I started stations with 3rd, 4th & 5th on Tuesday. *Whew*
The first day, We did four stations – everyone started one, and then 1/3 of the class checked out for 10 minutes each. There had to be some overlap because we were crunched for time. So as soon as students from a previous group went, I let the next group start. This meant the students had 15-20 minutes to work on a station which for some was just too long. I wasn’t unhappy with the day, but I felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. And we didn’t have good time for reflection.
So, on Wednesday, I nixed half the stations. I had two groups working on the same thing at the same time. We still only got 10 minutes for check out, but there wasn’t any overlap and I could be pulled in fewer directions. If the finished check out before the 10 minutes was up (and a lot of them do), then they went back to their tables and read silently until the timer went off as we always have done. 10 minutes is short, but after we get past the learning stage, I’m sure this can gradually increase to 15 minutes. We only have a 40 minute class. That would leave 5 minutes at the front for necessities and 5 minutes at the end for reflection.
Every day, I was fine tuning what we’d done the day before. On Friday afternoon a parent helper came in and she mentioned that the 4th graders really seemed to be into the work and the process.
These are the things that still need my attention.
- Some students do not like to read directions even when you tell them they are right there and need to be read to accomplish the goal.
- I put an “I can” statement on each activity (asked them to read it with the instructions) and still some students couldn’t tell you any reason why they did the activity.
- Some classes were great with the time. Others just would not come back. Of course this varied from class to class before, but it seems more important now so that we can reflect.
Next week we start again . . .