Stations & Centers

Stations & Centers

Here is a collection of posts about using independent learning stations (aka centers) in class. Enjoy!

One Solution: Stations

Game Station

Writing Station

Conversation/Feedback Station

Accountability at Stations

Solving Station Issues

Wrapping Up Stations

Simplifying Stations with Templates

Proficiency-based Stations

17 Comments

  1. Giovanna

    I think this is awesome! To practice all 4 skills each time we meet! AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!tytytytytytytytytytyty

    Reply
  2. deutschdmsk14

    I need to know how much language students need to have before starting stations? How many lessons would one need to teach before introducing stations to a level 1 class? Please reply soon. I am trying to place station work into my long range plans.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Kara

      I would say as soon as you can!

      Reply
      • deutschdmsk14

        Yes, but I anticipate comments like:”How are we supposed to read/ understand pronounce this?” I would like a more specific answer to my initial question

        Reply
        • Kara

          You will need to plan appropriate tasks. I would not ask a student to pronounce or speak. Remember how languages are acquired and the silent period is important. Here are some first week stations I would do: recognizing cognates, sorting activities (maybe is is a greeting or goodbye), listening to “Me voy” by Julieta Venegas and highlighting activity, playing an app, fly swatter game, picking Spanish name, a map identifying app/activity, matching questions and answers, making an emotion poster and labeling it in language, etc.
          Stations are meant to let students learn in small groups, instead of sitting in a teacher-directed lesson. I especially like them for the beginning of the year. Students get a chance to know each other, get comfortable. Also the goals are usually short mini lessons which make nice stations.
          If I didn’t answer your question, let me know. I may not understand your exact concern.
          Also don’t be afraid to try it! Those student questions may happen, but that’s ok. Take it as feedback and improve from there. Trust me, I’ve had many of those moments. Once it happened during an observation. The activity was too hard for the students’ proficiency level. My admin discussed it with me, I used the students’ feedback and had an even better activity in the end. Teaching is an art and each of us create our masterpieces a little different, and that’s ok. Do what feels right for you, and more importantly your students!

          Reply
          • deutschdmsk14

            Thank you! These are great suggestions. I just needed a few specific ideas to jog my thinking. I may have a few questions later. Thanks again!

            Reply
  3. Karly Pancake

    Hey! Question: What twitter accounts do you follow to get the tweets you use for your stations? I am having a hard time figuring out which ones I should follow to get relevant tweets! Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
    • Kara

      I just use the search bar instead of a specific person. If I need something about let’s say New Year’s, I would use the following terms (at different times): año nuevo, 12 uvas, campanadas, festejar, noche vieja, etc.

      Reply
  4. Sofia

    Dear Kara,

    I have a very uneven 6th grade. Everyone is in a different level academically, as far as motivation, knowledge, ability to learn and behavior. I tried the centers, but a lot of kids take advantage if you are not watching them. How would you handle this?

    Reply
    • Kara Parker

      Do you have a formative assessment after the stations?

      Reply
  5. Susan Segsworth

    Your site has great engaging ideas. I am back in the Spanish classroom–and adapting from high school to middle school–after several years teaching fifth graders. It has been quite and adjustment, and my eighth graders need something with short time spans and lots of activity. Centers sound like a great idea! (My 6th graders love TPR Storytelling.)

    Reply
    • Kara Parker

      Thanks Susan! Let us know how it goes with them.

      Reply
  6. Veronica Cross (@profeargentina)

    Hi Kara and Megan,
    I’m planning to do stations in my class. I have some questions for you.
    How long do the kids stay in each station? Does each station have a specific time or do ALL get the same? I mean you would think that playing a game make take shorter than the writing station, for example.
    Do you use something like a bell to signal “change of station”? What do you do with students that finish EARLIER the task in each station? Do they move to the next one (which may already have students) or do they wait?
    In your experience how many stations can a student cover in a 60 minutes class?
    Sorry for so many questions! Thanks for your help!
    Verónica

    Reply
  7. Kara Parker

    Hey Veronica! Let me say this about stations… there are a million ways to run them, so my advice is just what works for me. Each time I do them, it’s a little different depending on tasks.
    For a one-day of stations plan: At first, I set a time limit (usually 8 mins in each station) and yes, I ran into the problems you stated. I told them that whether they were finished or not, move to the next. The station that takes the least amount of time was the time that I would set. I had a bell or just played a little music to signal a change and set a timer on the projector. So in 60 minutes, they made it through 4-5 because I leave time to wrap up and assess before they left. You may get through more or less, depending on your stations.
    Then I changed it to free roaming. It looks crazy and is loud, but it worked better! They still knew they had to show what they learned at the end of class, so they really tried to get a little of each. I still used a ten-minute interval timer from youtube on the board to help them manage their time. I’ll say this again, the end of class assessment is crucial! The stations are for learning and practicing, so they should be able to do something new by the end.

    Reply
  8. Veronica

    Thanks Kara for your answer!!! One more question, what do you do with the student who finishes faster in his group? Does he move alone to the next station or wait for his group to move together? please let me know and thanks again!

    Reply
    • Kara Parker

      If they are free roaming, they can move at their own pace and leave the group. If it’s timed and set as groups, then he/she can wait. If it happens repeatedly, I may cut down the time I have set for each station. I try to keep the times short as possible to prevent that. OR I would talk to that student about trying to get a higher proficiency level and what he/she can do at the station to bump it up.

      Reply
  9. Veronica Cross (@profeargentina)

    Kara, THANKS again! You’ve been so helpful!

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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