the beginning of the unit to make sure that they are all interesting and able to capture the attention of the students, but then they practically run themselves!
5 reasons you should try it:
5. Even so they take a while to prep, once set up they run themselves and that leaves you free to assist those students that need extra help (i.e. one on one time with your struggling learners)
4. You can target the multiple intelligences by varying the types of activities at each station (note taking, acting, painting, essay writing, etc)
3. Students work in small groups and help each other out and we all know that being able to work in a group is key to their future success.
2. It teaches kids to work independently, be responsible and to solve problems together (without the teacher's guidance)
1. And, of course, because THEY LIKE IT!
How do you use stations in your classroom? What do you like best about it?