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!
Please share any tips you have to plan stations efficiently!
Want to read more about stations??