When I first started doing stations, I found that it was a lot of upfront planning, and even longer than planning a traditional lesson. Now I’m finding that I can plan them pretty quickly. It all comes down to having generic templates and picking a simple set up. I will share my process including examples and a download to help you use stations and spend less time planning.
I want to note that I put my stations’ directions in TL for my classes. This gives students the opportunity to figure out new words and reinforce others. Generally, I will not use an activity as a station if we have not done it at least once as a whole group. In this post, I am including some examples in English so all can understand. Look familiar SWCOLT teachers? 😉
FIRST AH-HA MOMENT
I realized that I usually have a station for each language mode/skill. I made a template for each one plus a few extras. I printed these on card stock and folded.
Since they were so nice on card stock, I used post-it notes to add the instructions.
Then I noticed that I have about 3 activities that I go to for each mode/skill. So I typed up a template for these activities. I made the directions really generic, where I can just add in any specific information.
For the listening station, I simply replace the QR code each time. Real-life cut and paste style!
Reading station… just add an authentic resource and done.
Here’s a set of stations about music (front/back). Notice that I have written in the specifics on the instruction side. It took about 20 minutes to find my authentic resources and add specifics the first time I used the templates. These music stations took about 2 class periods to complete.
WHO IS DOING ALL THE WORK?
Finally I reflected on the fact that I’m doing a a lot of the work – finding the authentic resources, writing questions, thinking of the categories, etc. “The one who is doing all the work, is doing all the learning.” Well, I decided to let them do more. In the chat station, I would give them the questions. Now they write their own questions. They think of their own categories for vocabulary sorts. They find their own authentic resources (homework maybe??). I believe it is important to model a few, especially for novice learners, but let them explore as soon as they can.
Last tip I want to share is how to set them up. I’ve found that simple works. To save some money and card stock, now I just put a printout over a card stock tent. Once I just hung them on the walls. Both are great for cart teachers too.
I hope this helps you plan and use stations. “Like” if it did! Here is a download with the generic templates in English so all readers can use it. Translating it should go quickly for you. Have some fun spicing it up with some fun fonts! I use www.1001freefonts.com
Visit el Mercado for the templates!
Station Templates in English for PDF, Keynote or PowerPoint (I use a Mac, so some fonts and formatting may be off. Sorry!)
Plantillas de Estaciones en Español para Keynote o PDF
Please share any tips you have to plan stations efficiently!