Stations include all those independent literacy activities the kids
Geez, just writing that made me short of breath. It's a HUGE task that takes weeks and weeks to get underway and additional time every single day to maintain. It's got to be organized and well structured in order to be effective for the class and not too time consuming for the teacher.
One way to streamline the process is to have an effective station/group rotation system in place.
My school uses the Debbie Diller model for literacy work stations and I LOVE so much of what she shares. The one sticking point for me is the stations rotation schedule. I just don't like to move all those cards around a pocket chart. I don't know what it is - I always dreaded it. So I stopped.
But, how to organize all my little critters and keep them on task? Back to the wheel!
About 10 years ago, we were really jumping into small group guided reading and centers. We had no guidelines or instruction as to how to make this work, so we just had to dive in and figure it out. That's when I found this book:
Here's how it looks in my class.
- I have about 20 students.
- I like to have 2 students in each work station group so I need to have 10 stations.
- I pair a 'high' student with a 'middle' student or a 'middle' student with a 'low' student so there is an ability difference but the difference is not too wide. This way, students can help each other and they get to work with different kids than they work with in guided reading groups.
I use Pavelka's handy dandy rotation wheel to make it all work. The outer wheel contains the stations and the inner wheel the names of the students - this wheel is attached with a brad and turns.
After each guided reading group, a student turns the center yellow wheel clockwise one block and the kids move to the next station. Students will complete 1 to 3 stations each day.
(You can see some of the stations HERE.)
No, not every kid goes to every station a certain number of times every week. But that's okay.
Everyone is getting either a small group guided reading lesson or focused literacy station activities during the reading hour. Just because they are not doing the same thing does not mean they are not getting what they need.
The best part? I don't have to change any cards in a pocket chart, the kids can rotate the wheel, and everyone knows what to do so no time is lost. The center wheel is easily changed if necessary and the outer wheel stations are attached with sticky tape so they can easily be changed, too.
Let me know if any of you use this method and have any suggestions!
Join in with this blog hop to get lots more guided reading ideas!