I don't know about you, but I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with literacy stations.
(Disclosure... Not all of my stations are "Literacy" stations. Some of my stations are math and content stations. I call them "Literacy Stations" because that is what I find easiest... I guess just 'stations' would be even easier... oh well!)
|Cool old picture! Stations... stations... there is a connection here somewhere.|
I hate the initial time consuming organization and planning. I especially hate the first couple of days when I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to make sure everyone understands what they are suppose to be doing. It seems that, even though I have very clear directions on each station folder and have given, what I think, are very clear instructions, some students still struggle with figuring it all out. I find myself parroting, "Did you read the directions?" a million times.
|Its like looking in a mirror!|
Luckily, the dependence and insecurity, for most students, only lasts the first several days of literacy stations. Soon the kiddos get the hang of it. Students who have been at that station step in and explain if needed, and when I walk around and check in on each group I usually get the thumbs-up and a "We've got this, Mrs. D." and that make me feel so proud of them!
I've been doing literacy stations for years now. You'd think I would have it all under control, but I am just not that kind of person. I started Literacy stations when I was teaching 5th grade and came across this book:
I start by figuring out how many groups I'll need. I have 33 students this year, so I have 11 stations with 3 kiddos in each station.
|Forgive the EAR... It is for a speaking lesson... Speak to the ear!|
For each station I have a folder with a clear pocket on the front. I insert the station objectives/goals and instructions into the clear pocket so that students can easily see and read what the expectations are and I put all of the materials inside. I originally started with just ordinary file folders stapled at the side, but recently just purchased folder pockets that I will be using instead. These will help keep each station's materials all in one place!
In the morning, when students come into the room, they take their attendance using Class Dojo, check in homework, sharpen pencils, etc. and then they get their station folders and get to work.
Here are some of the stations that I have going this round:
Figurative Language Sort
Adjective Order Activity
Science Film - Volcanoes
|Great use for old technology. I have some wonderful Eyewitness VCR tapes and I had an old tv/vcr combo gathering dust in my attic. The kiddos think it is "vintage".|
The Private Eye - Science Investigation
Proof It! Editing Game
Buddy Post Card Writing - Practicing Letter Form
Content Reading - Using Think Marks to code the text
After about 25 minutes at stations, students are given time to fill out their Literacy Station Reflections. I "randomly" collect 10 a day to look over and at the end of the rotation of all 11 stations I collect them.
|Click HERE to download this FREE Literacy Station Reflection Form|
Now that my class and I are almost finished with the first rotation of Literacy Stations my HATE toward them is waning and I am hoping that on this next round I will fall in LOVE again. Students will be more familiar with the routine and several of the stations and I will be able to spend less time getting everyone going and more time meeting with individual kiddos.
How do you feel about stations in your classroom? Do you use them? If so, I'd love to get some ideas from you about what kind of things you are doing or some great resource ideas! If you have a wonderful TpT product that would work well for 3rd - 5th graders, feel free to add it to your comment below!
Thanks for visiting!