Station management

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Lynnnn725, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2009

    For those of you who have work stations in your classroom while you are doing guided reading, how do you manage this?

    Do you have a tracking ticket?
    Do they have a work station folder?
    Where do they put the work when they are done?
    How many stations do they go to a day and for how long?

    Just trying to revamp my system and all ideas are welcome!
     
  2.  
  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Feb 15, 2009

    Lynnn,
    There are as many ways to handle rotations as their are teachers. I know many teachers who ring a bill, and the groups change, and then 15 minutes later, they ring the bell, and the groups change. They assign students to work in particular small groups (sometimes based on differentiation, sometimes on similarities, sometimes on learning needs, etc.) I have found I simply can't do that. Each center takes a different amount of time. What do the ones who finish in 5 minutes do for the next 10 minutes? Redo the center over and over? How about the ones who have barely started when the 15 minutes are over? What did they learn from that center (other than that they are too slow in finishing things...?)

    I am a big fan of self-selected centers. Children select their own centers and their own groups. Some children pick a friend, some pick a child who can help them, and some would rather work alone. Those are all fine, so long as they are working. I simply tell them they cannot repeat a center more than twice during a week. That way the first students done with seatwork aren't always the ones who get the best centers! They are on Monday, but later in the week, they can't go back to them, so all the other children get a turn. I also have times when I call certain children's names (the ones who are always slow on seat work) and I send them directly to a center -- so they don't miss out because they can't finish seatwork quickly.

    This takes a lot of training up front. Children have to be honest about which centers they've done. (Don't worry-- they will rat each other out!) If a child abuses my trust, they earn the "no centers without my approval" title, which means, I have to specifically signal them as to which center to go. If I do this for 1 week, I rarely have a repeat offender.

    I am a big advocate of free choice centers, and letting children self select their groups. If they are making poor choices, I call them over quietly and talk to them about choosing a new partner next time, or asking a particular shy child to join them next time. After a while, they start thinking of it themselves. You'll hear Helen say "I think I'll ask Billy. He's sitting by himself." It helps them in more ways than just academics.

    I also let the students choose where to go with the centers. They can take them to their tables, to various small rugs throughout the room, and I have 4 scatter rugs they can get and take anyplace. The only place they can't be is next to me while I'm doing guided reading. If they interrupt me during guided reading they earn "the big book of fun!" which isn't any fun at all!!!!!!!!! It is a huge book of seatwork that is incredibly boring. They don't repeat that often either.

    If a student is having a hard time with something (let's say synonyms) I will say "Suzy, I want you to pick the synonym center sometime today." and then she will. Self selection can work.

    I know from watching other teacher's classes that there are many, many ways to do this, and I've seen many that were effective. I think it is a matter of finding a way that meshes with your teaching philosophy and that fits your comfort level, while meeting your student's needs.
     
  4. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2009

    I have the following work stations: art, math, poetry, pocket chart, word, ABC, book making, buddy reading, puzzles, computers, listening, and writing. Children are in groups of 2 although I do have 2 groups of 3 because of the size of my class. I have three rotations of 15 minutes. Some stations do take longer such as art, so for those they stay at for 2 rotations. Also, one rotation is always buddy reading so they are doing that every day. They choose a book basket from the classroom library or they can read from their familiar book bag. Some of my station activities are the same and require little or no planning: computers, poetry, listening, buddy reading, puzzles, word, and pocket chart. Another teacher and I split the planning and prep of the other stations so we don't have to do all the work. For example, I plan writing and book making and she plans art and math. This set up works well for me and I have tried other ways to do work stations. I find this is the best way for me to be able to moniter where they are and what they are doing. I forgot to add that they carry a composition book with them (reading log) and this is what they use to record information in. At the listening station they write the title and draw and write about the book, the pocket chart station they record sentences or words, etc. They also bring this with them to reading group to write about the story they read. I can always check the reading log when I need to. Sometimes stations do have papers and they just turn those into the basket where I collect all work.
     
  5. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Feb 15, 2009

    I'm a K teacher, but I'll tell you what I do anyway, because I'm sure it would work well in 1st grade.

    I have 7 groups of 3 students (mixed-ability level). Each group rotates to 3 centers each day (15 minutes each). I have the following centers:
    1) Word Work (2x per week)
    2) Independent reading (2x per week)
    3) Listening Center (2x per week)
    4) Writing Center (2x per week)
    5) Poetry Center
    6) Big book center
    7) Puzzles and Games
    8) Read or write the room
    9) Leap Pad Center
    10) Handwriting Center
    Most of the centers provide the students with many choices within that center. They are also very easy for me to manage because I don't have to change many things from week to week.

    I have a pocket chart that shows all three centers each group will visit. They know to switch when they hear the beeping of my timer (I use this large timer http://blog.vcu.edu/ttac/time timer.JPG so they can see how much time they have left).

    For finished work, I have a basket labeled "finished work" at a central location in the room. They know that all work must go in that basked when they are finished at their center.
     
  6. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 15, 2009

    All of those systems are great! Thank you all for your time and thoughts:):thanks:
     
  7. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,254
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 16, 2009

    I highly recommend Literacy Work Stations by Debbie Diller. A fantastic resource!
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Feb 16, 2009

    That is actually what I used to set up my literacy centers. TONS of great ideas!
     
  9. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,786
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 16, 2009

    My stations are currently modeled after hers from that book. You're right, they are great stations! I love not having to constantly change out stations. I love the choices they have in each station-they never get bored!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 158 (members: 3, guests: 135, robots: 20)
test