Workstations With Large Classes

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 21, 2012

    How do you manage them-like how does your rotation chart look? I've always done workstations with no issues, this year we are required to have a rotation chart and I'm really struggling with it. My kids work in pairs, I have 28 students, that's about 12 groups and then the rest of the kids are working with me in small group. When we stop and I switch out their names, that alone takes forever.

    Has anyone done this successfully?

    PS-Please don't suggest I just switch to Daily 5, I'm well aware of the concept but have made a conscious decision not to use it this year.
     
  2.  
  3. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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

    Sep 21, 2012

    If I were you I would read the book Daily 5 (I had to :lol:).

    When I taught K and did workstations, I had an elaborate, but manageable, system. I only used it my first year (and then switched to D5), so it is difficult for me to remember exactly how it worked. :( I do remember that:
    -I used a large pocket chart, and had cards that contained student groupings/pairs on the far left (there were 2 columns).
    -On the top of the pocket chart, there were cards that said 1, 2, and 3, indicating which round they would do each activity.
    -There were picture cards that contained the name of the activity. Each student went to 3 workstations per day.
    -I placed matching picture cards by each station.
    -When we were finished with 1 round, we would quickly gather at the carpet, students would look to see where they were going next (I think I may have read each rotation outloud quickly), and then they got to work.
    -After a while, we didn't have to gather in-between. They got used to the pictures, and would just go to their next workstation.
     
  4. letsteach

    letsteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 21, 2012

    Each group in my class has 6 students (I have 30 students). Generally there are 4 'good' students and 2 low in each group (I then know who to focus on in each group and they have others they can ask what to do if they don't know). I also have a list of "Low to high" ability students (they don't know this) which I rarely use (this is task dependent) but if I do, then I focus on the low group. At the moment I have had 5 new students who are very low so the TA is focussing on them as a an independent group.

    There are 5 tables in the class (5 x 6 = 30), I used to plan 5 activities but it took so long we never seemed to be able to complete all our work before break. Then I changed it to 4 activities and each morning one group would take a turn of not moving during rotations. (We brought the materials to them). I guage how long each table needs (whether the task is going to take a long time or not) and when I see students are nearing completion I set a timer. When the timer beeps, they stop (all books are placed open ready for marking on the floor), they tidy their table, push their chair in and we sing a little transition song. We move clockwise round the tables (you need to have a list of group names because at the start of the year they will see an activity at a table and want to go to that table whether it is their turn or not - just for ease, I tend to go alphabetical at the beginning of the year so I quickly know if they are out of group). The transition song is for language, vocabulary and for everybody to start at the same time. Once the rotations are established they know which table they are going to next.

    Towards the end of the year, we work like Grade 1s (this also depends on the activity if it requires resources). I model the activities/work and they work their way through the four tasks. Usually the last task is a textbook task (handwriting or maths) and those books left at the end of the morning session means they have not completed all tasks within time, they have to finish after morning tea. When we work like Grade 1, I will also set a timer, just to nudge them along if I think they are taking too long, ie, "you should be finishing xxxx and starting yyyy".
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 21, 2012

    Ha! Ha! :lol: I just know that's a common response to workstation questions.

    I had not thought to bring them back to the carpet in-between, that might really work for us. Thanks very much DP!
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 22, 2012

    I would display the entire chart so that you don't have to switch out names. Put up the chart with where they go first, second, third, etc. Then have the same pictures displayed in the area of the room where they are going. So if you have a picture of a listening center---put the same picture at the listening center.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    2

    Sep 22, 2012

    Do the groups have to be 2 students? If you had 3 in a group that would at least cut you down to 8 groups. Sorry I'm not much help, I'm still trying to figure out how to keep my third graders engaged in meaningful work while I'm teaching. It was so much easier with 4th graders.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 22, 2012

    That's an idea too. I did it that way on Debbie Diller's suggestion and I find it really helps keep the noise level down-but maybe that is the answer.

    Mopar-that's a good idea too, thanks!

    I'm so glad I posted the question. I've been thinking about this for over a week and you guys answered it for me. :thanks:
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    321

    Sep 22, 2012

    Logistics question - Do you pull your small guided reading/back table groups from these kids randomly? What happens when someone's partner is pulled to work with you? Do they just work by themselves or do they go with someone else?

    I would do even 4 kids together so that nobody's by themselves. But maybe you did pairs on purpose? More explanation needed! :)
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 22, 2012

    They could change partners each station if you don't want them paired with someone from their guided reading groups. Otherwise, I would pair the students who are in the same guided reading groups.
     
  11. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    20

    Sep 23, 2012

    You've read Debbie Diller! Have you seen her chart on the Really Good Stuff website or catalogue? I used a version of hers that I made and it seemed to work out well. I did not have to do any switching until the end of the day to prepare for the next day.

    She has a blog also where you can ask her questions. Just google Debbie Diller and you should find it.
     
  12. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    121

    Sep 23, 2012

    I would have 7 stations and have 2 groups working at the same concept just in a different part of the room.

    What I mean is...if you have the game Battleship as a work station, two groups are playing Battleship.
     
  13. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 23, 2012

    I have always done either 3 rotations or 4 rotations(I have taught 1st and 2nd). It depends on whether or not I have another teacher come in during small groups. If I don't have another teacher, it is 3 rotations.

    With 3 rotations, I have my class divided into groups by reading ability. One group is with me, one group at seat work, and one at centers. The group that is at center rotation are either by themselves or in pairs(depending on the number of students) and would go to one center a day. Students who are at seat work complete something that is students can complete independently and then I have my guided reading time. We rotate every 15-20 minutes and every day, each group would rotate and visit me, seat, and centers each day. When I have four rotations, the other teacher is a rotation.

    Now, this year, I have a small group and am trying something different. I hope this helps. I am not sure how this would work with kindergarten, though!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 297 (members: 0, guests: 275, robots: 22)
test