Stations in 9th Grade English

Discussion in 'High School' started by KatieMar, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. KatieMar

    KatieMar Guest

    Mar 28, 2017

    Hello, everyone! I am looking for some feedback regarding stations in high school English. I work at a low-income charter school with a class-size average of 16 and I am only a second year teacher. For a long time, I have wanted to do stations. I recently started it during an essay project and it worked out OK.

    The stations went as such:
    1. write a section of the essay
    2. get peer feedback
    3. get teacher feedback
    4. type it up/practice vocabulary words.

    I am also trying it now while reading Book 9 of The Odyssey. The stations are:
    1. Read as a group and find problem/solutions (with me)
    2. journal writing
    3. same as group one, but independent from me
    4. vocabulary practice.

    Note: I always start the class off, explaining the lesson for the day and what they will be doing in their stations. Each students goes to a station twice during the week. Fridays we read articles and do close reading strategies required by the English department.

    What's working:

    The feedback station with me has been amazing. Their essays are a million times better than their previous one where it was done whole-class. Students in the past would rarely check the feedback I would give to rough drafts, but when I am right there working with them in small groups they listen and they actually would correct their essays based on my comments. During the reading, I am able to really see what students are understanding and what they are confused about. I also really like how it encourages students to work together collaboratively, and I want them to become stronger at being independent.

    I also don't have enough computers for a class set. Having the stations means I always have a small group of students taking advantage of various technological tools. Mostly: Google Docs, vocabulary, and typing.

    During rotations I see a lot of struggling students shine and their grades improve because they are getting feedback from their peers. Overall, I can say the experience of rotations for most students give a better product at the end than during whole-class or even just small groups with me floating.

    Grading has been extremely efficient this way. I am grading as they come to me while giving feedback which means next to no grading outside of class.

    What's not working:

    Mostly my issues involve behavior management in one class period where I have 23 students. The stations where I am not heavily involved in leads to complete distraction. I have students hand in all their work when they get to my station, but this does not seem to motivate them enough to stay focused on their work. I have tried changing the groups up in various ways, but there are too many students who want to chat and not participate since I am not right there with them. Equally, I have a lot of very needy students. Very needy. I am constantly having to remind students to ask those in their group questions first before coming to me, but they won't. If any little thing goes wrong with a computer or they are unsure of a question, they just don't work on it not even attempting to work it out together. They would rather chatter off topic instead.

    I really want stations to work. I don't want to do them full time, but I see they have insanely good value in teaching 9th graders how to collaborate and be more independent, which they desperately need. I also want to have them using computers more. I find this the best way to incorporate them. The chatting; however, makes me want to give it all up.

    Any thoughts?

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