Learning Station ReflectionsRead Now
Last fall, I decided to set up my classroom up into learning stations. At first I thought I would do stations on most days. I had planned to integrate technology into those stations, but limited technology access made that very difficult. I also found it overwhelming to prep stations so often. I found myself depending on textbook and worksheets to create stations, when I didn't have more time to prepare more innovative learning activities. Yet, I could really see the benefits of a more student-centered learning environment. I just needed to make the whole thing more manageable.
So I spent a lot of time reading Edutopia articles, and networking online with other teachers who use learning stations in their classrooms. That led me to move toward a more manageable "learning station reboot" for spring semester. The result was much more successful, in terms of student performance on grammar and vocabulary quizzes during the spring semester. The learning intentions of the learning stations also became much more focused during the second semester of implementation. In the fall semester, the stations would serve to review multiple objectives and they lacked real focus. During the spring semester, I targeted a particular skill or concept would reserved one day of station work to target that skill, usually a day or two before a scheduled quiz on that skill or concept.
I also supplemented the learning stations with weekly visits to the Library computer lab. All of the computer lab assignments, homework assignments, and class agendas are posted in Google Classroom. A typical lab assignment might be to watch a review video on a concept and answer some questions about it in their Bullet Journals (another new implementation for spring semester), or submit their answers via an online form. Or the students would have to create an online presentation or project that incorporates vocabulary or a grammar concept from a current unit of study.
So what did the new, improved stations look like?
Students were seated in groups of six. On "station day," students received a checklist of assignments to complete During the second semester, students were allowed to rotate through stations at their own pace. During the first semester, I tried timed rotations, but pacing became an issue, especially with the number of students with 504 plan. Stations days during the second second semester were usually scheduled every one or two weeks.
Typical station activities (targeting a specific skill, such as "saber vs conocer," preterite, "ser vs estar", etc.) might include the following:
-puzzle station - work with a partner to put together puzzle pieces with correct translations/conjugations
-circle puzzle - similar to above, but in a circular fashion; work in partners.
-crossword puzzles - self-explanatory
-rainbow reading - use differently color highlighters to identify targeted features in a reading passage; answer comprehension questions
-sentence building- Students build sentences with card pieces; write sentences down.
-task cards - Choose 10 cards, follow instructions on the cards, write down answers.
I saw considerable improvement with quiz scores for targeted skills during the second semester of learning station implementation. I think the refinements helped. I shared the above with my colleagues at our 4/27 PLC.
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Teacher, Commercial Fisherman, Harpist, Types of teaching settings in my career: Comprehensive High School Spanish Teacher; Homeschool K-12 Teacher, HS Independent Studies Teacher, Middle and High School French Teacher, Multiple-Subject K-12 Teacher; Project WET and STEP teacher