This strategy supports teachers in designing stations that will meet the instructional needs of students. After a teacher has determined the targeted skills and placed students in small groups based on data, they will be able to design stations for students to be able to practice skills independently and in small groups. In this strategy, teachers will think through how to organize stations, the flow and transition between stations, and what stations to develop to meet specific needs.
Decide whether you want students to engage in a group station rotation or an individual station rotation by exploring the Differentiating Station vs. Individual Station Rotation edpuzzle included in the resource section below. If you would like to have students engage in an individual rotation, consult the "Designing Individual Stations for Station Rotation Model" strategy.
Start by determining targeted skills, based on student-level data, that students need to practice independently or with a group.
For example, in the early grades students could focus on phonics practice, fluency, independent reading, etc.
Group students based on data. To learn more about how to do this, consult the "Using Data to Group Students" strategy.
Determine which type of stations students will engage with when practicing skills, and how you may vary that station type based on students' skills.
Will there be a tech component? What resources will each station need? How will students engage in learning tasks, and what will they need to be successful?
Plan out the targeted skill, station level practice and resources for each station.
Start small and identify 3-4 stations that students will interact with.
Think about how you might differentiate each station for the varied skill levels of each group of students based on the data you collected to group students.
While the students are engaging in the stations for practice, be sure to know what you (the teacher) as well as any other teachers in the classroom will be doing with individual or small group instruction.
If you plan to work with a small group yourself, think about how you will position your station and your body in a way that allows you to have a full view of what is happening at each station.
In the station that you will be in, plan for students to engage in an independent warm-up task so that you can help students transition to their new station in the first 5 minutes.
Think about how you will support students to transition between stations. To learn more about this step, consult the "Attention and Transition Signals" strategy.
Determine how you will define expectations for the process in which students will engage in the work when they will be working remotely from you. Consider using a teamwork rubric for example if some of the stations are collaborative. (See the strategy "Involving Students in Creation of Mastery Levels and Rubrics" to learn more.)
Before introducing the stations you've created to students, engage in a hot mess protocol in which you proactively think about all of the things that could possibly go wrong during the station rotation, and then plan for how you might make adjustments (to learn more, consult the "Hot Mess: Proactive Planning and Testing" strategy)
This strategy provides an overview of EL tools that help a teacher to use EL data to develop and inform small group rotations for the EL Skills Block.
1. View the video below to learn how to use EL data to inform small group rotations during the K-2 EL Skills Block.
2. With your coach, develop next steps as to how you will use data to inform your small group rotations during the skills block.
If you want EL students to use specific language when interacting with a station, you can give them sentence frames to use with their partner or with their writing. For example, if you wanted first grade students playing a math game to say to their partner, "___ and ___ make ___," provide a sentence frame. This will provide additional time for ELs to try on language and use it individually or in a small group.
How will you monitor students' progress during a station rotation? Or, how will students monitor their own progress?
How will you know whether the station rotations were effective? What data will you use to show the efficacy of each station?
This free Google Chrome extension makes it extremely fast and easy to record your own video lesson leveraging resources you have organized in your web browser (slide deck, websites, Google Docs, etc…). Pointing, highlighting and even writing over content is possible while displaying your video and audio as well.
Screencastify makes it possible to bring your teaching to a station while you might not be physically present at. Pairing it with a tool like EdPuzzle or Google Form will also allow you to collect data on what students are truly learning at the station.
EdPuzzle allows for the augmentation of existing teaching videos (created by you or found on platforms like Youtube or KhanAcademy) with interactive questions, audio and written notes as well as reflective pauses. When students watch a video flipped on EdPuzzle, you know live what they are learning and not
EdPuzzle makes it possible for you to know, while the stations run or shortly right after, what students are doing well with and what they struggle with the most. This will allow for data driven differentiated interventions
Nearpod makes it possible to augment not just a video but an entire slide deck with with interactive questions, audio and written notes as well as reflective pauses. Teachers can create their own or leverage the ones existing on the site.
Nearpod makes it possible for you to know, while the stations run or shortly right after, what students are doing well with and what they struggle with the most. This will allow for data driven differentiated interventions
Flipgrid is a video discussion platform great for generating class discussion around topics, videos, or links posted to the class grid. Students can video record their responses to share with the teacher or class
Flipgrid makes it easy for students to record a video response or presentation for an activity they worked on at a station. Its simplicity of use minimizes needs to troubleshoot too often.
Socrative is a digital assessment tool that allows for recording of student responses on exit ticket, quizzes or spur in the moment question. All students have to do is enter the teacher Socrative room via one code, always the same, and the class becomes interactive from there!
Socrative makes it easy for students to record a written response for an activity they worked on at a station. Its simplicity of use minimizes needs to troubleshoot too often.
Google Forms are an easy way to gather (form) and aggregate (sheet) information. Response to a Google Form document can be aggregated, sorted, and saved in a Google Sheet.
Google Forms makes it easy for students to record a written response for an activity they worked on at a station. Its simplicity of use minimizes needs to troubleshoot too often.
ClassDojo is a multi-faceted classroom management tool focused on reinforcing classroom expectations and communicating those expectations out with the individual student, class, and families.
ClassDojo provides you with an easy way to reinforce station expectations positively via the points while continuing to work where you are. Students will hear you positively narrate, and the app rings at the same time, so they will know they are on the right track (and that you have eyes everywhere:-)). Besides, Dojo gives you access to an easy timer and other helpful logistical applets.
Classroom Screen is a very simple free interface with tons of helpful applets such as timer, randomizer, noise meter, stop light, etc… It does not require an account and starts in a few seconds on your screen.
The noise meter can support a station rotation by helping you define with your students the right noise level for the activity and put them in charge to keep it there. The stop light and timer applet can help tremendously making transitions more effective.
Explore the "A Difference of Mind" lesson by 8th grade Science BetterLesson Master Teacher Lori Knasiak to see how she structures station rotation in her classroom using an Attention Station, Language Station, Memory Station, and Emotion Station.
Explore the "Discovering Science" lesson by 2nd grade Science BetterLesson Master Teacher Jeri Faber to see how she structures station rotation in her classroom.
Explore the "Using Rates Stations" lesson by 6th grade Math BetterLesson Master Teacher Michelle Schade to see videos of how she structures station rotation in her classroom.
Explore the "Poetry Station Rotations" lesson by 6th grade ELA BetterLesson Master teacher Amy Coughanour to see videos of her students engaging in a station rotation.
Explore the "Math Stations" lesson by kindergarten BetterLesson Master Teacher Cassandra Joss.
Explore the "Review Stations" lesson by Algebra II BetterLesson Master Teacher Colleen Werner.
Explore the "Unit Review Stations" lesson by 6th grade Math BetterLesson Master Teacher Andrea Palmer.
Explore the "Beowulf Station Rotation: An Epic Activity" lesson by 12th grade ELA BetterLesson Master Teacher, Glenda Funk.
Explore the "Learning about Stations" lesson by 6th grade Math BetterLesson Master Teacher, Michelle Schade.
Explore the "Revision Stations" lesson by 6th grade ELA BetterLesson Master Teacher Amy Coughanour.