Yesterday I started a piece on using centers or work stations in the high school classroom because it encourages independent student learning.
Too many of my students want to have only the right answer and don't feel they can move on till I check their work. In addition, I have basketball players who may be gone most of a week so they can travel and play in tournaments.
I thought something like this might allow me to work with the students while the others are traveling. I think this might be a solution to help bring up several of the lower preforming students.
Write Solutions has a nice quick piece on using stations in the classroom. They suggest using red, yellow, or green folded papers as a way for the student to let the teacher know they either need help because they are stuck, sort of understand, or have it under control.
In addition, it is possible to access materials to set stations up including signs, planning sheets, etc. Materials that make it easier for a teacher to implement stations in the classroom.
Although this second site has only a short piece on stations, the author includes the idea of using assessment data to help divide groups up into groups and to assign stations. She shares her experience using stations and provides some very good suggestions.
I Speak Math also offers some wonderful information for creating and using stations in the middle school classroom but the information could easily be applied to high school classrooms. She discusses how she sets up several stations with two problems each beginning with the easiest problems. The students are assigned to stations based on how well they understand the material so the students who start with station one, really need the most help.
Her rule is that as each student finishes the problems at a station, they bring their answers to her to be checked and if the answers are correct, the students move on to the next station. If the student is incorrect, they work with the teacher and then try again. She also has each student carry an index card with them because if they work with the teacher, they can write the concept down on the card to help them. She even includes downloadables.
You tube has two videos showing the stations being used in the classroom. The first one is about using digital stations in math. It is only 4 minutes long but the teacher actually talks about each station and what the students do. It is cool. The other is on using math stations in the middle school. Its from the students point of view and is awesome. Sometimes she has students create short items for the iPads which other students use to help learn. The teacher calls it reciprocal teaching.
Today, I discovered I have three different books on using stations in the Algebra and Geometry classroom. I'm going to look at those and review them tomorrow. I'm off to read so look for part 3.