Stations at the Secondary Level

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by laf10, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. laf10

    laf10 Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2015

    I'm trying to find ways to get my very unenthusiastic high school resource students more engaged and excited. I'm also frustrated that I feel like I can't reach everyone's deficit areas even though classes are small because they are SO diverse (for example, in 1 class I have a student with a written expression LD that reads on a college level and another student who reads on a 2nd grade level but does pretty well with writing, along with 8 other students with various reading and writing levels).

    I'm thinking stations may be the answer to both of those problems--more movement and short, varied activities that will hopefully engage them and get them a little more active in their learning and and I can group students by level so they can work on the skills they need to work on. I'm thinking I'll always either be a station or walk from station to station to assist students who need it.

    Have any of you incorporated stations at the secondary level? Any tips you can share?
     
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  3. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 23, 2015

    I have always toyed with the idea to do stations at least once in a while, maybe once in a week or 2 weeks. I've never done it. My issue is mostly that I need to find some meaningful activities (high school English) that would work well, I don't want to do stations just for the sake of doing it.

    I think if done right, it can work really well at the secondary level. Hopefully others will chime in.
     
  4. laf10

    laf10 Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2015

    I do English resource and was thinking of doing stations in some of these areas pretty regularly: vocabulary, comprehension, writing, grammar, and test prep. Like I said, my students are at a wide variety of levels in each of these areas, so some would be very basic, more upper elementary/middle school level, while others would be working closer to their grade level. I was also thinking that we could do stations on one specific skill occasionally too--like if we just read a short story, we could have stations where they were working on different literary elements, writing to a prompt about the story, etc. that focused only on that story. I'm going to start with just a couple of times a week I think, but I may try to make this the "norm" in my class if it's successful. I need to find a better way to reach my kids.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Dec 23, 2015

    I do stations all the time in science. A simple one is putting up note sheets around the room. My soil notes are divided into 6 parts. Each station has a large copy of the notes, and some photos or maybe a laptop playing a short video clip. They have cloze/Cornell hybrid notes to fill in, and then there is a hands on component or a sample. It gets kids moving around the room and is much more efficient than passing limited samples around the class.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 24, 2015

    I love stations in high school. I don't use them as often as I'd like but my room is set up so I can if I wanted to, for every lesson.

    My biggest problem with stations is finding activities that take about the same amount of time. For instance, I want everyone to rotate at ten minutes. I need to make sure that the kids at station one are finished in ten minutes, as are the kids in the other stations. To combat this potential problem, I give out a worksheet before we start rotating. Students are to complete it when they have extra time at each station.
     
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  7. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Dec 24, 2015

    Ive used them as a coteacher in Algebra 1. They worked great and the long 90 minute blocks flew by. But, one reason for the success was that we had an adult at every station. We were really lucky that year to have 2 teachers, an aide who was a math wiz, and a student teacher.

    I also saw it work really well when I subbed for an 8th grade ELA class many years ago. The key was that the students were trained very thoroughly how to move through the 4 stations. In this case only one adult was needed to facilitate. Again, the long block of time flew by.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 24, 2015

    I would really like to incorporate stations. I teach high school English.
    This is what I'm thinking, please chime in and tell me what would or would not work! This would be while we're reading a novel.
    My classes are small (I'm at a court school), I expect my classes next year to be at about 10-12 (might grow to be 15-16 later, and I might have some smaller classes first like 8-9). The classes are 48 minutes long.
    - I'm thinking to have 4 stations, about 8-10 minutes each.
    - This would leave 8-12 minutes split for the beginning and the end of class to explain what they're doing, etc.
    - at each station I would have 2-3 students, 3 is better. Small groups are ideal for y students.
    - stations could be: vocabulary activities, writing prompt for a paragraph, summarize the chapter we've read (or even just have cut out strips of events and they put them in order), describe the main character, multiple choice / true false / short answer mini-quiz (they could do it together of course) relating to the chapter.
    - I could have one station next to my desk and they could watch a short video on YouTube and respond to it, this way the activities would be more varied. I would probably have to keep an eye on things, though.
    - at the end they all turn in their papers, there would be a staplers at the last station.

    I'm by myself, and I would have to travel around to make sure everyone is focused. Based on my classes this last semester, this could work really well in most classes, but not in all.

    What else should I keep in mind? What other types of activitities could I do?
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 23, 2016

    So here we go, Monday we're doing stations :)
    I decided that I will be using it for reviews before tests, so it's about once in every week and a half (not too much for it to become boring, but frequent enough for them to remember.
    I have small classes, so I have to go with 3 stations. This will give me about 12-13 minutes for each, and this way I will have time in the beginning for a quick warm up and explaining what is happening.

    We're reading Dawn by Elie Wiesel and just finished the first 20 pages (about 2 chapters the way i divided it, it's a very small book)
    station 1 will have vocabulary and questions about point of view (we went over it)
    station 2 is reading comprehension questions, true/false and short answer
    station 3 is a writing prompt for a paragraph about the main character and about other things.
    The students have folders with all their work in them, they will carry the folders so they can look up info.

    I think it will go well, all my classes are well behaving, I especially love my 2nd period (my English core classes are per. 2-5) so I can always try things out with them and see if I need to adjust anything.
    The only issue I anticipate is not having enough time. I may have given too much work (already typed up and printed) but didn't want them to get bored and become disruptive)

    I will be walking around and assist if I need to. I will have a timer on the screen that will go off at the right time. I wish I could find one that would say "change stations now"
    Any suggestions about anything?
     
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  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 27, 2016

    This has worked out wonderfully!!! I wish I would have done this years ago. I will be doing this for reviews for tests and maybe even with some other work.

    - I have 4 English classes, and everyone worked.
    - I have a few students who often just sleep. Even they stayed awake and completed the work.
    - since it was the first time, I let them sit wherever they wanted. Somehow it worked out that none of the groups were low students only, there was a mix.
    - everyone was super motivated, I didn't really have to walk around and stay on top of them. I offered help when needed, at one station I was able to guide them to find the answers and clear some misconceptions, but I was also just able to sit down and watch them in some classes.
    - the test included some of the same short answer questions and this really helped them.

    Adjustments for the future: provide a little less work. Sometimes even give a lot less work and also less time, this would give me about 10 minutes at the end to go over things and correct some areas.
    If I get more students, which I should by around March, I will be able to split them into 4 stations, and then I can have one station with 4 Chromebooks + headphones, they could watch a short video and write a response. In the future I would like to choose the groups based on their abilities and skill level, but it's hard with this student population due to their gang affiliation, and other issues. For now I was ok with them choosing their seat, but my choice would be more beneficial.
    All in all I was very happy, and time went by very quickly.
     
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  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 28, 2016

    If you are interested, there are some great activities on Teachers Pay Teachers that are stations for short stories. I did them for The Lady and the Tiger with my freshmen last year, and they loved them! We did it over three days, since my class was so big I needed 9 stations. Students did three stations each day. Their favorite one was recreating a scene from the story with Play-doh! They also liked cutting the story apart and making it into a poem. They had so much fun, and still come and talk to me about what they learned from the different activities.
     
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