Ever have those days where it’s just not the right time to start a new unit? Well, today was one of those days. Our sixth-graders just finished two days of MAP testing. Pair that with the fact that half of our students were out all day on a band field trip. What did we do with the students we had left? We tried out something new.
Introducing… drum roll please… student selected stations!
It started with an idea from Rachel Jones, the science teacher on my team. She wanted to do some fun labs and demos that she wouldn’t ordinarily be able to do. So her and I got to talking. (Side note: She is an awesome colleague to brainstorm and hash things out with!) Together we came up with this idea of turning the day into a sort of a station type thing. And at that point, Student Selected Stations was born!
The logistics were a bit tricky. But hey, I love a good puzzle. I brought the idea to the rest of our team teachers. They were immediately excited and on board. (Another shout out to Brittney Jungwaelter and Sarah Polanc for always being willing to try out new things!)
So what did we come up with? Here is an example of our shared Google Spreadsheet.
Each tab is a separate hour. Across the top, were the stations available in our classrooms that particular hour. The space below is where we signed up the students.
Here’s how each class period worked:
- Bell rang to start class. We took our normal attendance.
- We showed students the Google Spreadsheet and explained the choices for that particular hour.
- Randomly, we called on students one at a time. Each student made a choice and his or her name was typed onto our spreadsheet. The beauty of using Google is the ability for all of us to type at the same time.
- At the designated time, (we said 10 minutes, but we really only needed about 5), we sent the kids off to their stations with all their stuff. Once there, we took attendance again. Better to be safe than sorry!
- From that point on, we each explained the directions for our activities. Our class periods are 47 minutes long, so we still ended up with a good chunk of time to complete the station (about 30 minutes).
- At the end of class, students were dismissed to go to their next scheduled class.
We had so much fun. Check it out!
Since so many students were gone, it was a great opportunity to try out a new structure such as this. This setup would work well for a whole grade-level teambuilding day or something similar.
How would you use this structure?