FAQs: Workstations

12:21 PM

Let's dive in! You've thrived over the last two months and everything seems to be going well. 

However, there are always questions that teachers get/have about their stations.
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  • How do you keep all kids working at the same time? This comes in steps...
    • Model! Model! Model! 
      • Even if you think there is even an "outside chance" of something going wrong, MODEL how to avoid it or fix it!
    • Keep it engaging
      • Worksheets CAN be in workstations, but try to mix it up!
      • Throw in some technology
      • Add games that are on concept
      • Let the kids pick their stations!
  • Where do YOU come up with the stations?
    • Pinterest - Use it. Love it. 
    • Teachers Pay Teachers - If you haven't heard, it's a site where you can shop for teacher created materials. There are MILLIONS of items, many of which a free, that you can use in your classroom. It's all digital so you can just download, print, and go!
    • Teachers you know! Y'all are the experts. Collaborate! 
    • Make your own. You know the skills! Make a set of cards. Add a Candy Land set ... BOOM! Get creative!
  • How do you grade the workstations? I don't. Workstations are meant for PRACTICE. I don't grade practice. It's just a means to progress towards a goal. I assess when we are trying to meet goals. Each activity within the stations is meant to lead to reaching goals. That's it!
  • What do you do when kids just WON'T participate in stations and disrupt? Okay, this is a legitimate question. I highly recommend having a SOLID discipline plan. Please remember that "discipline" is not a negative unless you make it one. It means to "train" just like someone who is working out. 
    • Have expectations set as a group.
    • When they are not met, have a plan.
      • Is the student having an 'off' day? 
      • Do they need a break from their group?
      • What's motivating the issue?
      • Would taking a break and reading a book solve the problem?
      • Would it be beneficial to allow them to have a Hans' (Solo) day?
    • Follow through with the plan. 
    • IF THE PLAN DOESN'T WORK, pick something else.
  • What if one student is BEYOND the station level? CONGRATULATIONS! You have a tutor! Get that kid over to help teach! The best evidence of learning/understanding is the ability to teach the concept. 
    • Some days are just hard... for everyone. Know your children. Sometimes they need a break from learning ... give it to them.
      • Send a message to another teacher that they will deliver
      • Send them to the bathroom
      • Send them to the water fountain
      • Ask them to help organize something in your room
      • Give them a drawing pass
      • Let them take a nap
        • This has happened in my room. One of my kids didn't sleep well due to parents fighting. Every day during stations, I would let him take a nap behind my desk. I brought in pillows and blankets that I hid under my desk. I made sure his guided reading rotation was at the end of the time so he could get as much sleep as possible. It was transformative!
      • Let them play
        • They are still only kids. Some days need to be more about that then academics.
Remember, workstations are supposed to help the students practice and help you have a free moment to grab a group for reading. Make them purposeful and practical. It's only for practice! 

Until next time! 

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