Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rotation Stations

This year I decided to really buckle down on my stations and thanks to all of these wonderful blogs I have been printing and laminating station after station.  As a first year teacher last year, I did not understand just how difficult "creating" stations would be.  I felt challenged every day to come up with something more than just a "worksheet" activity.  Well since this is my second year this year, over the summer I got organized and got several things in order. 

First, I started by making a car magnet on Vistaprint.  The magnet sticks to my board and my students can see what our daily stations are.  This is what the magnet looks like:

Then each student has a blue station folder with their station "schedule" in a page protector.  The names of my stations stay the same but the activity is what changes.  My students keep all of their station work in their folder for the week then on Friday if they have finished all of their work, they can have fun friday where they get to do game like activities.  They have to turn in their folder into a crate that has hanging files in it with their number on the tag.  This allows me to make a quick check to see who is not finished.  My students LOVE it and so do I!  They are very organized and try extremely hard to finish all of their work by Friday.  If they do not get finished, they have to finish up on Friday.  Once they complete everything if they are behind, they can join in on Fun Friday.

Part of my daily stations is computers.  Last year, I was not organized at all with monitoring where my students went or what they did on the computer.  So this year, I created a daily schedule for them to follow.  The schedule was printed out and laminated then I used contact paper and made a make-shift mousepad.  My students can follow the schedule just by looking under the mouse.  I also use now instead of porta-portal.  It allows me to organize the sites by day and lets my kids see a quick picture of what they will do.  If you have never heard of it you need to check it out.  It is FABULOUS!

I also wanted to show you all how I organize all of these wonderful stations I have found on blogs.  I, of course, print them all off and laminate them.  I use manila folders (big and small) and put a short little description on the cover of it.

Then, I put a small sticker on the back of each piece of the station game to match the envelope.  That way if they were to ever get mixed up or misplaced I could quickly see which one does not belong.

   I also took all of the activities that were numbered and hole punched the corner so I could put them on a ring.  This helps them complete the activity in the same order as the recording sheet.

So how do you organize your stations?

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