I am working in Guided Reading (now and back through student teaching) and i look up at my room...and I can watch students going through the MOTIONS of the centers. Wasting time. And i want to scream. You shouldn't HAVE to have a teacher or parent volunteer at each station to make sure it is being utilized correctly and the lesson IS accomplished! That they take away from that station what they SHOULD (reinforcement or expansion). SO.... here it comes... HOW DO YOU KEEP KIDS WORKING, AND MOSTLY, ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR LEARNING WHILE AT STATIONS/CENTERS/ (AND FOR OLDER STUDENTS) INDEPENDENT WORK? it can't help unless it's actually worked. you can have the most brilliant ideas...but if they sit there and chat or just look around at others...it's wasted time. (Oh, and how would you do it without having tons of papers to grade each night?) And I have tried a check off list that a parent volunteer would have to initial...but that only insured that they were THERE not that anything got through to them.